Small Cells on Pole Facilities: A Primer on How Utility Poles, Street Lights and Traffic Signals Will Help Drive Next-Generation Mobile Broadband Networks


Reliable wireless coverage promotes economic development, and is critical to attract and maintain a vibrant business environment and a competitive workforce. The attachment of small wireless antennas and associated equipment on pole structures – which can include Distributed Antenna System (DAS) remote units, remote radio units and self-contained small cells –significantly improves the coverage and capacity of 3G, 4G and soon-to-be-deployed 5G wireless networks. Installing wireless infrastructure at the precise location where it is needed improves the network and immediately benefits the community. To deploy these network solutions, a combination of existing infrastructure, and, in some situations, new pole infrastructure with the appropriate power and connectivity, are needed. Attaching this equipment to poles involves close collaboration with local municipalities and utility companies. Local jurisdictions should make their infrastructure available for collocation so that multiple deployments can co-exist on one pole.
This white paper provides information to municipal planners, site acquisition firms, architectural and engineering (A&E) firms and others interested in supporting small wireless equipment deployments on existing and new pole structures. For the purpose of this paper, the definition of small wireless communications equipment includes DAS remote units, remote radio units, self-contained small cells and associated equipment that can be mounted on a utility pole or similar structure. Street furniture is defined as utility poles and other structures located in the public right-of-way (ROW).

Specifically, this document addresses:
 Small Wireless Communications Equipment Deployment Options
 Retrofit Considerations for Existing Poles
 Streamlining the Permitting Process for Wireless Facilities Deployments
 A View of New Smart Pole Design Features and their Applications

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*Read the full Whitepaper on the Wireless Infrastructure Association’s website: https://wia.org/resource-library

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