Small Cells, Big Connectivity | Black & Veatch

Small Cells, Big Connectivity

Major wireless carriers and infrastructure providers are scaling small cells for 4G and 5G densification.

Small Cells, Big Connectivity

Project Name
Small Cell Deployment
Multiple Regions Across the United States
Major wireless carriers and infrastructure providers

Major wireless carriers and infrastructure providers are deploying small cells to meet the demand for faster delivery of more data and video. Most of the time, hundreds to thousands of nodes are deployed at once, in addition to a fiber backhaul network, to achieve desired coverage, capacity, and signal propagation. These programs are complex and can involve hundreds of staff, high-volumes of materials, and many concurrent deployment sites across the country. To scale small cells successfully, wireless carriers and infrastructure providers benefit from a distributed infrastructure deployment model that emphasizes:

  • Data-driven tools for efficient evaluation of numerous sites
  • Easy data sharing with utilities, municipalities, and permitting agencies
  • Flexible deployment teams to handle fluctuations without costly impacts
  • Dedicated national resources to ensure effective, expert coordination

From coast to coast, Black & Veatch deploys small cell networks with the speed and scale that establishes faster market presence and return on investment. Working with major wireless carriers and infrastructure providers, Black & Veatch provides end-to-end deployment services including pre-design feasibility studies, radio frequency surveys, design engineering, site acquisition services (including site evaluation, permitting, and zoning), materials warehousing, node construction, and network testing.

macro and small cell site audits
conducted over the last 10 years
0 +
small cells deployed
1- 0
average project months saved
through innovation and optimization approaches

A National Team for Dedicated Service

Wireless carriers and infrastructure providers deploy small cells across the country, often in numerous locations at the same time. To better serve our clients, Black & Veatch formed a multidisciplinary Municipal Relations Team to study how to make nationwide deployments easier. The purpose of this team is to foster stronger partnerships with municipalities, and to build a more efficient permitting process to reduce turnaround times and costs, as well as improve client service.

This expertise means municipalities get the support they need. While deploying small cells for a global wireless carrier in Missouri, Black & Veatch’s process and performance helped the jurisdiction identify key synergies that led to an amended permitting process and reduced cycle time. And in Kansas, a municipality that we had worked with before said they were happy to see Black & Veatch on the small cell team because we were experienced and process-oriented, which made their job easier.

Data Driven Tools Power Efficiency

A critical part of small cell deployment is site selection, which can involve thousands of candidate sites. Black & Veatch streamlined the site acquisition process for our clients by evolving to use data-driven tools and artificial intelligence. Our cloud-based tools reduce the required number of site walks, saving weeks of work. They also capture, organize, and share data with permitting agencies, clients, and utilities which generates submittals faster. Through our shareable desk-top mapping tools, clients visualize pole locations and characteristics across their expansive project areas, making it easier to select sites and plan deployment.

Experience Yields an Optimal Approach

Leaning on 10+ years of experience in macro and small cell deployment, we continually innovate as we go. As a fluid process, our deployment approach has evolved to include catalogues of pole types, conduit stealthing options, and street-side photo simulations to help clients envision and select the most appropriate technologies. While a simple tool, Black & Veatch observes that this catalogue speeds up the design process.

While we can accommodate the full range of small cell design options, Black & Veatch provides clients with the most economically viable solution with their budgets in mind. Our process is optimized to consider pole location, fiber, power and RF, which can drastically alter costs. On a recent project in Colorado, Black & Veatch took over small cell deployment from another company that recommended several sites without a nearby power source. Black & Veatch identified and suggested new sites near power sources. By avoiding boring costs to bring power to the sites, the client saved tens of thousands of dollars.

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