Sunderland SMART City 5G Network

MSF recently installed a private 5G small-cell network through the centre of Sunderland. This project forms part of a wider initiative to create the UK’s most advanced SMART city.
The network enables a cost-effective way for a broad range of organisations to adopt cutting-edge 5G connectivity to boost productivity and improve services. For example, it will provide the infrastructure for a pioneering autonomous shuttle route through the city centre, connecting Sunderland Royal Hospital to the University Campus.
MSF’s work included:
  • Mounting of 5G equipment onto 13 existing lighting columns
  • Alteration of the existing lighting column electrical circuits to enable the installation of new power units for the 5G equipment
  • Installation of new wrap-around & standalone pillars
  • Full testing & commissioning of all power
  • Client
    Boldyn Networks
  • Value
  • Duration
    2 weeks
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Early Contractor Involvement

To ensure seamless delivery, MSF hosted three internal workshops during the ECI phase to develop the installation methodology. We also hosted a full off-site trial installation of the units at our Darlington depot, which was particularly important for the high-level units, so our team could familiarise themselves with the installation process in a test environment.
The benefits of completing the trial builds were immediately felt once the installation commenced on site. Particularly in relation to the routing, structure and fixing of the Copex between the three 5G units mounted on each column.

High Level Installations

These comprised of a tri-bracket arrangement, with three separate 5G units mounted on each column. The column was drilled with a 32mm diameter hole to feed a pre-installed cable in flexi-duct, then down the column shaft to the lower access hatch for termination. The CAT6 cables were terminated and installation was finished by de-burring/sealing the cable entry holes with anti-rust putty & applying the RF warning labels.

Low level installations

These involved re-configuring the existing backboards of each column to create space for the housing of additional electrical equipment feeding the newly installed 5G units, including the installation of new 3 & 4 way cut-outs, Meanwell transformer devices, and PoE injectors. Our electricians then terminated all power & completed full testing & commissioning.

Pillar installations

Initial surveys of the 13 columns identified a handful where space on the backboard for the proposed equipment was insufficient. To overcome this, we deployed specially designed wrap around pillars that act as a seamless bolt-on addition to the column for additional space, however, due to a delay in the manufacture & delivery of these pillars preventing a pre-start test-fit, when these units arrived, the pre-drilled hole at the base of the pillars were found to be too small in diameter to accommodate the cable bundles. To overcome this & stay on programme, MSF deployed a civils team at short notice to fit the wrap around pillars & connect the two via a new loop of underground ducting. This enabled completion of the final sites within the available two-week window.
Following the successful completion of our initial scope of works, we supported three further projects around Sunderland, to support the wider SMART City project.

Additional Projects

Installation of 3 VivaCity ANPR sensors to 3 separate lighting columns

Working alongside VivaCity & Marjen TM, we provided the Site Supervision, a van mounted MEWP and two fully trained electricians with MEWP tickets. We mounted the sensors, installed new cut-outs, wired up the equipment up and tested and commissioned the power.

WIFI sites

We installed Wi-Fi equipment to four existing lighting columns in Sunderland City centre, routing cables to the access hatch for termination. We also installed wrap around and stand-alone pillars for three of the four columns.

Transferring and lowering four DNO cut-outs to reconfigure the existing electrical equipment in four columns feeding existing 5G equipment

MSF, as a registered ICP provider, applied for the transfers, liaised with the regional DNO (NPG) for approval & the supplied two fully trained electricians, a jointing team & 3 civils operatives to complete these works over 2 days