BT has revealed a new initiative to help improve mobile signal across the UK, in which it will partner with local authorities across the country to mount more than 500 small cell antennas on light poles, closed circuit columns of television and other «street furniture».
EE-owner BT will also use its own assets, including its iconic phone boxes along with its Street Hub 2.0 units to help improve coverage. The idea is that placing the antenna at street level will work better than installing huge masts somewhere else.
The plan will be carried out in conjunction with local authorities in London, Croydon, Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Cardiff, Nottingham, Leicester and others.
5G for everyone
"Around 200 of the small cells are already live and help boost 4G coverage for EE customers in UK cities," said BT's Brian More O'Ferrall. in these areas.
“Ensuring a good digital infrastructure is a priority for many councils, especially with the rise in mobile device ownership and growing demand for data and connectivity, and they have seen the benefits such partnerships can bring.”
The BT partnership is expected to provide EE customers with theoretical speeds of 300Mbps in Croydon, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Nottingham.
The service will be fully rolled out over the next 18 months and will support 5G coverage in the future.
"Demand for digital connectivity is expected to increase further in the coming years and this partnership with BT means we can provide better mobile coverage for our residents, visitors and businesses," said Croydon Councilor Muhammad Ali.
“With 12 small EE cells already installed and 20 more in the next 18 months, it is fantastic that our existing street furniture, combined with BT assets, can provide a simple and effective solution to accelerate mobile network infrastructure in our municipality.