VMO2 trials smart poles powered by fibre network

Virgin Media O2 is claiming a UK first by deploying 4G and 5G smart poles on top of its existing fibre network.

These smart poles, which don’t require planning permission, are installed beside the operator’s existing national fibre network cabinets, of which there are 25,000 in place around the UK.

This reduces cost and complexity by negating the need for a separate backhaul connection or dedicated electricity supply and can help avoid a potentially time-consuming planning process.

Jeanie York, Chief Technology Officer at VMO2, said: “The ability to use our existing national fixed network to backhaul and power small cells could be transformational, helping us save time and money, open up new revenue streams, support smart city technology and fully leverage the benefits of our scaled converged network.”

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