The Complications Of 5G Concealment
It is expected that there will be an increase of small cell sites from the roughly 86,000 that were recorded in 2018 to more than 800,000 by 2026. This is due to the ever-increasing demand for 5G services within urban environments, which create unique challenges. High quality scalable manufacturing of the components necessary to roll out this increased level of services and connectivity will be necessary, and this brings unique challenges that call for creative solutions. In order to create an expansive and reliable 5G network, small cell sites using mmWave radios and antenna will be called upon to provide much of the coverage in dense urban areas. These devices utilize higher frequencies and as a result exhibit increased propagation loss over long distances. This means that the distances between small cell sites will be smaller and the sites closer together, to within one tenth of a mile of one another. It also requires them to be lower to the ground than the previous generation of wireless equipment. Because of these factors there is need for a significantly increased number of installations at positions that are far more visually obvious to people at ground level. Thus, the need for both creative and technologically advanced concealment options grows.
In dense, high volume urban areas 5G small cell sites are going to become far more prevalent. You may notice them cropping up in neighborhoods, on city streets and in historic areas. They will co-exist with the current network of lighting poles as well as street furniture installed for other purposes, and must be integrated ways that do not create visual imbalance with the existing infrastructure environment or the beauty of the cityscape. In many ways, the integration of 5G equipment onto and inside of streetlight poles is the most obvious solution – one that will not disrupt the look of a neighborhood or landscape. These structures are something that citizens are already sued to seeing, and they offer the least amount of change in the scenery since many streetlight poles and telephone poles already exist and are outfitted with equipment. Fully or partially integrated and concealed poles will be able to combine all elements necessary to the infrastructure as well as fully conceal a small cell site. The STEALTH concealed small cell pole manufactured by Raycap is available in a variety of options and able to integrate all equipment either in or on it using inside cavities or shrouds. The small cell poles also mount 4G Radios or 5G antennas/radios in the pole topper or “radome”, in order to optimize performance while also easing concealment challenges. Pole toppers are optimal ways to conceal radiating equipment, and when used in conjunction with Raycap’s InvisiWave® material that does not interfere with 5G mmWave signals, they provide the coverage and performance that is necessary to create an unobtrusive small cell network that is also functionally advanced.
With small cell sites obviously destined to be positioned on many city or suburban blocks in the near future, the aesthetics and high performance of the concealed equipment must work in unison to create a situation where function does not over-ride form. Raycap is leading the way with its ambitious STEALTH line of concealment products. The overall goal is to help create a fully functional 5G network that is hidden from plain site. Raycap is leading this charge, and success will mean you will not see us in the future!