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Arqiva – Antennas Replacement

Client: Arqiva
Project length: 1 Year
Project value: £22k
Completion date: March 2019
HF divisions involved: Comms

comms services UK UK services contractor for Communications arqiva antenna fitting

Brief project description:  Removal of existing 3 x H3G and EE Racal 2212 antennas and replacing with 3 x new Commscope antennas. Also, the addition of 6 x new feeders, utilising the existing cable trays/feeder management system. Feeder trays and antennas mounted to the side of the gas holder, as shown in the pictures below.

Project Challenges : The biggest challenge we had with this project was the access to the gas site. There were vehicles parked all around the gas holder. 2 x MEWPs were required to facilitate the running of the feeder. One would be used to secure the feeder in multiple positions as it was pulled through. Having access to the necessary berthing positions for the MEWPs was essential in ensuring the work would be successful.

This was overcome by close coordination with SGN, as the owners of the structure, Arqiva, and our MEWP supplier and rigging team. We were also required to coordinate our activities with Nokia, as they were undertaking works on the ground-based cabin, in conjunction with our works.

Due to diligent planning, and close monitoring during the build period, the project was a complete success, finishing with a significant profit, and resulting in praise from the Arqiva PM, as he appreciated the difficulties overcome.

“Well done on this one as it was a horrible site to get access to and pass the SGN ‘roadblock’. Major site for customer as well”


Surbiton Tolworth Tower – Telecoms Dishes

Client: Arqiva
Project length: 3 Months
Project value: £119,000
Completion date: July 2019
HF divisions involved: Comms

Brief project description:  Relocation of all operators equipment to a temporary location was required to allow developers to start demolition works in readiness for redevelopment to luxury apartments.

We provided mobile telecoms dishes, antenna’s and cabinet relocation to new temporary location. Install of new electrical supply to temporary location.


Project Challenges: Due to the number of different parties involved in this project (Arqiva, landlord, developers construction company and 10 different operators), there were many challenges. Regular communication with all parties and amending timescales and scopes to suit all ensured everyone was kept up to date and agreements were made. Adhering to the 10 different operators differing scopes and timescales for outages was a great success with all going smoothly meaning no loss of networks. In amongst this was a large amount of decommissioning works carried out by HF to clear areas needed both by the developers for their works and by ourselves for relocation of operators kit. Communication and liaising with developers was key to the success of all this work. All this work brought about a very successfully completed project and within the timescales set, despite delays due to operators scope changes and over a month’s delay due to Peregrine Falcons nesting.


“I want to conclude by offering my earnest thanks and appreciation to the whole of the HF team, on and off site. All of the team is most well-motivated, professional and hard working. They have anticipated requirements and acted in advance to avoid any issues and delays. They have contributed valuable ideas to better the designs and plans, without deviating too far from either. It has been a real pleasure and a privilege to work with all of them.”
Mike Noel, Arqiva’s Design Manager

Arqiva – Orkney, Scotland

Client: Arqiva
Project length: 5 Years
Project value: £26k (Part of a £4.5m project)
Completion date: September 2019
HF divisions involved: Comms

comms smart meter installation

Brief project description:  Cew telecoms street works pole & cabinet installation on the Orkney islands for Smart Meter, project ran by Arqiva for the DECC.

Project Challenges: With 20+ years in the telecoms industry new installations are not uncommon for HF Comms, however building these sites on the islands always presents unique challenges. The biggest issue is that resources are limited and it can be difficult to source materials, plant machinery & subcontractors and any deliveries to site take a minimum of 5 days.

For this particular site we ordered all materials in advance which meant our engineers had everything required for the build before they travelled to the island. Transporting the pole and cabinet was the next big challenge, this is something that Arqiva usually arrange, however we engaged Northward Ltd to do this for us and they also had a hi-ab on the island so were able to land both the pole and cabinet for us when the time came.

We usually do the civil works for these sites ourselves however sourcing the various plant for this job proved difficult as there were only limited machines available. We engaged Andrew Sinclair Ltd for these works and they carried out the excavations and concrete pour. We re-attended site the following week to land the pole and give the DNO access to the cabinet to complete the jointing, Andrew Sinclair were also on-site to complete the backfill and tar re-instatement. All works were complete in time, within budget and with no issues.


“We were happy to engage with HF on their first SW pole build on the Orkneys, works were well co-ordinated and ran smoothly, not always the case when resource and plant are limited, job well done.”

