MBNL, the infrastructure services joint venture between EE and Three, has signed lease agreements with Birmingham City Council in line with the Electronic Communications Code (ECC) 2017 to broaden the rollout of EE and Three’s 5G networks across the city. The new Code agreements have seen MBNL successfully extend its existing partnership with the council to further the deployment of the latest mobile technology to support its digital ambitions as a major hub of the West Midlands Combined Authority 5G testbed. As a result, MBNL is now on the path to delivering 5G upgrades to a total of 25 sites across Birmingham. These sites will form the backbone of EE and Three’s growing 5G networks, providing extensive coverage for their customers in the area. With support from West Midlands 5G, a government-backed organisation set up to accelerate the benefits of 5G throughout the region, MBNL has successfully concluded new Code agreements with Birmingham City Council for 15 sites which will be upgraded to 5G in 2020. The remaining 10 sites are due for agreement completion by early next year.


Birmingham City Council recognises that rapid expansion of its 5G networks is fundamental to the delivery of the technology and innovation needed for future-proofing its social infrastructure and economic development. The new Code agreements are crucial to facilitating the deployment of the new 5G technology. The extended networks will enable more EE and Three customers, both individuals and businesses, to benefit from 5G’s superfast speeds and unprecedented reliability and capacity. The partnership demonstrates that Code agreements provide an effective and efficient way for local authorities to work collaboratively with mobile operators to deliver improved connectivity and the associated benefits for their communities. This also resonates with the Government’s intentions in updating the Best Value Statutory Guidance calling on local authorities to consider wider social and economic benefits created by enhanced digital connectivity when making their assets available for mobile infrastructurei.

“Councils have a vital role to play in the rollout of digital infrastructure and while there is good work going on up and down the country, there is more we can do.”
Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman

Juliette Wallace, Business Planning and Property Director at MBNL, said: “MBNL is delighted to have successfully concluded new Code agreements with Birmingham City Council. Having these agreements in place ensures the swift and efficient rollout of 5G and enables communities within Birmingham to realise the benefits of 5G connectivity. The agreements are the result of remarkable collaboration with the council and WM5G, which has provided instrumental support in facilitating the completion of the arrangements. As a founding member of Speed Up Britainii, MBNL will continue to work closely with the West Midlands Combined Authority and other local authorities to bring better mobile connectivity to more places across the UK.” Graeme Wilson, Acquisition Manager at MBNL, added: “MBNL and WM5G have worked successfully together to reach the Code agreements with Birmingham City Council, towards the common goal of delivering 5G to enhance connectivity for the benefits of all across the region, and to the satisfaction of all parties involved.”

i Ministers call on councils to help deliver digital connectivity ambitions https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ministers-call-on-councils-to-help-deliver-digital-connectivity-ambitions
ii Speed Up Britain is a cross-industry, non-partisan organisation, campaigning for better mobile connectivity in every part of the UK. https://www.speedupbritain.com/