Accommodating Small Cells

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Wake Forest  Locked Out Small Cell Deployment For Two Years…Until the ePole

The town of Wake Forest, North Carolina, like many cities across the U.S., has been challenged with ensuring that its infrastructure and services are able to keep up with population and economic growth without sacrificing its unique quality of life.  With some of the best universities and major corporations in the U.S. located within the Greater Wake Forest Region, the town has experienced rapid growth in its population, with new subdivisions and businesses expanding its boundaries. At the same time, it was clear by its ordinances how it could be served.

The problem: Traditional tower approaches were misaligned with Wake Forest’s network requirements and community priorities.  As a result, the town consistently rejected numerous cell tower and small cell proposals from multiple petitioners over the last several years.

Enersphere Communications, priding themselves on being an innovative leader in bringing wireless solutions to towns and cities with demanding standards, thought they had the right solution for the town.  They were, in fact, right as Wake Forest’s leaders approved multiple permit applications using Enersphere’s small cell site, the ePole, within a month.  

Why? The town’s due diligence indicated that Enersphere’s small cell site, the ePole, solved Wake Forest’s most pressing concerns related to wireless network expansion:

  •  Aesthetically attractive poles that are pleasing to the community
  •  Indiscernible antenna with concealed equipment and all cabling inside a hollow pole
  • Meeting and exceeding the most current NESC and mobile communication tower industry wind loading and ice loading requirements
  • Fully compliant with electric utility requirements
  • Deployed within hours which minimizes traffic congestion
  • Eco-friendly poles that will not leach contaminants into the soil

To better position the community for future growth, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart City applications, town management took a proactive approach with wireless communications, by informing mobile network operators (MNO), local utilities and others that the Town will expedite the small cell permitting process if certain criteria are met.  

“We were looking for a solution that would provide our citizens with a high quality mobile experience in Wake Forest, but we wanted to avoid adding unsightly cell towers or having equipment bolted onto existing utility poles,” according to Chip Russell, Planning Director. “The ePole provides the best possible solution since it meets all of the required criteria for small cell permitting.  We also believe that multi-purpose and aesthetically pleasing infrastructure, like the ePole, will enable applications that improve public safety, reduce operational costs and generate revenue for our community in the future.”

“From the electric utility’s perspective, the ePole was easy to install and structurally capable of replacing any of our standard distribution poles and street lights. In this case, we replaced existing wood poles with ePoles and reattached the LED light standards. The ePoles look great. Most people would not even know these are small cell sites,” said Don Bowman, Manager of Engineering for Wake Electric Membership Cooperative, a Wake County based electric utility.

The cell sites are owned by Lightower Fiber Networks, a leading service provider of dark fiber and advanced network services.  Other service providers involved with the deployment included Williams Electric Company and Blue Ridge Network Solutions.

David Lasier, Enersphere’s President and Founder said:  “Our ePole product is the perfect solution for municipalities and wireless companies to collaborate in expanding broadband networks and improving public safety in a way that communities embrace.”

About Enersphere Communications:

Enersphere Communications, LLC, an Atlanta, Georgia based company sells the ePole, a visually-appealing and safe small cell solution that efficiently expands mobile data capacity and coverage to help the MNO generate revenue sooner. The ePole strengthens electric distribution networks and effectively hosts Internet of Things (IoT) devices to monitor traffic and emissions, plus enable public safety, video surveillance, WiFi and other smart city applications.  

To learn more about Enersphere and the ePole, visit http://www.enersphere.com.

March 24, 2017   

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