EE Freshwave Image
  • EE is the first and currently only MNO to be live on Freshwave’s new network, enabling customers to enjoy enhanced 4G and 5G in the City of London
  • It is the first outdoor small cell network in the UK capable of hosting all four mobile network operators from day one
  • The technology ensures consumers and businesses will continue to benefit from high-speed mobile coverage in densely-populated areas, even at the busiest times

EE mobile users in the City of London can now enjoy enhanced 4G and 5G coverage along Queen Victoria Street thanks to an innovative connectivity pilot led by Freshwave.

Connectivity infrastructure-as-a-service provider Freshwave’s new mobile infrastructure is shareable and capable of delivering 4G and 5G for all four mobile network operators (MNOs). EE is live on the network.

In busy areas, the number of people using mobile devices can create high demand on the macro site serving that area. Outdoor small cells installed at street level process some of that demand themselves, making them ideal for enhancing mobile connectivity in densely populated areas. 5G technology also means networks must be densified, and these are the first 5G outdoor small cells to be installed in the City of London. 

The first-of-its-kind network’s shareable infrastructure reduces equipment and infrastructure duplication, making it more cost-effective to deploy, while also lessening the environmental impact and minimising street clutter and disruption. The network uses a centralised radio access network and, by housing multiple pieces of telecoms equipment in accompanying cabinets, fewer devices are needed on the street assets themselves. The network uses dark fibre built by Netomnia.

James Hope, Director of Mobile Radio Access Networks at EE, said: “High capacity, super-fast connectivity is essential for consumers and businesses today, with demand for data and low-latency networks continuing to rise. We’re pleased to be the first operator live on this pilot with Freshwave, helping to deliver the best possible 4G and 5G services to our City of London customers, even at the busiest times. The project is a further demonstration of how we’re enhancing our networks to help both digitise and deliver economic prosperity to the UK, and we look forward to extending it in the future.”

Simon Frumkin, Freshwave’s CEO, said: “We’re delighted to have reached this milestone in the pilot of our truly multi-operator neutral host network. Shared digital infrastructure is the logical evolution in telecoms as cities become more connected and smarter. Companies like Freshwave that deploy using the neutral host model help accelerate this connectivity for everyone as the model is more cost-effective, greener and less disruptive. I’m proud Freshwave are doing what’s right by all parties in this area.”

The news comes in the same week that EE were announced on a separate state-of-the-art C-RAN trial in Leeds, using individual street works and existing street-furniture – such as lampposts or CCTV – to deliver 5G connectivity through cloud technology.

With mobile usage expected to keep rising, particularly in line with emerging 5G-driven technologies, the value of deployments like these will exponentially grow as they future-proof networks against evolving capacity requirements – ensuring customers continue to benefit from the best speeds and minimal latency regardless of demand.



About EE

EE runs the UK's biggest and fastest mobile network, offering superfast connections in more places than any other operator. EE brought the first 4G network to the UK in October 2012 and launched the UK’s first 5G network in May 2019.

EE has received extensive independent recognition, including being named the UK’s no.1 5G network by RootMetrics® in 2020 and being named the UK's best network every year since 2014 for the following awards: The Mobile Choice Awards, The Mobile Industry Awards and by RootMetrics®.

As well as offering mobile services to consumers and small and medium businesses, EE also provides home and business broadband using both 4G and fixed line connections.

EE is committed to being number one for service in the industry and has nearly 600 shops across the UK. EE remains the only mobile provider to answer 100% of customer calls in the UK and Ireland and was recognised as the UK’s Best Large Contact Centre by the UK Customer Experience Awards 2018 and Welsh Contact Centre Awards 2019. EE was awarded The Sunday Times’ Best 100 Companies to Work for in 2018 and 2019, as well as being named Best Employer 2018 by the European Contact Centre & Customer Service awards.

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About Freshwave  

Freshwave invests expertise and capital in ways that make digital infrastructure remarkably simple. Faster, less costly and in the right places. It’s the connectivity infrastructure-as-a-service provider bringing mobile operators, central and local government, and real estate providers together to work in new ways. Their managed sites include some of the biggest, most challenging wireless environments in the UK, including several central London boroughs and Docklands. With 6000+ mast site locations, 2000+ buildings connected and 200+ outdoor networks supported; they ensure everyone has network. Backed by DigitalBridge, they too combine technical telecoms and commercial real estate know-how to create long-term market impact.

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