Better Coverage and Faster Speeds to Meet Consumer Demand
Every day, more people are using more wireless services in more places.
Americans certainly use wireless voice minutes and text more than ever before, but we’re also using more advanced, data-rich wireless services such as gaming, photo sharing, and music and video streaming. Wherever you are today, people are using smartphones, tablets and other connected devices. Wireless use is growing, and with an increase in mobile demand comes the need for greater capacity and speed.
Wireless infrastructure (such as towers and antennas) is critical to meet the public’s increasing demand for wireless services. Infrastructure is the first point of network contact for all of our smartphones, tablets and other wireless devices. Without adequate wireless facilities and the ability to expeditiously update existing infrastructure, wireless providers cannot meet demand for increased coverage or capacity, whether for emergency 911 calls, downloading your favorite apps, or sharing photos and videos with friends and family.
Consumers “Feel the Need For Speed”
Each generation of wireless technologies leapfrogs the capabilities of the prior generation, and the most tangible change is a significant increase in network speed. 5G will be no exception. 4G LTE networks are fast, with speeds that can approach 100 Megabit per second (100 Mb/s) peak rates. But thanks to innovations like millimeter (mm) wave technology, 5G networks will exceed current speeds. 5G will be 10 times faster and able to reach speeds potentially over one Gigabit per second (1 Gb/s) – particularly in dense urban locations and initially likely in localized “hot spots.”
When and how 5G rolls out depends, in part, upon removing barriers to the deployment of cell sites and antennas. Ultra-dense network configurations, particularly in metro areas that are heavy with users, will be a major component of 5G. Small cells are key to enhancing the capabilities of these networks. Moreover, because the delivery of higher frequencies is limited in range and building penetration, wireless deployments will be needed for both indoor and outdoor environments.
To enable these deployments, policymakers need to continue to adopt reasonable and predictable siting processes. Such steps include imposing a deadline on federal agencies to act on wireless siting applications and for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to streamline small cell and Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) environmental processing. In addition, cities and municipalities should look for ways to facilitate new deployments using existing and new facilities.
Deploying Wireless Infrastructure
Wireless connectivity touches every aspect of our daily lives, but we are just scratching the surface of its consumer benefits. Imagine a future where nearly everything is connected to ubiquitous, advanced high-speed wireless networks. Imagine enjoying enriched entertainment while riding to work in a self-driving car, doctors that remotely monitor patients’ vital signs in real-time, and communities that are smarter and more connected.
The need to continually build out our wireless infrastructure is similar to expanding our bridges and highways as more drivers take to the roads. In the case of wireless, providing more customers with better service and faster speeds means adding more wireless towers and antennas. Adding this infrastructure also helps create jobs, improve the economy, and supports the nation’s 911 emergency response system, including updating today’s public safety systems to “Next-Generation 911″ technologies that will enhance information provided to first responders through the transmission of such things as data, images and video content.
Let’s Make Faster Speeds and More Capacity Part of Everyone’s
Let your local city, county and state officials know that you want to see your wireless service enhanced and you support bringing new infrastructure and development into your area. If the local zoning authority or public utilities/service commission is acting too slowly, don’t worry – the FCC has acted on behalf of wireless consumers to ensure a proper ‘shot clock’ for petition decisions. Zoning authorities have 90 days to decide whether a company can add-on to an existing site, and 150 days to decide whether a company can build a new tower. Encourage local officials to ACT.
States are also making efforts to ensure efficient infrastructure deployment. For example, in California, landmark legislation was passed in 2015 (AB 57) that creates needed certainty in the process of constructing and updating wireless infrastructure to provide California consumers and businesses the coverage and capacity they demand from their wireless services. Consumer support was critical to achieve this progress in California, and will be in your state as well. But more is needed.
Make your voice heard today and engage with ACTwireless to deliver better coverage and faster speeds!