Small cells on the way to the wireless market

The small cells market has continued to increase and Mike Kavanagh, Crown Castle executive has recently highlighted two major factors as proof of this exponential growth: small cells development has begun to happen in lesser, tier-two markets, and many small cell areas have started supplying multiple carriers.

Small cells allow carriers to deploy faster connections to a more geographically specific area, usually well under 1 mile in range, sometimes down to a few blocks. With cell phone towers typically covering many miles at a time, small cells allow to bring higher capacity and reuse sometimes limited spectrum to cover more customers. As data demands increase and 5G connections around the corner, small cells will be key to providing 100mbps and higher connections to large population centers.

About 6 years ago when small cells first came into the market, Mike Kavanagh predicted that a key installation would cover a total of fifty nodes within the city. Interestingly, instead of 50 nodes, there are about 2,000 nodes in some certain crowded market, with the potentials of growing up to 7,000.

According to Kavanagh, Crown Castle is seeing between two to four small cells per mile in some deployment, and in certain fully dense urban locations the number can grow as high as seven to twelve small cells per mile. The SVP of sales and Chief Commercial Officer, Kavanagh went further to explain that Verizon launched the first set of small cells in the market, but as of today, all the biggest wireless operators in the nation have taken up the challenge for the major deployments of small cells.

It is not surprising to learn that the growing inclination in the direction of multi-tenant small cells is a huge revenue generation source for Crown Castle. According to Crown Castle, leasing up is the name of the game. It is essential to mention that Crown Castle usually develop small cells for a single carrier equipment but by incorporating new insights, the company is gradually adding equipment for second carrier to the location. The implication of this is that more revenues will be generated for the company per small cell location. Site sharing as this is usually in the macro tower dealing.

Kavanagh explained that the Crown Castle is currently experiencing some same-pole co-locations. According to him, a total of 30% of recent small cell projects carried out by Crown Castle entail more than a single carrier on specific location. He went further to elaborate that if fiber can be shared, there will be a lot of effectiveness. He also mentioned that Crown Castle has made a huge investment worth billions of dollars in the purchase of fiber lines all over the country. It is expected that this significant effort will enable the company to connect many more tower sites and small cell to appropriate fiber backhaul.

Currently, the growing trend of servicing multi-tenants on same small cell location is taking place at a higher rate than what has been recorded by the organization at the time when macro tower business was growing. During the quarterly conference call with some analysts of the company in the month of April, the CEO, Jay Brown, mentioned that with tower, the organization was able to add a single tenant in the course of a ten-year period. However, with small cells, the company is in the process of incorporating a second tenant within the last five years.

The position of Crown Castle on small cells is notable, bearing in mind that some of its competition, including SBA Communications, are basically concentrating mainly on macro towers and not on small cells.

Gilbert A Darrell is the Founder of Horizon. He has 18 years experience in information technology and telecom solutions, a veteran in Fire and EMS Services, a crypto enthusiast and a member of the Bermuda Government’s Cryptocurrency Task Force.

Horizon Communications is an upcoming fixed wireless internet and cellular service provider looking to provide services in Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Central America before expanding internationally. While utilizing 4th generation and soon 5th generation wireless technology,it will also heavily incorporate blockchain and cryptocurrency technology.

More information can be found on their website —

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