Small Cells Rise with Partnerships, Master Use Agreements
- March 9, 2016
By Ernest Worthman
Issues of site acquisition, backhaul and power have been major speedbumps to large-scale small cell deployments, but it looks like 2016 may see significant progress on those vectors. If so, 2016 will certainly be a year to watch in the small cell landscape.
There are a number of factors contributing to getting small cell networks up and running. Notable mentions include:
- In Verizon Wireless’ San Francisco deployment last year, for example, about 300 of the 400 nodes were built and run by infrastructure provider ExteNet Systems on behalf of Verizon, while the other 100 were Verizon’s own. Verizon, on the heels of the S.F. deployment has signed a national, multi-year contract with street furniture company JCDecaux, which it utilized for the San Francisco deployment.
- JCDecaux claims more than 9,000 outdoor street furniture assets in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco and has also worked with Vodafone on small cell deployments in Europe.
- Fixed wireless provider Towerstream has set up partnerships with land and building owners for small cell siting, Towerstream recently announced a partnership with Syscom to co-market backhaul, small cell and Wi-Fi offerings. The deal leverages the Syscom agreement with outdoor media company Kinetic, which owns tens of thousands of infrastructure assets, including digital billboards, to bring connectivity to those sites for multiple uses.
Attachment locations are one of the key success factors and making deals with utilities or municipalities to attach to a single type of structure, such as street lights, makes more sense than dealing with many private building owners – who often expect to see lease rates from small cell antennas that are comparable to macro sites.