One Gallery Hub is the new office accommodation at the heart of the famous Grade I listed building. It has been designed to offer seven floors of inspirational, collaborative and efficient work spaces for over 250 gallery staff – as well as offering support for those working from home. The provision of reliable mobile phone coverage for staff in the dedicated spaces was an imperative.

After a competitive tender process, Shared Access was appointed by the National Gallery to design, deploy, operate and maintain a multi-operator mobile connectivity service within its new accommodation hub.

Sam Jackman, Chief Development Officer, Shared Access: “It’s a spectacular new office space, but like so many other buildings it suffered with poor mobile phone coverage. This was due to a combination of original thick stone and brick walls, highly insulating modern construction materials - that essentially repel a mobile phone signal from outside - and the growth of buildings in the surrounding area which effectively blocked phone signal from reaching the building.

“We were asked to provide connectivity infrastructure that would deliver mobile coverage in all the office spaces, common areas and basement meeting rooms, to ensure operational efficiency for teams and individuals working in the Hub as well as those working remotely. As the National Gallery is a Grade I listed building, our solution also had to be aesthetically sympathetic to the environment.”

The system installed consists of a DAS (Distributed Antenna System) inside the One Gallery Hub building, which is connected via dedicated dark fibre to a BTS Hotel (base station hotel) located four miles away. Limited available space at the National Gallery required an innovative solution for siting of the extensive telecoms equipment needed to service the connectivity. Shared Access’ BTS Hotel houses all the mobile network operators’ equipment in a dedicated and secure off site location. EE, Virgin Media O2 and Vodafone are the first live operators with Three due to join imminently.

The project was designed, installed and fully funded upfront by Shared Access who provide ongoing monitoring, maintenance and support of the site in partnership with the mobile network operators.

The investment has seen mobile phone signal improved throughout the building as well as significantly improved data rates and speeds. The system has the potential to be extended to other parts of the Gallery and designed to be able to offer 5G services in the future.