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EE goes live in ‘first-of-its-kind’ mobile infrastructure pilot with Freshwave

21 Dec 2022

Subscribers of British mobile network operator (MNO) EE, a subsidiary of BT Group, can now benefit from enhanced 4G and 5G coverage along Queen Victoria Street in the City of London, as a result of an ‘innovative’ connectivity pilot led by connectivity infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provide Freshwave.

Freshwave has reportedly built new mobile infrastructure in a ten site pilot to make it shareable and capable of delivering 4G and 5G for all four of the UK’s MNOs, with EE the first to go live on the former’s neutral host network. According to Freshwave, the first-of-its-kind network’s shareable infrastructure reduces equipment and infrastructure duplication, making it more cost-effective to deploy, as well as minimising street clutter and the associated disruption during street works.

Of further note, a press release regarding the development confirmed that Virgin Media O2 (VMO) has also signed up to the pilot and is expected to go live ‘early in 2023’, while Vodafone UK is also expected to join the pilot ‘in the first quarter of 2023’.

Freshwave CEO Simon Frumkin was cited as saying: ‘We’re delighted to have reached this milestone in the pilot of our truly multi-operator neutral host network. Shared digital infrastructure is the logical evolution in telecoms as cities become more connected and smarter. Companies like Freshwave that deploy using the neutral host model help accelerate this connectivity for everyone as the model is more cost-effective, greener and less disruptive.’ Meanwhile, James Hope, Director of Mobile Radio Access Networks at EE, added: ‘We’re pleased to be the first operator live on this pilot with Freshwave helping to deliver the best possible 4G and 5G services to our City of London customers, even at the busiest times. The project is a further demonstration of how we’re enhancing our networks to help both digitise and deliver economic prosperity to the UK, and we look forward to extending it in the future.’

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