Integrated Small Cell Poles
The development of the “smart city” is not a new concept, however the actual implementation of the necessities to achieve a level of connectivity for all residents and devices has been slow to roll out. This is because of the upgrades to the networks that must be made, and the encumbrances that are found within 5G equipment that must replace or co-exist with existing 4G equipment. 5G offers greatly increased speeds and bandwidth, which will be the difference between connectivity that will provide value to residents of that area and connectivity that remains slow and frustrating. One of the biggest lures for businesses to a specific area is the speed of internet connectivity within that region, and through the rollout of 5G, city planners cannot only improve the lives of citizens with regard to access to high definition video, educational tools, banking and entertainment, they can also add to the economic growth of the region by attracting companies. The technical issues that come with the advent of 5G small cell sites do not outweigh the benefits, however it must be known that network functionality is only possible if these sites are installed within around one-tenth of a mile of one another. Previous 4G macro sites can be installed miles apart and function fine but the higher frequencies of 5G are unable to travel as far a distance without degrading. Therefore it is necessary in a 5G network to install around 6x as many 5G small cell sites within the same region that two 4G macro sites will cover, and to install them lower to the ground in order to create full coverage without dead regions. Each 5G small cell site may involve several 5G radios and 4G radios to take up any slack in coverage, as well as antennas, ancillary equipment, fiber and AC power. The mounting of this amount of equipment externally on poles or buildings creates an unsightly look as well as a safety hazard for utility workers who must interact with the site. The answer is the new generation of small cell poles from Raycap, marketed under the STEALTH product brand.
This new generation of small cell poles – concealed, partially concealed or fully concealed and fully integrated – is designed to become the new multi-purpose streetlight poles in a city scape, and allows for a streamlined integration into the city landscape while also providing 5G cell coverage, standardization and safety for utility workers. Many will feature Raycap’s combo AC Disconnect, which supports the 5G infrastructure with access to AC power, a disconnect device, power meter and electrical surge protection. The AC Disconnect on an integrated small cell lightpole allows utilities to conveniently read meter levels and disconnect power to the entire small cell site should upgrades and/or maintenance become necessary. The 5G radios & antennas at the top of the pole are also able to be concealed through the use of Raycap’s patent-pending InvisiWave® material, whose construction allows for 5G signals to pass through with minimal degradation. These technologies allow an entire small cell site to be enclosed within a light pole without external equipment mounting, creating the streamlined and aesthetically pleasing look that city planners hope for. They will also enable the technologically advanced 5G network to be installed within their region, improving the lives of residents through the effective rollout of 5G services.