Vilicom and Virgin Media O2 launch commercial Neutral Host In-Building (NHIB) site

  • Vilicom are extending Virgin Media O2’s 4G mobile coverage to businesses and its subscribers with one of the first inbuilding commercial deployment following NHIB standards
  • The new solution’s cost-effective model will enhance Virgin Media O2’s existing network service, improving voice quality and data speeds overcoming indoor blackspots
  • Vilicom and Virgin Media O2 are committed to using innovative Open RAN and cloud-based technologies which offer competitive commercial and environmentally friendly solutions to the market of inbuilding mobile connectivity

20th August 2021: Today, Vilicom announces that is has successfully rolled out one of the first commercial sites with Virgin Media O2, built upon its Open RAN technology platform in adherence with the specifications laid out by the Joint Operators Technical Specifications for Neutral Host In-Building (JOTS NHIB) systems. After several months of dedicated testing of functionality, interoperability and cyber-security, Vilicom delivered full availability of its cloud-based network platform to enhance indoor coverage to Virgin Media O2’s subscribers.

Vilicom’s infrastructure has been developed in partnership with Mavenir using its Cloud RAN technology, and unlike legacy solutions, is a fully digital business model. The Connectivity-as-a Service (CaaS) network platform streamlines site deployment, implements a full stack of network management and operations, offers fully integrated security features and aims to reduce the cost and space requirements of inbuilding 4G, and later 5G, public and private mobile connectivity for the UK’s industries and businesses.

As mobile connectivity helps power the country’s recovery, businesses of all sizes, across the UK, require reliable 4G connectivity indoors. The integration of Vilicom’s virtualised O-RAN platform with all UK based Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) will meet this demand, and businesses, industries and subscribers within the coverage area of Vilicom’s CaaS network will benefit from an enhanced network service including improved voice quality and data speeds.

This model also benefits MNOs by offloading traffic from macro cells to the inbuilding networks, making sure that traffic generated by indoor subscribers is served indoors, thus saving capacity of macro cells and reducing the need for expansion investment.

Sean Keating, CEO of Vilicom commented: “Delivering this milestone achievement is testament to Vilicom’ s commitment to implementing the latest approved technology by the Mobile Network Operators to solve indoor mobile connectivity. We are proud to deliver this service live in conjunction with Virgin Media O2 and this virtual platform signals a new way forward for those in need of mobile connectivity in commercial real estate, built-to-rent and industry throughout the UK.

This service will translate to significant cost savings and help reduce carbon footprint across the built environment as much of the power intensive infrastructure is hosted off premise in our Data Centre.”

Omar Calvo, Director of Radio Engineering at Virgin Media O2, said: “Virgin Media O2’s neutral host solutions will deliver great in-building 4G coverage and capacity, providing a greener and more efficient network. We’re constantly looking to innovate our range of network products, and our partnership with Vilicom has allowed us to develop this NHIB technique to help transform the capabilities of in-building cellular coverage.”


Press Contact:
Gearoid Collins

About Vilicom:
Vilicom is at the forefront of designing, installing and managing the global networks that give people in over 20 countries and four continents the freedom to communicate and work from anywhere. Vilicom’s consultancy and system integration services harness wireless technology, data and intelligent analytics across every industry sector to deliver unprecedented productivity and efficiencies. Vilicom works with some of the biggest (and, indeed, the smallest) technology-driven companies in the world, offering insight-led consultancy and advice on everything from vendor selections and technology strategy to mergers, acquisitions and project delivery.

About Virgin Media O2:
Virgin Media O2 launched on 1 June 2021, combining the UK’s largest and most reliable mobile network with a broadband network offering the fastest widely available broadband speeds. It is a customer-first organisation that brings a range of connectivity services together in one place with a clear mission: to upgrade the nation. Virgin Media O2 is the corporate brand of the 50:50 joint venture between Liberty Global and Telefónica SA, and one of the UK’s largest businesses.

The company has 47 million UK connections across broadband, mobile, TV and home phone. Its own fixed network currently passes 15.4 million premises alongside a mobile network that covers 99% of the nation’s population with 4G, and over 190 towns and cities with 5G services. Virgin Media O2 is committed to delivering gigabit broadband speeds across its entire network footprint by the end of 2021.

Virgin Media O2 is a major investor in the UK. It employs around 18,000 people, has more than 430 retail stores and has committed to invest at least £10 billion over the next five years.

Source: RealWire

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