Modular Design Future-proofs Multiple-use Small Cell Poles

Small cell infrastructure needs to fit in with the communities where it is placed, according to Mike Constance, director of operations for Comptek Technologies. Speaking at the Connectivity Expo conducted by the Wireless Infrastructure Association on May 22, in a session about the next generation of smart poles that are more than small cells, Constance said there is no one-size-fits-all solution. “You don’t want to be adapting every two, three or four years,” he said. “It is an expensive proposition to put in infrastructure.”

Telecommunications towers do a great job supporting wireless communications in particular ways, Constance said, but in urban areas, the use of small cells represents a huge opportunity. Capitalizing on that opportunity requires addressing the needs of stakeholders that Constance identified as the wireless companies, the municipalities and the power utilities.

“Many people influence what infrastructure fits in, and you also need to support different life cycles,” Constance said. “We want the pole to last as long as possible. Ten years would be great. Thirty would be even better. Construction costs become an immediate challenge. Radios have a shorter life cycle. Some of our poles that have been in the field for less than two years are on their third cycle of radios… [Read more]