BT has secured its first neutral host customer contract in the UK, installing infrastructure at the UK’s largest single site life science park that can support mobile services from all four mobile operators.
Traditionally, mobile operators have operated separate radio infrastructure to provide nationwide coverage. However, this approach is less economically viable in rural hotspots, or is logistically challenging in indoor locations where space and aesthetics are major considerations.
Neutral host infrastructure solves this issue by allowing multiple operators to use common radio infrastructure that feeds back into their respective networks. The planned 4G network for the London Underground will also use neutral host technology, for example.
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BT neutral host
BT’s contract with Bruntwood Group will see 4G connectivity delivered to 20 hotspots across the Alderley Park campus, improving connectivity for more than 200 firms including Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute and the Medicines Discovery Catapult.
At present, only EE’s 4G network is available through the technology but BT says it is working on getting the other operators on board before examining the possibility for dedicated 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) services.
“We recognise that a reliable, always-on mobile connection is essential for today’s businesses, particularly as they are increasingly connecting from indoor locations,” says Dean Terry, Managing Director, Corporate and Public Sector, BT’s Enterprise unit.
“Through our neutral host solution, we’re supporting Alderley Park’s world-class infrastructure and enabling the campus to lead the way in emerging technology like 5G connectivity. With so many of the UK’s most innovative science and tech businesses located at Alderley Park, we’re committing to bringing cutting edge technology on-site to support their growth and innovation.”
“Collaboration is at the heart of the Alderley Park community and so it’s great to be supporting a digital solution with the same ethos at its core,” added Kath Mackay, Managing Director, Bruntwood SciTech.
“As the life science sector focuses more on complex data analysis with enhanced connectivity requirements, it’s vital that we work together with industry leaders, like BT, to provide the best solutions for science and tech businesses to enable them to flourish.”
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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.