EE, the BT Group-owned British telco, has announced successfully deploying over 600 small cells, also known as street-level mobile sites. EE says these small cells, strategically placed across the country, are enhancing mobile coverage and delivering on EE's commitment to expanding its network infrastructure. This achievement builds upon the 200 small-cell installations announced over a year ago.
Enhancing Mobile Coverage and Capacity
EE said the deployment of 411 additional small cells has significantly improved capacity in high-demand areas, including major cities like Birmingham, Brighton, and Sheffield. These locations can now enjoy download speeds of up to 300 Mbps, even during peak usage periods, ensuring an uninterrupted mobile experience for customers.
Improved Connectivity in High-Demand Areas
Furthermore, EE's commitment extends to other cities such as Swansea, Leicester, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Southampton, and York, which have also benefited from the ongoing small-cell deployment.
Several seasonal hotspots have also received a timely connectivity boost ahead of the Summer, including Newquay, Paignton, Salcombe, Southend-on-Sea and Clacton-on-Sea.
Leveraging Existing Street Assets
According to the statement, Small cells take advantage of existing street assets, such as BT's iconic red telephone boxes, to enhance mobile coverage in areas where building larger sites is impractical, such as city centres and transportation hubs. In addition to phone boxes, small cells have been installed on lamp posts, CCTV columns, and BT's innovative new digital Street Hubs. This strategic approach maximizes the benefit of these assets and ensures improved connectivity for local communities.
Data Handling Capacity
EE's 611 small cell sites are currently carrying a staggering 20TB of data traffic every day. To put this into perspective, it is equivalent to streaming 8,000 hours of HD video or 280,000 hours of music. This impressive data handling capacity underscores the immense value these small cells offer to customers in high-demand areas.
Analytics-driven Site Identification
The identification of optimal sites for small cell deployments is made possible through advanced network analytics. These analytics pinpoint specific locations where the performance boost provided by a small cell would be most beneficial.
In collaboration with Nokia, EE deploys a 4G small cell solution that combines licensed 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz spectrum with unlicensed 5 GHz spectrum. This integration results in exceptional speed and capacity, enabling users to enjoy the fastest 4G speeds, even in congested areas.
Trials for Small Cell Integration into EE's 5G Network
According to the statement, EE is also conducting trials to explore the integration of small cells into its 5G network. With Nokia's AirScale portfolio, EE can seamlessly upgrade its small cell infrastructure to accommodate the advanced capabilities of 5G technology.
Last year, EE's initial small cell deployments brought additional 4G capacity to cities such as Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Nottingham, and Scarborough.
Notably, in Newcastle, EE collaborated with the City Council to install over 20 small cells, utilizing existing street furniture to boost capacity in high-traffic locations, including the city centre, Newcastle University, and the vicinity of St James' Park stadium.
With EE's relentless commitment to expanding its network infrastructure through small cell deployments, the UK's mobile landscape is transforming.