By Mike Harrison, Head of Product and Solutions
Providing a complete solution for small cells, Cellnex’s Connected Location proposition offers mobile network operators (MNOs) a combination of asset, power, and connectivity – all in one place.
As demand for 5G continues to gather pace, small cell access nodes offer the capacity and coverage needed to ensure that urban locations can be adequately served.
Each of those nodes, of course, requires three things in order to operate: an asset (such as a lamppost), power, and connectivity. To date, the last of these has been provided as a fixed capacity ethernet circuit.
At Cellnex, we’re keen to ensure that our MNO partners have the flexibility to choose the best approach for their business and customers. That’s why, with the introduction of Connected Location, we will combine our market leading street asset portfolio – which exceeds 200,000 street assets – with a futureproofed connectivity solution into a “one-stop-shop” for small cell deployment programmes.
Essentially removing the backhaul burden from MNOs, Connected Location instead allows Cellnex to meet that requirement using a dark fibre solution. We will deliver this through strategic partnerships with selected fibre providers.
Not only does Connected Location create a standardised solution that can be replicated across London boroughs and other cities, it offers a neutral host, shared platform that multiple MNOs will be able to utilise in order to reduce the total cost of ownership, whilst decoupling future increases in capacity demand from rises in the cost of transmission.
We have continued to develop our pilot deployment in Hammersmith and Fulham, which comprises 90 street asset locations connected by 15km of dark fibre, to help shape our approach. Enabling the C-RAN architecture that will enable 5G to flourish, Connected Location comes with added benefits in the form of technology futureproofing; dark fibre costs remain the same no matter the bandwidth required, and provide a long-term 5G solution, one that can handle backhaul, fronthaul, low latency, and C-RAN.
Our solution will deliver connectivity back to where the MNOs need it, and will include a location to house base band units as required.
Connected Location represents a significant step on our small cell journey, one that will help us speed up delivery and ensure that we can provide high-bandwidth C-RAN support where MNOs need it most.
Connected Location will be available later this year. For more information on how it could help you with your 5G plans, please get in touch email@example.com