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  • 16 Mar 2021
  • ·
  • Technology

Cellnex UK awarded 25-year Network Rail contract to provide continuous connectivity along the Brighton Mainline route

London, 16 March, 2021 Cellnex UK has been awarded the 25-year concessionary contract by Network Rail to provide uninterrupted cellular internet, mobile reception and fibre services along the length of the Brighton Mainline route. Cellnex UK will act as the neutral host and provide the infrastructure to deliver continuous mobile connectivity from London Victoria and London Bridge stations, via Clapham Junction and East Croydon, along the full service to Brighton. The service will provide targeted coverage and capacity for the UK Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), benefiting passengers, local communities and line-side neighbours from London down to the South Coast. Cellnex UK will work with all the MNOs to deliver the latest technologies and top quality shared telecoms infrastructure.

“I am delighted that Network Rail has put its confidence in Cellnex UK to provide world-class uninterrupted connectivity to the commuters and users of the Brighton Mainline service,” said David Crawford, Managing Director, Cellnex UK. “Cellnex UK is working with Network Rail to make a positive and significant contribution to Network Rail’s vision of ‘Putting Passengers First’, its day-to-day business and the wider UK Government’s Digital Strategy. Cellnex UK is the perfect choice as neutral host to deliver passenger connectivity, achieve Network Rail’s goals and to support the MNOs.”

Alex Mestre, Deputy CEO Cellnex Group, added “Cellnex brings proven expertise, with a successful delivery track record and established relationships across the industry. As part of Cellnex Group – Europe’s largest and fastest-growing independent owner and operator of wireless telecoms infrastructure – together we have significant experience in the transportation industry, with similar projects in Brescia, Madrid, Milan, and others, covering more than 700 kilometres and nearly 700 million journeys each year.”

The Brighton Mainline service runs 51 miles from London to the South Coast, through some of the UK’s most densely populated areas. At its busiest, Brighton Mainline and its branch lines carry 1,700 trains and around 300,000 passengers every day. Currently, mobile internet and connectivity between London and Brighton varies from a strong signal to no connectivity at all because of the topography and the many tunnels and cuttings along the route.

Connectivity has become a defining feature of the modern economy, reflected in the increasing investment in linking communities, economies and countries and promoting growth and productivity. The mobile industry and Cellnex UK have critical roles to play, particularly as we emerge from the global pandemic, in ensuring and maintaining connectivity for businesses, citizens and the wider community. The benefits of improving mobile connectivity for commuters along the Brighton Mainline route goes far beyond enhanced mobile coverage. Increased mobile deployment has huge potential to deliver real economic and societal benefits. These benefits include:

  • Driving local economic growth and supporting local small businesses,
  • Promoting digital inclusion, and
  • Fostering efficiency in energy and transportation.

To ensure connectivity across the entirety of the route, Cellnex UK will provide:

  • Towers that will allow broadcasting of mobile signal along the railway corridor,
  • A small number of base station hotels (equipment rooms) within close proximity to the railway to house telecoms equipment,
  • High capacity fibre running from Victoria and London Bridge via East Croydon to Brighton, and
  • Bespoke radio equipment to provide uninterrupted coverage in the main London stations as well as the tunnels and cuttings along the route.

The partnership between Cellnex UK and Network Rail will bring environmental as well as connectivity benefits. By improving customers’ travel experience and encouraging more people to travel by train rather than by car, the project will help reduce traffic in and around the M25, M23 and A23, leading to cleaner air for London, Brighton and the areas alongside the mainline.


About Cellnex Telecom

Cellnex Telecom is Europe’s leading operator of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructures with a portfolio of more than 128,000 sites, 75,000 of them already in the portfolio and the rest in the process of closing or planned roll-outs up to 2028. Cellnex operates in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the UK, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and shortly in Poland.

Cellnex’s business is structured in four major areas: telecommunications infrastructure services; audio-visual broadcasting networks, security and emergency service networks and solutions for smart urban infrastructure and services management (Smart cities and the “Internet of Things” (IoT)).

The company is listed on the continuous market of the Spanish stock exchange and is part of the selective IBEX 35 and EuroStoxx 600 indices. It is also part of the FTSE4GOOD and CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) and “Standard Ethics” sustainability indexes.

Cellnex’s reference shareholders include Edizione, GIC, ADIA, Canada Pension Plan, CriteriaCaixa, Blackrock and Wellington Management Group.

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