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Concealment is the art of hiding something. There can be many reasons for concealment of equipment, the most appealing being the need for something to exist without the negative impact that its presentation could cause. A good example from the past of concealment are the power lines that feed every home and business. These power cables must come into contact with any structure that they are tasked with feeding power to, and the easiest method of doing so is to run power lines suspended in the air on poles, ultimately connecting them to homes and businesses. This suspension makes the lines easier to connect and work on, but ultimately dominates the visual landscape in order to achieve connectivity for everyone. Some areas desire to streamline the visual landscape by removing these types of items, but the disconnection of power is not an option to do so. As a result, the concealment efforts brought innovations that allowed the cables to be laid underground. Through the development of techniques and materials to service this new type of installation, power connectivity in these regions did not have to be disruptive or ugly.
The transition from 3G and 4G to 5G wireless communications involves the installation of a significantly increased amount of equipment with nodes that need to be positioned closer to one another and to users. This means that for a 5G signal to be useful to a person on the ground, the radiating equipment must be close to them at slightly higher than street level. In order to create an effective network 5G mmWave equipment must be installed within only one-tenth of a mile or so from another installation. This increase in the amount of equipment in order to achieve the goal of 5G connectivity would be visually shocking, and as a result the concealment industry has stepped up. The concealment industry is being led by companies like Raycap who with their STEALTH® line of concealment products are constantly developing new materials and techniques to hide equipment without compromising its ability to do its job. Materials like Raycap’s InvisiWave® allow for 5G mmWave equipment to be shrouded and enclosed into structures without impeding the 5G waves being transmitted and received by radios and antenna. Concealments using InvisiWave material can be designed in a way that blend into the surrounding environment, ultimately enabling the 5G equipment to be positioned as necessary, without being noticed or seen. Additional creative methodologies are being used to provide concealed, partially concealed, or fully concealed street light poles; as well as street cabinets, pole toppers and side-mounted shrouds. These installations blend 5G small cell sites into the existing landscape seamlessly, concealing them within light poles that are already necessary and accepted by the public. Other concealment options that allow for equipment attachment on roof tops also present unique opportunities through the use of InvisiWave screen wall apertures that can be painted to match existing rooftop structures made of brick or stucco. Through blending the equipment into the background effectively, 5G technology can be rolled out without the upset that can come to residents by noticing changes to their environment. The smart city can be beautiful as well as functional.