5G Magazine - 5G Towers, Small Cells, and DAS Edition

In-depth Articles

How SCF is unlocking potential for 5G networks with small cell adoption - TeckNexus

How SCF is unlocking the potential for 5G networks?

Interview with Ravi Sinha – How is SCF accelerating the adoption of small cells? What are focus areas, challenges, stakeholders & benefits?

How tower companies can protect critical infrastructure through PPP programs? | TeckNexus

How tower companies can protect critical infrastructure through PPP programs?

What are the challenges of critical infrastructure? How can the PPP program accelerate infrastructure investment? Sample ongoing activities.

Top 12 Global 5G Cell Tower Companies of 2021 | TeckNexus

Top 12 – Global 5G Tower Companies

Who are the top global 5G Tower vendors? What are their current offerings? What is their support for small cells, DAS solutions? What are their strategies for accelerating 5G infrastructure?

Why is it so expensive to get access to cell sites - TeckNexus

Why is it so expensive to get access to cell sites?

What are the issues that are driving the cost of cell sites to Telecom/5G Service Providers? Get details on the related issues along with the solution. An article by Daniel Campion, CEO of Sitenna.

How will 5G DAS implementations differ from 4G/LTE DAS implementations - TeckNexus

How will 5G DAS and 4G/LTE DAS implementations differ?

How should decision-makers prepare for 5G DAS deployments? Where should mmWave and C-band be deployed? What do you expect to see on the carrier front with 5G? What components are needed?

How To Harness the Potential of 5G - TeckNexus

How To Harness the Potential of 5G? Network signal boosters?

Why is it taking so long to roll out 5G? What is the delay? What are the technical challenges that providers need to overcome? How network signal boosters can enhance 5G?

5G Cell Tower Types - TeckNexus

5G Cell Towers: An Introduction

What are 5G Cell Towers? What is 5G Cell Site? What are the different types of 5G Towers? What are the different components of 5G Cell Towers?

5G Cell Tower

How to select and upgrade to 5G Towers?

How to select and upgrade to 5G Towers? What are the criteria for cell coverage? What are the major challenges for deploying/upgrading a cell site?

5G Towers Backhaul Infrastructure

5G Towers Backhaul Infrastructure

What is 5G Tower Backhaul infrastructure? What is the role of fiber in backhaul infra? SWOT analysis of Fixed vs. Wireless Backhaul.

5G Perspective

5G Cells – What are Macro cells, Small Cells and DAS?

What is the difference between Macrocells and Small cells? What are Femto cells, Pico cells, and Micro cells? What is Distributed Antenna System (DAS) & how it works?

Featured Companies in 5G Magazines and Tech Talks

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5G Cell Tower, Marco Cells, Small Cells, and DAS Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a cell site?

The Cell-Site is used to identify the entire infrastructure (active and passive) be it antennas, buildings, telecom gears (comprising of the base station, Remote Radio Head), and power resources.

What are cell towers?

Cell towers are the poles or mast, on which antenna systems, RRH (Remote Radio Head) are installed. A cell tower can be shared by multiple wireless carriers, or a single wireless carrier can use it. Generally, the cell towers are taken on rent or lease by the wireless carrier to install the gears.

Read 5G Cell Towers: Introduction to get in-depth details on the cell towers.

What are the different types of cell towers?

Broadly the cell towers can be classified into four categories, specified below:

  • Monopole Towers
  • Guyed Towers
  • Lattice Towers
  • Stealth Towers

Read 5G Cell Towers: Introduction to get details on the above cell tower types.

What does 5G cell tower coverage depend on?

Some of the criteria on which the cell tower coverage depends include antenna height, antenna orientation, the frequency band used for transmission. To get the complete list of criteria for cell tower coverage read the “How to select and upgrade to 5G towers?” article.

What is macro cell?

Macro Cell typically provides coverage to a large geographic area. They are typically installed on rooftops, poles, and in some instances, on Ground-Based Towers. The major advantage of using Macrocell in 5G is that it can provide 5G services to a large geographic area. 5G macro cells also use Massive MIMO technology, which allows large transmission and reception of data.

To get more details on macrocells and the difference between macro cells and small cells – read “5G Cells – What are macro cells, small cells, and DAS?” article.

What is small cell?

Small Cell is used to deploy legacy technologies like 3G and 4G and would play a more important role in 5G deployment. It empowers wireless carriers to deploy cell sites in strategic locations and offer higher capacities in the small coverage area.

To get more details on small cells and the difference between macrocells and small cells – read “5G Cells – What are macrocells, small cells, and DAS?” article.

