The company’s small cells will be tested in Trafalgar Square in November

U.K.-based wireless infrastructure-as-a-service provider Ontix has been selected by Westminster City Council to deploy small cells on the city’s street furniture.

The council said that the small cells will boost network capacity and create next-generation infrastructure for the roll-out of high-speed 5G services. The new infrastructure is expected to eliminate coverage holes and provide faster connectivity and higher capacity to mobile operators and other wireless network operators.

Ontix confirmed it will deploy a pilot small cell network in London’s Trafalgar Square this November. The pilot will be open to all mobile operators, the company said.

Ontix also said that the roll-out of small cells across the Westminster area is expected to continue during 2019.

“Economically, socially and culturally, London is probably the best-connected city in the world. So it stands to reason that the 1.6 million people who live, do business and sightsee across Westminster each day should benefit from the world’s fastest and most reliable wireless service,” said David Harvey, cabinet member for Economic Development Education and Community at Westminster City Council.

“This new micro-technology will finally relegate ‘not-spots’ to the digital dustbin of history and Westminster will now embody the U.K.’s ambition to become a world leader in 5G,” he said

“We are very excited to be working together with Westminster City Council on this very significant project for the capital.  This is a huge opportunity, and one of the very first of its kind on this scale.  5G promises to deliver a huge impact, socially and economically, but we need to make it a reality. Partnerships like this are where it happens,” said Antony Tomlinson, chief executive of Ontix.

“As part of the ten-year deal with Westminster, Ontix will also build a high capacity, neutral-host ‘Metrohaul’ network to deliver 5G-ready connectivity for all operators,” he added.

Local carriers are also in the process to deploy small cells across London. In April, mobile operator O2 and compatriot communications infrastructure firm Arqiva confirmed plans to deploy up to 300 small cells across London. The companies said the small cells will offer enhanced mobile data capacity and coverage in some of London’s busiest districts. That contract stipulates the deployment of small cells in a number of boroughs including the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth, Camden and Lambeth, among others.

Small cells will be started to be deployed in the coming months with deployment continuing up to 2020.

O2 and Arqiva said the 300 small cells will be installed on street assets, such as lampposts, to deliver increased capacity in areas where mobile data demand is particularly high, for example outside transport hubs and major shopping areas.


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