Baltimore City looks to 'small cell' systems to improve wireless coverage - Baltimore


Jun. 2, 2015 8:01 am

Baltimore City looks to ‘small cell’ systems to improve wireless coverage

The City is proposing a franchise agreement with ExteNet Systems, which would install antennae on the top of light poles.
A rendering of ExteNet’s antenna on a light pole.

A rendering of ExteNet's antenna on a light pole.

(Image courtesy of Baltimore City)

Baltimore City is proposing to allow a company to install antennas that would make cellphone coverage better in weak areas.

According to a public notice, a proposed City Council bill would authorize a franchise agreement with ExteNet Systems to install the devices, known as “distributed antenna systems,” on telephone poles around the city.

ExteNet, which is based in Chicagoland, makes the “small cell” antenna systems specifically to help improve cellphone coverage. Increasingly, the company is looking to cities that are eager to flesh out cellphone networks as consumers use more data. The systems have also been used in sports stadiums.

The antennae will most often be located on top of light poles, with a control box attached.

“These will be located in areas where the existing wireless or cellular systems do not provide enough capacity to serve customers’ needs, or the quality of reception needed,” the notice from the city states.

The city scheduled a public hearing on the proposal for Wednesday, June 3 at 6 p.m. on the 8th floor of the Benton Building (417 E. Fayette St.).


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