Heathrow T5 Integrated Mobile Communications

  • Common infrastructure shared by service providers had never been applied on this scale before.
  • Infrastructure was seamlessly integrated into the fabric of the building.
  • BAA has now adopted the T5 model as a template for all new and refurbished airport terminals.

In 2000 Arup was appointed by BAA to develop the strategy for the provision of mobile communications services at Heathrow Terminal 5, to design and deliver the infrastructure required to do so, and to provide support setting up commercial and contractual arrangements with the relevant parties.

Previously at Heathrow, individual mobile operators had installed their own infrastructure, resulting in duplication and proliferation of infrastructure across the airport, standards of installation that varied, unreliable records, and unsightly clutter to the terminal landscape.

Similarly a number of Private Mobile Radio (PMR) service users, including the emergency services, control authorities and BAA itself, had historically installed and used their own independent infrastructures.

It was jointly agreed by BAA and Arup that the most appropriate solution for the new terminal was common infrastructure that could be shared by multiple parties. We worked closely with all the relevant stakeholders from day one to realise the full potential for infrastructure sharing and to ensure the solution was aligned to their individual requirements.

“This was a great achievement for the team, who had to work sensitively with a large group of stakeholders to agree the requirements and design, and deliver into a complex construction programme. The team went out of their way to ensure the solution was successful and we’re very pleased with the results.”

- Tom Garside, BAA Head of ICS, Eastern Campus, BAA

The project was awarded the 2009 Management Consultancies Association Award for Technology.


  • Exterior image of Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, credit David J Osborn

    A common mobile infrastructure shared by service providers has never been applied on this scale before.