Transport for London has awarded BAI Communications a 20-year concession to deliver mobile connectivity across the UK capital in what BAI described as the “most advanced and largest infrastructure project of its type in the world.”

BAI said the partnership would provide a city-wide network delivering multicarrier cellular, Wi-Fi, and fibre connectivity services. “The 4G-enabled and 5G-ready communications network that BAI will build and operate as a neutral host for fixed and mobile operators will fast-track London’s evolution as a smart city,” the company said.

The project’s first phase involves the delivery of multi-carrier infrastructure that will support continuous 4G coverage across the London Underground’s stations and tunnels. All stations and tunnels are due to have mobile coverage within four years. 

BAI said a new high-capacity fibre network running throughout the London Underground would also enable fibre service providers to provide connectivity to premises across the city, hooking up buildings and street assets housing small cells and supporting 5G and IoT applications.

BAI has previously indicated it is keen to expand its 5G neutral host and telecommunication offering in Australia, where it already delivers critical infrastructure services for broadcast and emergency services communication.

BAI Communications Australia’s CEO, Peter Lambourne, told CommsDay: “The concession awarded by Transport for London is a significant milestone for BAI Communications. It demonstrates how valuable the neutral host model is in delivering next generation connectivity solutions and is a great example of how we can expand our neutral host service offering around the world, including in Australia.

“In Australia, the neutral host model is particularly important for regional communities as it enables mobile operators and transport authorities to deliver improved connectivity and choice while realising significant cost and operational benefits.”

“As the government continues to invest in Australia’s digital future, enabling improved mobile coverage is a key priority,” Lambourne said. “BAI is well equipped to address these opportunities by growing our neutral host solutions locally, to help strengthen the connectivity landscape of Australia.”