BT has revealed a new initiative to help improve mobile signal across across the UK that will see it partner with local authorities across the country to mount over 500 small cell antennas on lampposts, CCTV columns, and other "street furniture".
BT, which owns EE, will also use its own assets, including its iconic phone boxes alongside 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 elsewhere.
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 all
"“Around 200 of the small cells are already live and are helping to boost 4G coverage for EE customers in towns and cities across the UK," said BT's Brian More O’Ferrall. "We have worked closely with our local authority partners to utilise their street furniture, as well as our own assets, to improve connectivity in these areas."
“Ensuring good digital infrastructure is a priority for many councils, especially with the rise in mobile device ownership and growth in demand for data and connectivity, and they have seen the benefits that such partnerships can provide."
BT's partnership should provide EE customers theoretical 300 Mbps speeds in Croydon, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Nottingham.
The service will be rolled out fully over the next 18 months and will support 5G coverage in the future.
"Demands for digital connectivity are set to grow even more over the next few years and this partnership with BT means we are able to ensure better mobile coverage for our residents, visitors and businesses," said Croydon councillor Muhammad Ali.
"With 12 EE small cells already installed and an additional 20 to follow over the next 18 months, it’s fantastic that our existing street furniture, together with BT assets, can provide a simple and efficient solution to fast-track mobile network infrastructure in our borough."
- We've found the best 5G phones around today
Are you a pro? Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up to the TechRadar Pro newsletter to get all the top news, opinion, features and guidance your business needs to succeed!
Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.