What is Small Cell?
To recap, small cell is a compact antenna system ranging from the size of a TV remote to as large as a backpack, and it provides wireless service to limited coverage areas. It serves anywhere from a handful of users to several hundred, depending on the type of small cell attached. Small cell is versatile – it can be used to boost signals in large stadiums and it can also be used to provide coverage to remote residences where broadband has not yet been fully deployed.
Small cell equipment is often attached to utility poles and street light poles; it can be mounted on buildings or amphitheaters. It is typically deployed quickly and is less design-intensive than traditional attachments.
5 Key Ways Small Cell is Changing Connectivity
1. 5G Preparation
2. Staying Connected
According to an article on Construction Dive, “These vital extras are what distinguish one office environment from another, and the list of amenities that should be moved to the must-have category starts with technology.” Small cell wireless has the capacity to mend existing gaps in coverage through geo-targeted placement of small, limited-range attachments.
3. Expansion of IoT (Internet of Things)
Coordinated connections among vehicles, appliances, and home systems create high density demands on wireless connectivity. Small cell wireless will add reliability to users’ control of such systems. IoT also encompasses wearable tech, health-monitoring devices and many other possibilities.
4. Filling in Coverage Gaps
5. Safety Enhancements
These five predicted outcomes of small cell technology will expand the nation’s ability to communicate and stay informed and connected. These five key results are just a few of the reasons to get small cell wireless in place. Small cell has the potential to make wireless customers happier, safer, and more productive with their service.
Challenges of Small Cell Wireless
Municipalities are scrambling to create official regulations. The differences in past regulations contributes to the confusion of the small cell boom. Some states allow more attachment options than others, and requirements may vary for height, circumference, and the type of antenna allowed. Many companies involved hope that state legislatures will act soon to create uniform standards, while other companies are wary of losing control.
In the meantime, asset owners bear a considerable burden. The safety and reliability of a company’s power system is of utmost importance, so careful attention to joint use departments is a must.
Some asset owners have reported receiving joint use requests for small cell attachments in a variety of ways. Companies that perform utility pole audits are reporting they have more small cell attachments than the number of joint use requests previously received.
Performing the necessary due diligence is a serious challenge. Companies need strong coordination among departments and solid procedures for handling joint use requests and communicating with small cell contractors.
What challenges has the rapid growth of small cell wireless created for you?
How have you addressed these challenges?