The Landmark Flexgrid™: Supplying a “Smart” Ecosystem for 5G

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Landmark Dividend, LLC is a global infrastructure, real estate acquisition, and development company and creator of the FlexGrid™ Colocation Ecosystem. In 2017, in partnership with Ericsson, Landmark deployed Flexgrid — the self-contained, integrated smartpole portfolio designed to colocate carrier and other wireless operators’ 4G/5G radio equipment and antennas.

“We looked at 4G and 5G needs and engineered a complete portfolio of concealed pole solutions that can be used to house different types of vendor equipment,” said Jared B. Pickrell, Senior Vice President, Engineering.

 “The Flexgrid ecosystem is vendor agnostic and is the first completely concealed collection and multitenant pole that declutters the right of way specifically for 5G.”

FlexGrid™ is a turnkey solution designed for macro, mini macro, and small cell deployments and will support simultaneous 4G/5G, IoT, carrier densification needs, private LTE networks, and other wireless solutions. Designed for high-density connectivity, Flexgrid allows carriers to insert ample amounts of fiber into the pole, expanding capacity.

“The Flexgrid solution enables carriers to densify and deploy 5G while hiding the technology ‘behind the curtain,’” said Pickrell. “The Flexgrid ecosystem even fits within the normal power footprint of a standard light pole.”

There are many benefits for Landmark’s partners from a smart infrastructure standpoint. Landlords can access footage from cameras installed in the Flexgrid ecosystem; emergency personnel can have that same access, making the Flexgrid an essential public safety feature.

“We’re ready for the 5G buildout,” said Jeff Mulrennan, Senior Vice President, Business Development. “We can partner with the public or private sector to deploy the Flexgrid product where concealment ‘isn’t an option.’ We help carriers find real estate offerings that can streamline colocation to avoid laying equipment on every light pole in a city.”

“We create synergy between cities and carriers by providing solutions to meet their needs, which typically involve building a dense volume of neutral host, concealed infrastructure in rights-of-ways while keeping the bottom line in mind,” added Mulrennan.

With the 5G buildout, carriers will require the integration of small cells into the bones of a city to the tune of 150-350 per square kilometer. How is it possible to provide power to so many small cells? Flexgrid is the perfect solution to this challenge with the ability to colocate. Fed by fiber for backhaul, each smartpole includes a power source and can house IOT sensors, video, gunshot detectors and more. Flexgrid fits into any 5G city ecosystem, meant for subways, stadiums, and transit hubs, to name a few.

“Besides the colocation and multitenant outdoor environment, Flexgrid can also work in-building with 5G distributed antenna systems,” said Mulrennan. “Flexgrid is a true ecosystem, adapting to its surroundings based on carrier and wireless needs.”

Working with carriers, Landmark focuses on deploying the FlexGrid Ecosystem across North America in the following market sectors:

  • Commercial Enterprises
  • Utility Field Area Networks
  • Municipalities
  • Transportation Hubs/Centers (Rail, Air, and Ferry Terminals)

“We work with any entity that has a need anywhere in the country. It could be a utility, transit authority, city, or telecoms company,” said Mulrennan. 

How is FlexGrid different from other smartpoles on the market? Flexgrid is designed to colocate 4G and 5G technology created with forward-thinking engineering and maintenance needs in mind. Plus, with sensors, cameras and more built-in, Flexgrid is “wired” for IoT.

“The volume for co-location exceeds what other poles provide, by a large measure, which means operators can bring more spectrum to the pole that is 100 percent concealed without sacrificing the RF signal viability for 5G,” said Pickrell. “The rollout of 5G is a complex task. We’re here to make part of it seamless, invisible, and cost-effective.”

Landmark Dividend, LLC began as a ground lease aggregator and has grown into a global company and leader in real estate acquisition for cell towers, billboards, wind turbines, utility-scale solar farms, fiber optic networks, and infrastructure development. To learn more about the company and the FlexGrid Colocation Ecosystem or to contact a representative, visit https://www.landmarkdividend.com.

By Keara Piekanski for Inside Towers

July 10, 2019

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