What are femto cells?

Femto cells are small mobile base stations that are used to extend coverage in residential or small office complexes. They are used in areas with network congestion, and it acts to offload a Macro Cell. It can also serve to provide in-building coverage.

To get more details on femtocell and the difference between micro cell, pico cell, and femto cell – read “5G Cells – What are macro cells, small cells, and DAS?” article.

What are pico cells?

Pico Cells are small cellular base stations covering areas like buildings, hotels, hospitals, and shopping malls. They are generally used to extend coverage and increase throughput.

To get more details on picocell and the difference between micro cell, pico cell, and femto cell – read “5G Cells – What are macro cells, small cells, and DAS?” article.

What are micro cells?

Microcells are generally a bit bigger in comparison to Pico and Femto Cells. They can support more no of connected users and cover a greater geographic area. They are mostly used for enterprise premises.

To get more details on microcell and the difference between micro cell, pico cell, and femto cell – read “5G Cells – What are macro cells, small cells, and DAS?” article.

What is Distributed Antenna System (DAS)?

DAS is a network of antennas that are connected to a common RF source and then distributed to a customer premise. They are generally used in large sporting stadiums or events where there is high densification of cellular networks.

Who are the top 3 cell tower infrastructure companies globally?

China Towers with 1.2 million communications towers is the global leader in terms of the total number of towers owned by the company. They are the primary infrastructure supplier to three major China National Carriers, China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom, and is spread across 31 provinces in China. 

American Tower Company with 214,000 communications sites including 43,000 properties in the United States and Canada and more than 171,000 properties internationally is the leader in the Americas. They are a global company with infrastructure across the United States, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Spain, and Uganda. 

Indus Towers (formed by the merger of Bharti Infratel Limited and Indus Towers) with 183,462 towers and 332,551 colocations (as of 30th September 2021) has a nationwide presence in India covering all 22 telecom circles. Indus’ leading customers are Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea Limited, and Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, the leading wireless telecommunications service providers in India by revenue.

Read “Top 12 – global 5G cell tower companies of 2021” to get info on additional leading global Tower companies globally.

What are drivers and challenges of tower companies?

Upshoot of no of towers in the business landscape will be stimulated by 

  • Exponential Data growth
  • Upgrade of technologies from 3G to 4G and subsequently to 5G
  • New Customer segments generated by Government initiatives.
  • Growing subscriber base.

However, there is also a risk in this landscape. Although there is much fanfare about the changes 5G will bring to both economy and society by the variety of use cases, there is not too much headwind available how that will benefit in a linear fashion with the operator revenues. It is agreed that 5G will open up new avenues for revenue streams, but the market data shows a subsequent decline in ARPU (Average Revenue per user). This will, in turn, affect the tower companies too. The major risk for them are: 

  • Consolidation happening in Operator Business
  • Wireless carriers now opting for shared infrastructure
  • Spectrum Sharing between different wireless carriers
  • New Alternate technologies like WiFi hot spots
Are there startups offering new solutions to address the tower challenges?

Startups like Sitenna are now helping tower companies to find space where they can install new towers. Daniel Campion and Brian Sexton, founders of Sitenna, saw a huge opportunity in mitigating the problems of tower companies. It has built an ecosystem where property owners can validate if their available real estate is suitable for tower construction. There is subsequent digitization involved in securing contracts and signing deals. It essentially creates a marketplace for landowners, tower companies, and wireless carriers. 

The company has kicked off its pilot with Vodafone and its Tower partner Cornerstone and has plans to foray into the US market soon. 

What is the way forward for tower companies?

One of the major expenditures for Tower Companies is power provisioning at the cell towers. It is mostly based on electricity in urban areas, but in rural areas they are highly dependent on diesel. With rising awareness of clean environments, there has been a continuous focus from Tower companies to implement greener power like Solar Panels. 

What is the 5G radiation myth?

As 5G has gained momentum in 2020 and 2021, activists have raised concerns over the radiation from 5G. Their fears were mainly that 5G radiation causes cancer, and it induces weakness that cripples the body’s immune system, leading to Covid-19. 

But scientific studies have explained and demonstrated that these are wrong perceptions and fears are overblown and exaggerated. 

                                     Radiation from Cell Towers ≠ Radioactivity 

To understand the above statement, it is imperative to know how Telecom transmission works. According to some research, 5G will have lesser risk than existing standards like 4G. The reason being 5G will have a dense network which will mean less radiated power, and also it will use beamforming to target specific users using directed beams. 

The statement that is doing rounds that 5G radiation transmits Covid-19 has been put as utterly bogus and baseless. 


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