We’re delighted to have won ‘Excellence in commercial deployment by neutral host’ at last night’s Small Cell Forum Awards 2022. The award is for our 5G C-RAN deployment in the West Midlands which is transforming mobile connectivity across the Birmingham region.
The project has always been considered extremely ambitious and has been an exciting one for our team to work on. The SCF judges recognised our pioneering role in deploying the UK’s first large-scale 5G neutral host C-RAN network, anchored by Three UK, and delivering the best possible service experience for all its customers.
Unlike many C-RAN or trial small cell rollouts, our West Midland’s deployment is a fully commercial network that is immediately available to be shared by all the UK’s MNOs.
The WIG entry combined a genuine 3rd-party neutral-host vision capable of supporting multiple public MNOs’ coverage, as well as private 5G connectivity for local or road authorities for V2X. This type of model is likely to be highly relevant to future road and rail connectivity. ”SCF Awards Judge Dean Bubley – Disruptive Analysis
Wireless Infrastructure Group led the design, construction and operation of the network. We deployed our own fibre backbone across the city, connecting infrastructure assets located at the base of existing street lighting poles, reducing environmental impact and avoiding unsightly street clutter. Our network was delivered with the support of CommScope and Ericsson as part of the Midlands Future Mobility initiative, the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) and Innovate UK.
We would like to call out the invaluable support we had from our partners Birmingham City Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority. This collaboration will enable us to connect up tens of thousands of streetscape assets for mobile infrastructure in the future while at the same time minimising environmental impacts.
I would like to thank the judges and SCF for this award. I’m extremely proud of our team, their achievements this project and the important role our network will play in delivering transformational mobile connectivity to the area just before it hosts the Commonwealth Games. I would like to pay tribute to our partners the Birmingham City Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority. Together, I think we forged a new and better way of delivering mobile infrastructure to the heart of urban environments, minimising disruption and delays while ensuring outstanding network performance.”CEO Scott Coates – Wireless Infrastructure Group
Some of the project highlights include:
- Contiguous high speed and high capacity 4G and 5G services from Birmingham International Airport through to the city centre
- Deployment of long-term sustainable infrastructure solutions, supporting small cells and making use of existing street furniture
- Three UK customers already benefitting from 4G and 5G delivered by the infrastructure with service throughput in excess 1Gb/s. Three’s initial deployment area includes city centre capacity hot spots together with contiguous high speed and high-capacity services across 20kms of the busiest parts of the Midlands Future Mobility testbed route.