Arqiva, the UK’s largest provider of neutral host in-building networks, has delivered 4G mobile coverage to the Canary Wharf Group’s retail centres at Canada Place, Crossrail Place, and Jubilee Place (pictured) in Canary Wharf, London. The 4G coverage complements the existing 2G and 3G coverage at Canada Place and Jubilee Place.
Arqiva said it has deployed future-proof in-building systems, which are designed to ensure a mobile signal when underground, in large buildings, or when there is heavy footfall – so that commuters and shoppers can enjoy a seamless mobile experience.
The in-building technology was especially critical for Crossrail Place, as it is built into the dock and much of the building is underground and below water level, making it particularly difficult to receive radio signals.
The solution used means commuters and shoppers will be able to stay 4G connected in the retail centres, via their service providers, as the Arqiva distributed antenna systems (DAS) allows all the mobile network operators (MNOs) to provide their mobile services through one set of transmission equipment. Arqiva’s technology is built to meet the latest industry standards such as MIMO (Multiple Input/ Multiple Output).
The DAS equipment used comprises CommScope’s ION-M active RFOF (RF over fibre) system sited in a common equipment room with single-mode fibre feeding multiple remote units distributed throughout the centres. These are in turn connected to panel antennas and omni-directional antennas with coaxial cable.
Each of the three retail centres has a separate system, and is fed from a common equipment room. This optimises the solution from the (MNOs) point of view as it simplifies access arrangements and backhaul connectivity issues.
Each system can support all four UK MNOs and all technologies - 2G, 3G and 4G. All 5 cellular bands utilised by the MNOs (800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2.1 GHz and 2.6 GHz) are supported with MIMO capability on the 4G bands (800MHz, 1800MHz and 2.6 GHz).
There are 5 DAS zones in Canada Place, which are all independent of each other, with MIMO capability throughout. Jubilee Place has 2 DAS zones, and Crossrail Place has three DAS zones, two of which are MIMO.
Low PIM (passive intermodulation) components have been used throughout the antenna systems and the point of interface, thereby enabling MNOs to eliminate passive intermodulation interference between the spectrum bands. The PIM performance is better than -150dbc.
The new Canary Wharf Crossrail Station is expecting over 25 million passengers a year, and the in-building technology has been built with the capacity to meet the demands of the heavy footfall. By ensuring a 4G mobile signal, the technology will also help to increase all of the venues’ desirability and visitor dwell time.
Shoppers will be able to browse on their phones to compare prices and find the best deals, and retailers will be able to offer targeted marketing offers to customers in the retail centre.
Nicolas Ott, managing director Telecoms & M2M, Arqiva, commented: “People expect to connect wherever they are, and on from whatever device they have in their hands. Research from Arqiva revealed that 46% of people are more likely to return to a store if they have connectivity, and one in three people will stay in the store for longer. Browsing the internet whilst shopping is critical to the consumer experience and to the retailer’s bottom line, so mobile connectivity is vital.”
Camille Waxer, chief administrative officer, Canary Wharf Group, said: “We want all our visitors to be able to stay connected, wherever they are in Canary Wharf, especially as so many people use social media to share their experiences, be it shopping or socialising with friends on the Crossrail Roof Garden. Having a smooth and uninterrupted service also ensures the future-proofing of our technology.”