How It Works
Ecosystem of Connectivity
Communications infrastructure—towers, small cells and fiber—work in concert to provide users with reliable service and together comprise an ecosystem of connectivity that powers our wireless devices.
5G / Small Cells
A small cell network consists of a series of small low-powered antennas, sometimes called nodes, that increase wireless network coverage and capacity. These nodes, connected via fiber, are typically deployed on existing infrastructure like streetlights, utility poles and traffic lights.
Small cells are often used to augment network coverage and to increase network capacity, which is why they are located in more dense, urban markets where demand is high and users are plentiful or in areas where cell towers are not optimal due to topographical constraints. To learn more about how small cells improve connectivity in your community, watch this video.
Towers are the most established type of communication infrastructure and continue to be the most reliable way to deliver critical wireless coverage—from voice and data signals to wireless broadband, TV, radio signals and more. Currently, towers are also being used as centralized hubs to communicate with remote networks of transmitters, monitors and other devices—giving them new importance for the future as internet of things (IoT) technologies advance.
Fiber cable, which is attached to most small cells, moves data and voice at the speed of light and has the capacity to literally connect communities that are continents apart. Fiber, along with small cells, serve as the foundation for 5G technology.
The connectivity that we enjoy today is made possible by the marriage of towers, small cells and fiber optic cable working together to form the wireless network that our devices run on. As the demand for data and technology increases and the shift toward a 5G future becomes increasingly necessary, we will need more communications infrastructure, specifically universal small cell deployment underpinned by a robust fiber foundation.
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