Small Cell Technology Scrimmages Before Super Bowl LII
New small cell technology is being installed on street lights and flagpoles all over Minneapolis in areas where there’s a high demand for data, in preparation for the 2018 Super Bowl, reported Pressreader. Due to recently passed legislation capping rental fees to $150 a pole and preventing local officials from banning small cell infrastructure in the public rights-of-way, telecoms can bring better connectivity to high demand data areas. The technology will support 4G for now and the legislation also applies to 5G, when it’s ready.
“Our customers are demanding this, whether they’re in Hudson, Stillwater, Minneapolis, or Eden Prairie. Many times, you don’t even know they’re there,” said Minnesota AT&T President Paul Weirtz. AT&T spent $40 million in upgrades prior to 2017’s Super Bowl in Houston, Texas.
The plan is to install equipment in clusters, as opposed to towers. Experts believe that telecom companies are going to rely less on towers and more on smaller technology. However, towers are still necessary for coverage and an 84-foot tower and 195-foot monopole are being constructed, but residents are concerned about the aesthetic impact.
Some cities, like Eagan, have converted a 198-foot water tower to a camouflaged cell tower, adding over 5,400 colored bulbs that light up at night with a green hue. The tower is also used during celebrations, incorporating visual effects like popping a champagne bottle on New Year’s Eve or incorporating the red, white, and blue on patriotic holidays. Still, other area cities have constructed a monopine and hidden telecom equipment in church crosses, towers, and flagpoles. Camouflaging infrastructure is still on the radar with residents.
As more people continue to utilize data for smartphones and tablets, these small cells will be used to offload data overload from cell towers.