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Canary Wharf Group, the Qatari-backed joint venture that manages 16 million ft2 of office and retail property in London’s Docklands, has deployed a neutral host in-building network from mobility specialist Arqiva to deliver 4G coverage around the site.
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The network – which complements the site’s existing 2G and 3G network coverage – uses a distributed antenna system (DAS) to allow all mobile network operators (MNOs) to offer 4G services across the Canada Place and Jubilee Place shopping centres, and the new Crossrail station and retail and leisure centre, Crossrail Place.
With much of Canary Wharf’s shopping and station areas lying underground or inside large buildings, the in-building system has been designed to enable seamless mobile connectivity for commuters and shoppers moving around the area.
EE director of radio networks Mansoor Hanif said that delivering a good customer experience using a traditional cellular tower was an “enormous, often impossible challenge” in complex and large modern structures, hence the need for adequate in-building provision.
In particular, the Canary Wharf Crossrail station – which is located beneath and within the disused West India North Dock – is expected to handle over 25 million passengers per annum once it opens, necessitating even more capacity on the network to meet the demands of the heavy footfall.
Canary Wharf Group said that by ensuring a reliable 4G mobile signal, it would increase the venues’ desirability and visitor dwell time, as well as help retailers gain more insight into their customer base.
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“People expect to connect wherever they are and from whatever device they have in their hands,” said Nicolas Ott, Arqiva managing director of telecoms and M2M.
“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 while shopping is critical to the consumer experience and to the retailer’s bottom line, so mobile connectivity is vital.
“The future-proof in-building system that Arqiva has implemented for the Canary Wharf Group – which delivers 2G, 3G and 4G coverage – will ensure that commuters and shoppers will have a seamless mobile connectivity experience at all three retail centres – Canada Place, Crossrail Place and Jubilee Place.”
“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,” said Canary Wharf chief admin officer Camille Waxer.