Telecoms infrastructure provider Freshwave will deploy small cells for UK telco Virgin Media O2 in Manchester.

The agreement between Freshwave, which is backed by DigitalBridge, and Manchester City Council, means that the company will expand Virgin Media O2's network coverage in the city.

Manchester, UK
– Virgin Media O2

Freshwave will deploy more than 20 outdoor small cells on behalf of Virgin Media O2 in busy areas of the city, including outside the Arndale Shopping Centre, Manchester Piccadilly Station, and Piccadilly Gardens, confirmed Virgin Media O2.

Outdoor small cells are typically fixed to existing street furniture, such as lampposts.

They are seen as a simpler alternative to bulkier telecoms infrastructure, which might look out of place or draw criticism from residents.

Virgin Media O2 noted that the small cells will be connected to its fiber network and can carry the data to and from the Internet. The small cells will improve 4G signal and are also 5G-ready.

“We are committed to bringing the best experience possible to our customers no matter where they are. Small cells are an important part of this strategy, helping to boost capacity for customers in some of the busiest areas," said Steven Verigotta, director of mobile delivery at Virgin Media O2.

Virgin Media O2 launched its 5G Standalone network in February. In April, the carrier confirmed that it will use Starlink satellites to provide network connectivity in remote rural areas of the UK.