Interstate Hotels – New Glasgow Offices

Client: ACI Contracts Ltd
Project length: 3 Months
Project value: £26k
Completion date: March 2019
HF divisions involved: Comms

Brief project description: ACI Contracts Ltd were contracted to refurbish and alter the 2nd floor of 90 St. Vincent Street for Interstate Hotels including formation of new offices, board room and comms room and redecoration, carpeting and ceiling works throughout.

Project Challenges : Alterations and additions to lighting and small power, provision of additional dado trunking and floor boxes. Wiring and installation of power and data to newly formed offices and board room and completely new data wiring installation throughout 2nd floor offices with all data outlets to dado trunking and floor boxes, supply and installation of data cabinet, patch panels and all final terminations and commissioning. Electrical supplies were installed to air conditioning and ventilation equipment as well as electric heating.

There were ongoing large increases in quantity of power and data outlets required and all to be accommodated within the original fairly short contract period alongside all other trades on site.

Arqiva, Pontyberem – Tower Upgrade, Wales

Client: Arqiva
Project length: 4 Months
Project value: £50k
Completion date: October 2018
HF divisions involved: Comms

Brief project description: HF Comms were engaged by our client to upgrade an existing mobile phone communication tower in a remote part of Wales. Our scope of work was to install a 3 face headframe on an existing Arqiva asset replacing existing technology and enabling future growth and upgrade works.

Project Challenges: The remoteness and rural location meant that access to the site was considered difficult. The access route chosen by the site provider meant that should we use typical methods of access equipment such as trackway then significant damage over a large area would have been caused and the cost would have been high. To overcome this, we employed a specialist tracked crane to negotiate the steep terrain whilst causing minimal damage to the land. The method employed to deliver this site brought the following benefits;

– Cost saving of £25k to the client
– Minimal damage to site during access
– Accelerated Project Delivery
– Minimal outage / downtime of client asset / technology
– No requirement for a temporary tower
– Site Provider happy with time on site, end result and reinstatement

Huawei – ESN5153, Creagan Mor

Client: Huawei
Project length: 2 Weeks
Project value: £58k
Completion date: May 2018
HF divisions involved: Comms

Brief project description: Complete site build, including civil works, incorporating fencing, concrete plinth, electrical works and cable ducts.

Installation of a new 12.5m non-standard Hutchinson telegraph pole with antennas at 11.5m and dish at 9.2m. Installation of Blenheim and Link A/C cabinets on new concrete plinths.

Project Challenges: The biggest challenge we had with this project was the access route. The only vehicular route to site was via a steep and narrow track, which incorporated a bridge with a 3 ton weight limit. We overcame this challenge with the use of multiple helicopter lifts from a drop-off point close to the site location.

An additional challenge encountered was an active and prestigious shooting estate being in close proximity to the proposed site location. Our access was actually through the estate, therefore all movement to and from the site had to be coordinated in conjunction with the shooting estate management. We had a short window, when shooting was not taking place, to enable us to carry out our work.

The high-level plan of works was as follows:

CTIL – Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, England

Client: CTIL – Catterick Garrison
Project length: 2 months
Project value: £37k
Completion date: April 2018
HF divisions involved: Comms

Brief project description: Complete site build, including civil works incorporating fencing, concrete base, electrical works and cable ducts.

Installation of a new 20m Hutchinson tower with 2No SHF 0.6M HP dishes at 18.7m and 3No Kathrein antennas, also at 18.7m, with associated MHAs, cable trays and feeders. Also included was the installation of 1No Ericsson RBS outdoor cabinet and 1No Alifabs meter cabinet.

Project Challenges: The biggest challenge faced was access into the Northern Gas site. Although an Arqiva project, the site was owned by Northern Gas. Full supervision would be required for each daily task, however Northern Gas did not have the available resources to commit to daily supervision.

After a PSM, it was agreed that if we fenced off the area with Herras fencing, we could claim this land as Arqiva’s. We could then build a permanent fence, thus ensuring supervision would not be required within the compound for the civils works and for the tower build, as per the design.

Another challenge encountered was the access track for delivery of the tower. This was frequently used as a bridle-path. Full safety barriers had to be in place, and all parties were required to recognise that works would have to stop to allow horses and their riders to pass.

Furthermore, the crane could not park on this access track.

We had to explore other options to allow a crane lift:
If we used the access track, we would need notice to block off the path
If we used the nearby field, we would need to arrange access with a third party
If we used a normal 40-ton crane, we would need matting and trackway in the compound owned by Northern Gas, which was not accepted

HF were able to get a slimmer, tracked crane to be used within the Arqiva owned compound, thus negating the requirement for trackway. Subsequently, the costs and time constraints associated with the utilisation of trackway did not apply.

