CTIL and O2 to build City of London Wi-Fi network

16 May 2017

The City of London Corporation has named the companies it will work with to deliver the public access Wi-Fi network it announced earlier this year (see News, Jan 2017 issue).

Under a multimillion pound project, which is said to be one of the largest investments in wireless infrastructure ever seen in London, Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd (CTIL) has been awarded a 15-year contract to roll out and manage the network in conjunction with O2. They will deliver wireless services across all mobile networks for businesses, residents and visitors within the Square Mile.

According to the City of London, “state-of-the-art” equipment will provide gigabit speeds and see users able to enjoy high bandwidth services like video-calling and video on demand. 

Reading-based CTIL will build 4G small cells which will be housed on street furniture such as lampposts, street signs, buildings and CCTV columns. It’s claimed this will provide “enhanced” mobile coverage at street level, and ensure that the City is best placed to become an early adopter of 5G which is widely expected to become available in 2020. 

“Small cells will be key as operators look to support the growing needs of customers,” says CTIL MD Malcolm Collins. “We will offer an innovative wholesale solution that will enable them to do so efficiently and effectively.”

The firm will partner with O2 in building the network which will be free to use. The project will replace the current service provided by The Cloud, and will be fully operational by Autumn 2017.