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O2 and Arqiva team up to improve mobile connectivity in London boroughs

Mobile network operator O2 and communications infrastructure firm Arqiva have teamed up to improve the mobile connectivity in London’s boroughs.

The companies will work together to install 300 smart cells across the British capital. These will provide “enhanced mobile data capacity and coverage” to the people who live and work in London’s boroughs, according to a release from the firms.

As part of a “long-term agreement”, the companies will tap into Arqiva’s concession contracts with fourteen London boroughs to provide them with smart cell technology.

Boroughs such as Hammersmith and Fulham, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth, Camden and Lambeth will all benefit from the scheme.

The firms confirmed that the first smart cells will be installed by summer 2018, but complete deployment will likely continue to 2020.

These cells are to be attached to lampposts and other street assets across the boroughs, enabling the firms to  offer “targeted coverage and increased capacity in areas where mobile data demand is particularly high”.

The project will not only provide “immediate customer benefits”, but Arqiva and O2 said it will also “lay foundations for a rapid deployment of 5G connectivity when it becomes available”.

David Crawford, managing director of telecoms M2M at Arqiva, said the planned infrastructure will “meet the needs of the mobile network operators and their customers”.

He said: “As demand for data continues to increase, the requirement for network densification will grow and use of street furniture and small cells will play a critical role in delivering the mobile networks of the future. 

“The agreement between O2 and Arqiva represents the start of this journey and we look forward to working together to deliver an enhanced experience for O2 customers.”

 Brendan O’Reilly, chief technical officer of O2, said 5G technology “will change the way we live our lives” when it enters the mainstream over the coming years.

“Our partnership with Arqiva reflects this belief and demonstrates our commitment to exploring opportunities to provide the increased capacity and denser coverage our customers deserve in the areas they need it most,” he said.

“Only by working together, with industry partners, regulators, and government policy makers, will we be able to continue delivering the best for our customers and to help the UK maintain the digital leadership we have all worked so hard to establish.”

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