Arqiva secures rights to deploy small cell telecoms infrastructure across the London Borough of Waltham Forest

The up to 10 year contract grants Arqiva access to around 16,000 lampposts across the borough

UK, London, 14 November 2017: Arqiva, the leading UK communications infrastructure company, has today announced it has secured the exclusive access rights to street furniture across the London Borough of Waltham Forest for the future deployment of telecommunications infrastructure.

The up to 10 year contract grants Arqiva access to around 16,000 lampposts across the borough, which it will be able to use for the deployment of small cell technology to help the UK mobile network operators (MNOs) to further expand mobile coverage and capacity over the coming years. Small cells will also be crucial to the delivery of 5G.

Small cells are units that can be installed onto street furniture and the sides of buildings to boost mobile capacity in areas where demand is particularly high or existing coverage is poor. They can also be applied inside venues such as shopping centres, where increased footfall puts a strain on existing communications infrastructure.

They allow people to continue using the connected functions of their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices without any interruptions.

The deal represents Arqiva’s 14th concession of this kind in London, following similar contract wins in Barnet, Brent, Camden,  Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Hounslow, Islington, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Lambeth, Merton, Richmond upon Thames and Wandsworth. Arqiva also has similar deals in Manchester, Southampton, Colchester, Eastbourne and Medway.

As the project commences, Arqiva will also deploy Wifi access points – mounted on lampposts – in town centres across the borough to provide free public access to Wi-Fi services.

“As data and voice usage increases exponentially, it is fast becoming essential for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to deliver sufficient outdoor connectivity for their customers in dense urban areas.

“Arqiva’s portfolio of communications sites means we are uniquely able to help the MNOs deliver the required coverage and capacity, whether it is towers and rooftops for macro sites, or street furniture for small cells.

“Street furniture such as lampposts has a crucial role to play in providing 4G signal to densely populated areas now, and preparing for 5G. We can see the arrival of 5G connectivity on the horizon and density of infrastructure is crucial to its delivery. This is particularly true for the future delivery of 5G Fixed Wireless Access broadband to homes.

“Local authorities are recognising how important connectivity is for their residents and business and we are excited to be working with Waltham Forest as our 14th London Borough partner.”

“I’m really pleased to welcome Arqiva to Waltham Forest as we help our residents move toward a digital future. We use digital technology more every day to carry out jobs from ordering shopping and services, to keeping in touch with friends and relatives, to accessing council services. To do this we need fast online access – and that is precisely what this agreement brings for residents and visitors.

“Installing cell units into street furniture is an innovative and forward-thinking idea that shows we in Waltham Forest are committed to improving our digital offer for all to enjoy. We are glad to be able to draw on Arqiva’s expertise and experience bringing high-speed internet access to the streets of other London boroughs.”

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