BT Wholesale is the largest deployer of street level small cells in the UK, working in partnership with MNOs and local authorities to connect, transform and empower communities.
From Broadband & Ethernet through to voice, and hosted communication services, BT Wholesale have got a solution.
Widening access to inclusive development
Digital exclusion costs the UK economy a reported £12.8 billion per year in the form of the skills gap it creates. One key to closing this digital divide is ensuring everybody has access to affordable, fixed, or mobile broadband connectivity. This creates the opportunity for communities to capitalise on technological and economic opportunities, which is a key focus for any local authority.
As part of this, establishing a digital infrastructure is increasingly being considered an essential step in providing first-class services that add value to entire communities – encouraging inward investment and closing social and economic gaps. For example, large increases in download speeds can lead to significantly more productive economic output, but wider-ranging applications of improved digital infrastructure include enabling areas such as remote healthcare, education, travel and transport.
Combining heritage with innovation to drive connectivity
BT Wholesale (BTW) has been in the mobile industry since the very beginning. With a heritage dating back more than 175 years, its knowledge is unmatched – and is one of the reasons why it has assisted local authority consortiums as part of DCMS’ Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Accelerator (DCIA) project, to aid development as well as improve and assist MNO 5G deployment plans across the UK.
BTW also uses this understanding to continuously evolve small cell capabilities and has been at the forefront of trialling new technology as a result. For example, it’s working with Leeds City Council to realise its digital aspirations to become the most 5G-capable city in the UK. The project recently undertook C-RAN (Cloud Radio Access Network) trials with EE and H3G for next generation small cells to showcase how better, more local mobile coverage can further level up the city. It also tested how C-RAN can not only lower space and power requirements, but also offer a better customer experience through increased cellular co-ordination.
Unparalleled small cells deployment
BTW’s small cells expertise is unparalleled. It has enabled MNOs to deploy more than 2,000 small cells into operation across the UK with solutions that range from connectivity through to full turnkey. It provides site delivery, installation, and ongoing managed service, with a key focus on how to utilise existing street-based infrastructure to minimise carbon footprint and disruption.
BTW’s dedication to innovation never stops either – it has invested £2 billion into improving its network that boasts 99.999% availability across the UK. BTW is leading the way to ensuring every corner of the UK has access to consistent, low latency coverage. This level of investment is critical to not only the vision of a connected future, but also closing the digital divide, not just in the big cities but across the entire nation, ensuring technology can be a catalyst for growth for all.
Other key highlights include:
- Neutral host solutions: BTW is currently productising its award-winning Neutral Host indoor small cells offering to the UK marketplace and plans to use the same vRAN small cell architecture to implement Neutral Host Outdoor (NHOD) solutions. Using neutral host infrastructure is a fantastic way to lower cost, carbon footprint and provide a ubiquitous, multi-operator indoor solution for Communication Service Providers to enter new markets and geographical areas, further helping to bridge the digital divide.
- UK-first underground cabinet: BTW developed a first-of-its-kind underground cabinet, enabling improved asset sharing in central urban and conservation areas to minimise impact on street aesthetics.
- Street Connect 1G: A BTW-developed high-capacity transmission solution that is the ideal complement to 4G and 5G mobile architectures. Ruggedized and built to last, it provides 1Gbs of usable data to support multi-carrier small cell deployments. Read BTW’s dedicated datasheet to find out more.
- Single-network architecture: BTW spearheaded single-network architecture for in-building and outdoor small cells alongside its ongoing move towards Network Function Virtualisation and Edge Cloud, in order to provide more reliable connectivity for homes and businesses.
- BTW is the largest Layer 3 network for MNOs: It is also the only truly national provider of mobile backhaul and provides solutions across both Ethernet and Microwave, ensuring full coverage and accessibility to make full use of improved connectivity for businesses and communities.
BTW works closely with local authorities and has already established an ‘Open Access’ approach with several across the UK. This means working with operators who use accessible street-based assets such as lamp columns to deploy small cells.
To read about how true digital levelling up is within small reach for local authorities, read BTW’s article by Ian Newbury, MNO Business Development Director, here.
To learn more about the future of small cells and their role in paving the way for 5G roll-out, you can read BTW’s tailor-made small cells portfolio here.
Find out more about BTW’s award-winning mobile products and services by clicking here.