Open access today for the smart cities of tomorrow

Freshwave Croydon project

Pioneering open access model empowers a multi-operator approach for outdoor small cells.

An approach championed by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (then the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) makes its debut in Croydon.

In a first for a local authority in the UK, Freshwave helped Croydon Council to pioneer an open access model which means all four mobile network operators (MNOs) can easily access the same council-owned assets when deploying outdoor small cells.

Helping local authorities harness the power of connectivity for their communities

The first part of the open access project was such a success that over 50 new sites were added to enhance 4G mobile signal in other parts of Croydon. The project will also help speed the adoption of 5G technology in the future.

Open access outdoor small cells powering community connectivity

Working closely with the MNOs and DSIT, Freshwave helped Croydon Council develop a fair and transparent engagement process that has been adopted by many local authorities nationwide, and has ultimately become the foundation of the open access model. It reduces the barriers for mobile network operators to access council-owned street furniture, whilst speeding up the adoption and installation of new mobile technologies.

Open access is an efficient way of working in collaboration with the telecoms industry, which in turn improves connectivity for the community and helps attract commercial investment to the area.

And Freshwave’s proven and reliable design process ensures there are no dropped calls, providing residents, visitors and workers with a world-class connected experience.

Opama Khan, Head of Digital Services, Access and Reach at Croydon Digital Service, said: “I’m proud that we were the first borough to see outdoor small cells deployed using the open access model. Any kind of new approach like these needs a lot of close collaboration and Freshwave were with us every step of the way on this journey. I’m pleased that the people and businesses of Croydon are already benefitting from improved connectivity and it will continue to provide value for them well into the future.”