New Power Meter/Disconnect Product Streamlines 5G Small Cells


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Wireless carriers and corporations are expected to deploy 800,000 small cell sites in the United States by 2026, according to CTIA statistics. Because of the sheer number of small cells that need to be deployed for 5G, their success depends heavily on how quickly they can be deployed.

Every wireless site needs a utility connection, meter, AC disconnect and load center to power its 5G radios, but this equipment and its cabling take time to install and introduce multiple points for potential leakage or failures, according to Raycap.

With this in mind, Raycap’s engineers have introduced a combination power meter/AC disconnect (RMx-E2) that integrates several functions into one enclosure to streamline and speed up 5G deployments, enhancing reliability and improving the appearance of small cell sites.

“The Combination Meter/Disconnect enclosure combines all that functionality into one sleek box, configured at the factory,” said Apostolis Sotiriou, AVP Telecom Sales for Raycap. “It’s faster to install, more robust, and can include surge protection, making it safer to work around.” 

The RMx-E2 reduces the number of boxes attached to 5G small cell poles by combining power connection, meter, AC disconnect, surge protection and load center into one unit, according to Raycap. Because the basic power management needs for pole-mounted small cell sites are consistent, the product combines all these components into a single, narrow 9-inch-wide enclosure that can be mounted on wood or metal poles or can also be placed inside a small cell pole.

“Municipalities and utilities find it more attractive on their poles,” which could speed up the zoning and permitting process, Sotiriou said.

The cable routing design, which enables mains connection from the bottom, sides or top, facilitates deployment in urban environments where the electrical service is often underground.

Choosing to add the surge protection option helps utilities and municipalities to ensure safe operation of equipment on top of poles and towers. The surge protection is provided by Raycap’s Strikesorb 30-A-2CHV Surge Protective Device (SPD), a UL 1449 Listed and Class I SPD, certified by VDE per the IEC 61643-11 standard as suitable for installation in areas where induced lightning exposure is expected. It can withstand direct surge currents up to 5kA (10/350 μs) and induced surge currents of up to 60kA (8/20). The RMx-E2 Combo Disconnect products are NEMA 3R rated for use in harsh environments inside or outside of poles and other street furniture.

“Raycap’s RMx-E2 enables municipalities and utilities to more easily meet the rigorous electrical, mechanical and safety guidelines placed on street infrastructure,” said Sotiriou. 

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