BT has announced its first ‘neutral host’ customer contract win in the UK, with Bruntwood SciTech, a 50:50 joint venture between Bruntwood and Legal & General. As part of the deal, BT will bring EE’s leading 4G network to Cheshire’s Alderley Park, the UK’s largest single site life science campus.
A neutral host solution provides strong indoor connectivity to a wide range of buildings with one network infrastructure deployed to support all mobile operators. Indoor service and reliable connectivity are fast becoming an increasingly important component of business mobile service needs, with mobile usage inside buildings expected to increase to 90 percent in the next few years.
BT’s increasing role in deploying neutral host solutions works as a cost-effective alternative for mobile operators who would otherwise need to build their own network infrastructure to serve customers in any given location for commercial and Emergency Services Network (ESN) services. At Alderley Park, whilst all UK mobile operators can simply share BT’s infrastructure to provide seamless indoor mobile commercial coverage to customers, EE is the first to switch on mobile cellular voice and data services for on-site customers.
Alderley Park offers over 1m sq. ft of office and laboratory space for life science and tech businesses and is already home to over 200 companies including world leading organisations such as Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute and the Medicines Discovery Catapult. Alderley Park also provides companies with dedicated business support, alongside a range of specialised scientific services. Glasshouse, launched in 2020, provides 150,000 sq ft of contemporary office space for hi-tech and forward-thinking businesses.
As part of the agreement, BT is rolling out its neutral host solution using leading edge technology over EE’s number one 4G network to approximately 20 hotspots across the campus. This will enable Alderley Park businesses to benefit from vastly improved indoor connectivity, as this becomes increasingly critical to support business performance.
Over the coming weeks, BT will be working with the UK’s mobile operators to secure their support to strengthen mobile connectivity for Alderley Park customers through its indoor coverage solution. BT and Bruntwood SciTech will also be exploring emerging technology solutions across additional commercial properties including co-creation around IoT and 5G access for businesses on site.
“We recognise that a reliable, always-on mobile connection is essential for today’s businesses, particularly as they are increasingly connecting from indoor locations,” says Dean Terry, Managing Director, Corporate and Public Sector, BT’s Enterprise unit.
“Through our neutral host solution, we’re supporting Alderley Park’s world-class infrastructure and enabling the campus to lead the way in emerging technology like 5G connectivity. With so many of the UK’s most innovative science and tech businesses located at Alderley Park, we’re committing to bringing cutting edge technology on-site to support their growth and innovation.
Kath Mackay, Managing Director, Bruntwood SciTech, says: “Collaboration is at the heart of the Alderley Park community and so it’s great to be supporting a digital solution with the same ethos at its core. As the life science sector focuses more on complex data analysis with enhanced connectivity requirements, it’s vital that we work together with industry leaders, like BT, to provide the best solutions for science and tech businesses to enable them to flourish.”