Basingstoke Council in UK hands Cellnex 10-year deal to build private 5G city network
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in the UK has handed a 10-year contract to Spain-based Cellnex, owner of Finnish private networking specialist Edzcom, to build a private 5G network to support local businesses. The deal covers the design and build of a 5G core network and 5G radio access network (RAN) to cover indoor and outdoor connectivity in Basing View, Basingstoke’s developing business district.
Basing View is home to 100-odd companies, mainly involved in the professional and financial services, digital tech, cybersecurity and life sciences sectors. The project will also support a 5G Living Lab, for industry partners to showcase technology expertise and foster innovation by providing a range of use cases, including smart city and IoT applications, immersive retail and leisure, AR and VR, mobility and transport and digital health.
The project will also support start-ups and businesses to develop further 5G innovation and capabilities, a statement said. “The council’s vision is to create a comprehensive 5G ecosystem focused on commercialisation where businesses can access 5G connectivity to develop, trial, and bring new products, services, and applications to market,” it said.
The project is supported by the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and the University of Surrey 5G Innovation Centre. The UK division of Cellnex will lean on Edzcom, which has made a name for itself as a prime mover in the private LTE and 5G space.
David Crawford, managing director of Cellnex UK, said: “I am delighted Cellnex UK has the opportunity to support Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s vision of a fully connected business community in Basing View. Cellnex UK, through its Edzcom business, has deployed over 35 private networks across Europe, including ports, airports, mines, manufacturing plants, refineries.”
Councillor Ken Rhatigan, leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, said: “5G is going to transform the way we live our lives and deliver significant benefits for our borough’s businesses… I am delighted we have been able to continue our track record of partnership with the private sector to attract significant investment to ensure our borough remains a great place to live and work and cement our reputation as a top tech town.”
Kathy Slack, chief executive of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “I’m thrilled to see the 5G Living Lab come to fruition… We’ve all had experience of using innovative new digital systems during the pandemic and this new ultra-fast network will enable more businesses in Basing View to build, test, demonstrate and ultimately commercialise new, innovative products, further enhancing Basingstoke’s thriving high-tech economy.”