The installation was completed on time and within budget

Ericsson UK

Client: Ericsson UK
Project length: 24 months

Full Minilink “E” integration, both new installs and Hot Cut-overs, upgrading T-Mobiles network throughout the entire UK.

Network Upgrades T Mobile Network Upgrades 

Arqiva – Installation of Generators & UPS Units

Client: Arqiva, Winchester, England, UK
Project length: 16 Weeks
Project value: £120k
Completion date: July 2013
HF divisions involved: Electrical, Comms

HF completed the installation of generators & UPS units to provide back-up power at 4Nr TV transmission masts in areas of Northern Scotland including Islay, Skye and North Uist.

generator installation

Arqiva provide much of the infrastructure behind television, radio, satellite and wireless communications in the UK. The BBC, ITV and BSkyB, as well as independent radio groups, depend on Arqiva to keep them connected to their customers. They also provide the connectivity for leading UK mobile network operators and many emergency services operators. For more info on Arqiva visit their website – www.arqiva.com

Sanday Radio Station (WIG), Orkneys, Scotland – 2G/3G/4G Telecoms Upgrade (Darwin)

Client: Wireless Infrastructure Group, Bellshill, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Project length: 3 days
Project value: £12k – Comms Installation
Completion date: 17/06/2016
HF divisions involved: Comms

HF Comms complete telecomms upgrade on a WIG site in the remote Orkney Islands that refreshes the 2G/3G existing services and introduces 4G to the residents of the island on behalf of EE (Everything Everywhere).

telecoms upgrade

Project Challenges Overcame: Projects such as this are second nature to HF Comms, however working on remote islands always brings new challenges. This project was passed to HF Comms to build without ever being to the site. Our main challenges were to coordinate our engineers, accommodation, civil work, deliveries and on site issues with minimum disruption. We decided that couriers were not going to be reliable and due to location it would make sense for our civils team to deliver all kit to site, which happened without any problems. With the site being remote it was incredibly hard to locate subcontractors to complete the works. HF Skilled riggers worked through bad weather by prioritising certain works around the elements. We are glad to report all was overcome and the site was built on time. 4G is now provided to the residents. This was one of the first builds we completed for the client and following this we now undertake the account for them.

radio station upgrade

Customer Quotes:

 “We recently choose HF Comms as one of our preferred suppliers to assist Wireless infrastructure Group roll-out mobile communication networks on behalf of our customers, the first sites we allocated were spread across the Orkney Islands which was a challenge itself, HF Comms proved they were a able to plan and execute the deployment with their extremely skill teams, Three sites were delivered on three different Islands in two weeks, it was a pleasure dealing with the team and the works seemed effortless, we look forward to working with HF Comms in the future.”

A bit about WIG – Wireless Infrastructure Group is an independent infrastructure company. They build and operate communication towers and other wireless infrastructure to enable the connection between networks and the communities that rely on their services. WIG operates a network of over 2,000 shared communication infrastructure assets covering the breadth of the UK and have recently started operations in Republic of Ireland and Netherlands. For more about WIG click here

radio tower upgrade telecoms upgrade

Upgrade to LTE for H3G across the UK

Client: Arqiva, Winchester, England, UK
Project length: On Going 600 Sites Completed
Project value: £6m
Completion date: On Going
HF divisions involved: Comms

Over the last 2 years HF Comms have been working hand in hand with Arqiva to install LTE for Three across Arqiva’s network of sites. HF Comms involvement in this project has been the installation of 800MHz and/or 1800MHZ 4G telecoms equipment on over 600 of these sites across the UK, and we even had the honour of completing the build of the 1,000th site on this project for Arqiva back in 2015.

Project Challenges overcame: Like all telecoms projects we are extremely susceptible to the elements and the two winters during this project have not been kind.

upgrade LTE across the UK

We have experienced flooding in Cumbria, Japanese Knotweed around pylons, pirate radio on towers and enough seagulls on BT rooftops to make Hitchcock cry.

Regardless of these, all we have come through it all and continue to learn some valuable lessons along the way.

A bit about Arqiva – Arqiva is a leading UK communications infrastructure company. They are an independent provider of telecom towers that own and operate more than than 8,000 active sites through out the UK. Arqiva are the only national provider of terrestrial television and radio broadcasting, and work with clients such as BT-EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three to independent radio groups and major broadcasters, such as the BBC, ITV, Sky, Turner and CANAL+ to utility companies such as Thames Water.

HF Comms are very proud to have been involved with Arqiva and feel privileged to have been involved in the delivery of so many groundbreaking projects over the years.

Three Network Upgrade Network Upgrade LTE  LTE UK Upgrade