- After successful pilots with Workspace and at a multinational firm’s UK headquarters, the NHIB approach has been adopted by Three UK for indoor 4G
- Freshwave is the only neutral host provider with live customer deployments for multiple mobile network operators on the JOTS NHIB specification
Mobile network operator Three UK has partnered with connectivity infrastructure-as-a-service provider Freshwave on the operator’s first deployments of the Neutral Host In-Building mobile specification. After successful pilots at two of flexible office provider Workspace’s properties in London, and at a multinational firm’s UK headquarters in the capital, the approach has now been adopted by Three UK for their 4G indoor connectivity.
Eighty per cent of mobile calls originate indoors, but modern building materials, such as energy-efficient glass, make it harder for the outdoor macro signal to penetrate inside. This leaves many buildings as mobile signal dead zones, which can reduce business productivity and increase frustration. In-building small cell systems bring network indoors with guaranteed quality of service and without placing extra pressure on the outdoor macro.
The Joint Operator Technical Specifications (JOTS) Neutral Host In-Building (NHIB) specification is a recent and world-leading innovation in the telecoms sector. It’s an agreed technical standard for connecting shared in-building radio solutions based on 4G small cell technologies. All four of the UK’s mobile network operators participated in creating the specification and it reduces the complexity around a neutral host providing indoor mobile coverage to businesses. By adhering to the JOTS NHIB specification, a third party, or “neutral host” can provide mobile services to businesses on behalf of one or more of the operators. The neutral host can enable this connectivity using their own choice of vendors and equipment.
Iain Milligan, Chief Network Officer at Three UK, said: “We are investing more than ever in enhancing connectivity and coverage, and already have the UK’s Fastest 5G Network, according to Ookla. Indoor focus has been a major priority of ours with the acquisition of additional low frequency spectrum in 2020 and our agreement with Freshwave will further enhance indoor coverage, particularly for business customers.”
Tom Bennett, CTO at Freshwave, said: “This is another step forward in making assured indoor mobile connectivity easier for businesses to access around the UK and we’re pleased to have worked with Three UK on this world-leading approach. We’re excited that Three UK is now also using the specification and that Freshwave is the first company to be the neutral host for multiple operators on the NHIB specification.”
Chris Boultwood, Head of Technology at Workspace, said: “I’m proud that Workspace provides premium spaces for our customers and that we have the premium mobile connectivity they want and need. Freshwave have been our mobile connectivity partner for many years now and ensure that we remain up to date with the changing technologies available.”
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Notes to editors:
The JOTS Neutral Host In-Building (NHIB) specification sets out all the technical requirements for shared in-building solutions using small-cell base stations. You can view details of the five specifications (Architecture, Radio Requirements, Test and Acceptance, Operational Processes, and Fulfilment) on mobileuk.org/jots.
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. To learn more, visit www.freshwavegroup.com
DigitalBridge (NYSE: DBRG) is a leading global digital infrastructure firm. With a heritage of over 25 years’ investing in and operating businesses across the digital ecosystem including cell towers, data centres, fibre, small cells, and edge infrastructure, the DigitalBridge team manages a $48 billion portfolio of digital infrastructure assets on behalf of its limited partners and shareholders. Headquartered in Boca Raton, DigitalBridge has key offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Singapore. For more information, visit: www.digitalbridge.com.
About Three UK
Three UK launched in 2003 as the UK’s first 3G only network, laying its foundations as the network that was born to be different. Today Three is a connectivity company that connects people to people, people to things and things to things and has 9.6 million customers.
Our network today covers 99% of the UK population and we carry 28% of the UK’s mobile data traffic.
Three UK launched 5G in August 2019, is the largest holder of spectrum in the UK and has been recognised by Ookla as having the UK’s fastest 5G network. It is the only operator able to meet the International Telecoms Union (ITU) 2020 standard of 100MHz of contiguous spectrum for full 5G services.
Three UK is the official partner and shirt sponsor of Chelsea FC men’s and women’s teams.
Three UK is a proud partner of Samaritans, where it will use the strength of its network and technology to connect 1 million people to emotional support.
Three UK was voted the Best Network for Data at the Mobile Choice Consumer Awards, as well as Best Network for Roaming by uSwitch, and the Best High Street Retailer at the Mobile Industry Awards.
Three UK is part of the CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd group of companies which has mobile operations in 11 countries. We employ more than 4,800 people across our offices in Reading and Glasgow and our 311 retail stores.