Virgin Media O2 deploys small cell network across London

Virgin Media O2 has deployed a small cells network across London to accelerate its 4G and 5G rollout.

The company said that the new network, which aims to boost network capacity and coverage in high density urban areas, is the largest of any major operator in the UK.

It claims the technology enables it to speed-up the roll out of 4G and 5G in a more environmentally friendly way.

Small cells are usually bolted to existing street furniture, like lampposts, which means there is no need to build new street infrastructure.

Virgin Media O2 said that in some busier locations, around 20 per cent of network traffic flows through small cells rather than the macro layer to ease congestion.

“Building a 5G network is a complex job, so we are constantly looking at ways to create efficiencies via collaboration with partners that will ultimately benefit our customers,” said Jeanie York, chief technology officer, Virgin Media O2. “Technologies such as small cells help us increase network bandwidth, which allows us to keep up with customer demand, with data traffic levels increasing 34 per cent year on year.”

Virgin Media O2 now has over 1,300 live sites across London.

“This is further good news for London’s digital infrastructure,” said Theo Blackwell, chief digital officer, London. “It comes about through our partnerships on the ground between boroughs and telecommunications, supporting local rollouts.

“Small cells don't just mean much better connections, they also boost jobs and growth, helping us to build a better London for everyone. It's great to see this investment continuing across London.”

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