Advanced Television

EE deploys more small cells to increase 4G capacity

June 9, 2023

EE has now successfully deployed over 600 street-level mobile sites, known as small cells, across the UK, delivering on its commitment to add hundreds of new sites to the 200 announced just over a year ago.

A further 411 small cell installations are now delivering enhanced capacity in high demand areas, including in major cities such as Birmingham, Brighton and Sheffield, ensuring customers can take advantage of download speeds of up to 300Mbps even at the busiest of times.

Other new locations to benefit from EE’s ongoing small cells deployment include the cities of Swansea, Leicester, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Southampton and York. Meanwhile a host of seasonal hotspots have also received a timely connectivity boost ahead of the summer, including Newquay, Paignton, Salcombe, Southend-on-Sea and Clacton-on-Sea.

Small cells take advantage of existing street assets, such as BT’s iconic red telephone boxes, to help enhance street-level mobile coverage in busy areas where it’s impractical to build larger sites, such as city-centres and transport hubs. As well as being located on phone boxes, lamp posts and CCTV columns, EE has installed approximately 60 small cells on BT’s innovative new digital Street Hubs, further maximising the benefit of these assets to communities.

EE’s 611 small cell sites currently carry 20TB of data traffic every day – the equivalent of streaming 8,000 hours of HD video or 280,000 hours of music – demonstrating the substantial value they offer to customers in high demand areas, as well as the importance of EE’s strategy to build prior to the arrival of any congestion whenever possible.

Sites are identified via advanced network analytics, which highlights specific locations that would most benefit from the performance boost enabled by a small cell. Then, working alongside Nokia, EE deploys a 4G small cell solution which couples its licenced 1800MHz and 2600Mhz spectrum with unlicenced 5GHz spectrum to deliver standout speed and capacity.

James Hope, Director of Mobile Radio Access Networks, EE, said:: “As demand for data continues to rise, small cells are becoming an increasingly integral part of our mobile network. Our partnership with Nokia ensures customers continue to benefit from our fastest 4G speeds even at the busiest times and in the most congested of locations, and we’re proud to pass another milestone in this project as we continue to invest in improving the UK’s best mobile network up and down the country.”

Mark Atkinson, SVP, Radio Access Networks PLM at Nokia, commented: “Nokia has an extensive portfolio of high-capacity outdoor and indoor small cells that deliver premium 4G and 5G network performance in dense urban and in-building environments. This latest deployment will ensure that EE’s customers benefit from seamless connectivity particularly in congested or high-demand areas at multiple cities across the UK. We are delighted to continue our partnership with EE and support their ambition to deliver the country’s best network.”

Categories: 5G, Articles, Broadband, Mobile

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