Track 3: 5G Infrastructure Preparedness

4G / 5G Small Cell Concealment


September 25, 2019 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

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Mike Johnson

BICSI – 1 CEC, ETA – 1 CEC

Basic

The approaching 5G wireless network transformation will require the further densification of existing 4G networks, especially in urban areas, and massive amounts of new 5G nodes to support the overarching goals that 5G promises. Significant increases in speed and a dramatic reduction in latency will enable the addition of a host of new network connected devices and the creation of true Smart Cities. With the amount of new wireless equipment required to be installed in heavily populated areas will come the need for more concealment options for these small cell nodes to help this equipment blend in with the current urban landscapes. Because of frequency availability in the United States, 5G is mainly being deployed in the mmWave frequency range which requires nodes to be placed closer to the customer and closer to each other. It also necessitates different and creative concealment options to work around the limitations of the mmWave signal. Installing 4G or 5G Small Cells in the network comes with many unique challenges. Real Estate permitting can be significantly difficult to obtain. Concealment of equipment (ie radios, rectifiers, baseband units, fiber interface) in a municipal environment is difficult. Different municipalities have different ideas on what an acceptable small cell deployment can be. Municipalities provide stiff opposition to the placement of devices that inhibit views or visually contaminate the landscape. These challenges create a need for multiple creative solutions to conceal small cell deployments to blend into urban environments.