Freshwave wins “Outstanding small cell technology in commercial use” for first-of-its-kind project with the City of London

A group of seven people at the Small Cell World Summit

We’re pleased to have scooped the “Outstanding small cell technology in commercial use” at the Small Cell Forum Industry Awards. The awards are the only entirely independent awards event supporting technical innovation in, and the deployment of agile, cost-effective, scalable, cellular infrastructure and solutions by established and emerging service providers.  

We won the category for our innovative outdoor small cell pilot in 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 10-site pilot runs along Queen Victoria Street. EE and Virgin Media O2 are already live, with Vodafone joining soon. 

The judges commented: “Shared and neutral host networks are critical to the small cell business model, and this stood out as an excellent example of what the industry needs to achieve, with a flexible and practical approach to network sharing in an extremely dense and commercially demanding environment.” 

Simon Frumkin, Freshwave’s CEO, said: “It’s great to have this ground-breaking project recognised by the industry. It’s the result of years of close collaboration and expert engineering between our team, the City of London Corporation, and all four mobile network operators. Shareable infrastructure enables the cost of deployment to be reduced while allowing the network operators to retain full control of their customers’ experience.” 

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.” 

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.”  

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 “Excellence in commercial deployment by a service provider category” and in the “Judges Choice” category for their work on JOTS Neutral-Host In-Building with Three UK. The awards were presented at an awards ceremony in London on 23rd May 2023. 

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