Freshwave awarded “Most Innovative RAN Product or Solution” at Leading Lights 2023 for pilot with the City of London

An exterior image of the City of London School which is piloting outdoor small cells.

We’re thrilled to have won a category in Leading Lights 2023, Light Reading’s flagship awards programme. We won “Most Innovative RAN Product or Solution” for our first-of-its kind outdoor small cell pilot with the City of London.  We designed a bespoke and repeatable network which can accommodate all four mobile network operators on 4G and 5G from day one with no adjustments to the infrastructure needed – a first for the UK. 

The judges said: “Freshwave’s neutral host network wins for its innovative, shareable 4G and 5G multi-operator network pilot in London. UK mobile operators, including EE, Virgin Media O2 and Vodafone, can provide service and handle their traffic on this shareable outdoor small-cell network without having to spend the time and money to build this capability themselves, which would add more complexity and street furniture to an already crowded city.” 

The Leading Lights awards programme is now in its 19th year and recognises the industry’s top companies and their executives for outstanding achievements in next-generation communications technology, applications, services, strategies and innovation.  

James Hope, Director of Mobile Radio Access Networks at EE, said: “We were excited to be the first operator live on the network and are pleased with the results. Freshwave is a valued partner as we work in new ways to deliver the best possible 4G and 5G services to our City of London customers, even at the busiest times.”    

Pete Hollebon, National Delivery – Outdoor Small Cell and Microcell Delivery Lead at Virgin Media O2, said: “Outdoor small cells provide a flexible solution for boosting network connectivity, and 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.”   

Simon Frumkin, Freshwave’s CEO, said: “This multi-award winning pilot is testament to the engineering innovation and collaborative approach that we’re committed to as company and we’re grateful to The City of London Corporation for partnering with us on this project. Our fundamental design principle enables the mobile network operators to retain full architectural and operational control, while advancing shareable infrastructure.” 

City of London Corporation Streets and Walkways Sub-Committee Chairman, Graham Packham, said: “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.”  

Mobile infrastructure services provider Cornerstone holds the concession with the City Corporation and Freshwave is delivering the pilot through this concession. The network uses dark fibre built by wholesale fibre broadband operator Netomnia.  

Freshwave were also finalists in the “Outstanding Use Case: Customer Experience” category for work on JOTS Neutral-Host In-Building with Three UK. The awards were presented on 25th September 2023. 

Read more about our work with the City of London here.