Powerful partnerships bring outdoor small cell pilot to the City of London 

Freshwave has upgraded existing infrastructure in the Square Mile to make it capable of delivering multi-operator 4G and 5G connectivity at street level using dark fibre and small cells.

Freshwave’s end-to-end bespoke design was specifically developed to fit precise design requirements from both the City of London Corporation and all four mobile network operators

Working with City of London Corporation and concession holder Cornerstone, we’ve installed or upgraded City Corporation street assets, such as lamp posts, so that the same asset can be used by multiple mobile network operators. Using small cell technology, which enhances 4G and 5G connectivity, the 10-site pilot runs along Queen Victoria Street and has been delivering an improved user experience for mobile users within the pilot area from December 2022. EE went live on the network in December 2022 and Virgin Media O2 went live in January 2023 with Vodafone planning to join the pilot soon.

A place rich in history looks to the future

If the pilot is successful, the ambition is for a City-wide deployment that will deliver faster 4G and 5G mobile connectivity speeds across the Square Mile.


200+ node locations planned in the Square Mile, the densest deployment of small cells in the UK

3,360 km

3,360 km of dark fibre by Netomnia deployed across the Square Mile as part of the network


300,000+ people travel to the Square Mile to work

Future-proofing the City Corporation's small cell communication infrastructure

Infrastructure works are critical but can be disruptive for workers, visitors and residents. Everyone involved in the pilot, such as cabinet installation contractors and ancient monument archaeologists, work together to make the most of the permits secured and keep disruption to a minimum.

We made use of existing street infrastructure wherever possible and our neutral host approach allows multiple mobile network operators to share the same street assets.


Outdoor small cells

The City is already a global business hub and this mobile connectivity will play an important part in also helping it become a 24/7 visitor destination. We are continually looking for new ways to increase the City’s appeal for businesses, visitors and residents.

High capacity, super-fast connectivity is essential for consumers and businesses today, with demand for data and low-latency networks continuing to rise. 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.

With the largest outdoor small cell network of any of the major operators, we’re excited to have signed up for this pilot with Freshwave. Adding extra capacity to our existing legacy solution of over 200 small cells in the City of London will provide further benefit to the ever-increasing data demands of its users. Outdoor small cells provide a flexible solution for boosting network connectivity and we’re looking forward to going live on the network very soon.

We work in collaboration with the public sector to deliver assured connectivity

Learn how we enable smarter towns, cities and government buildings.

Products and services used in this solution for City of London Corporation

Find out more about what we do for indoor and outdoor connectivity solutions:

Indoor Connectivity Outdoor Connectivity
Outdoor small cells

Outdoor small cells

Outdoor small cells enhance mobile coverage in busy urban areas where the number of people and things using the signal may put too much demand on the nearest mast. The cells can often be added to existing street assets like lamp posts.