Marc Carlson is a Site Development Officer in the North Central Region
I was on a client’s roof last week and checked out the trim new base station their tenant had installed. The space was once crowded with heavy hulking boxes your could barely walk past. Now the site owner has space to spare!
I took the picture on the right of the new Clearwire base station installed on our client’s roof. It is about the size of a small file cabinet–a far cry from much of the standard 10 by 30 foot installations used by many of the wireless carriers today. The shrinking trend is growing—check out this blog entry on Alcatel-Lucent’s ultra-small lightRadio Cube technology.
This is good news for site owners. Experts estimate wireless traffic will increase by a factor of 30 by 2015, driven by huge demand from smart phone and tablets users. This explosive growth will continue to chew up wireless data capacity and the carriers will have to embrace further technology changes to survive. These changes mean opportunity for site owners.
The traditional equipment used today that takes up so much space and weigh thousands and thousands of pounds will disappear. Instead, you will be host to dozens or more small base stations like the Clearwire unit. And sites that didn’t have space for traditional equipment or that couldn’t take their weight, can now profitably lease space. As carriers race to meet demand, they will be looking for new places to install the new lighter, smaller, cheaper equipment. Shorter buildings, even light poles may become viable lease sites. You may have more options for increased revenue.
Keep watch on technology developments—there may be profitable opportunity to lease to more carriers in more places on your property.