The Streamlining Of A 5G Rollout
The 5G small cell rollout happening across the entire world is creating issues with regard to both functionality as well as aesthetics. This is happening for a simple reason, there is a significant amount of equipment involved in the installation of a 5G small cell site, and there needs to be a lot more of them than previous 4G networks. As a matter of fact, the current amount of 154,000 small cell sites that are in existence as of 2019 is expected to increase 5X to more than 800,000 by 2026. Aside from the increasing demand for 5G connectivity by customers, the reason there are so many small cell sites predicted to be installed is because of connectivity. The higher frequencies involved in 5G have a shorter propagation distance than 4G macro towers, and to create a seamless network without dead spots small cells generally need to be within one tenth of a mile of one another. The increased number of installations that is necessary calls for the utilization of existing structures at street level so as to not overwhelm the aesthetics of a region in a negative way with lots of new structures. This is why the obvious choice to use streetlight poles as small cell sites makes sense. Raycap has solutions to both safely and aesthetically address how small cell sites are designed and they work with carriers, real estate partners and municipalities to develop the best fit concealment solutions for these sites.
An interesting and not inconsequential aspect of 5G small site installations is the need for AC power that must run to the components involved. Since Raycap are experts at both concealments and power management solutions, it only made sense for them to develop products that support the power needs at small cell installations. Each installation will have multiple radios, some operating on different 5G bands. There are also radios that will fill in blind spots through providing 4G services. Each radio needs AC power and fiber backhaul connectivity. When combined with the antennas and other ancillary equipment that is used at small cell sites, all being mounted directly overhead of pedestrians, one can easily see the issues regarding power management. Utility workers needing to make installations, upgrades and repairs are also in contact with these installations. The new combo AC disconnect units from Raycap combine and standardize the installation of electrical equipment into a slimline aesthetically pleasing unit that can also be adapted to blend into the background of whatever it is being placed upon. The units are designed to bring the power in from the bottom of the enclosure and then up into the equipment above it inside the pole, solving the issue of unsightly wires being run up the poles and to the equipment. The AC disconnect allows the power service to be easily disconnected when necessary, contains an area for a power meter and electrical surge protection. It brings the power from the disconnect to a load center and distributes it through multiple breakers and ultimately to the equipment necessary in the small cell installation. Through the use of Raycap’s combo disconnect enclosures, the 5G rollout becomes more streamlined and standardized, as well as safer.