Verizon boosts data capacity, improves coverage with small cell deployment in Pittsburgh

Verizon has deployed nearly 50 small cells in the Pittsburgh area. The deployment includes 15 cells in the Pittsburgh metro area. Crown Castle is handling the majority of the deployment with some assistance from ExteNet.

In an interview with FierceInstaller, Guy Costa, Chief Operations Officer for the city of Pittsburgh, said that while the small cells are being deployed mostly to boost data capacity, they will also improve coverage in some of the "concrete canyon" areas of Pittsburgh's central business district.

Costa said that he is not aware of a similar push yet from other wireless carriers.

Verizon is also working to boost coverage via conventional cell sites. A Verizon spokeswoman told FierceInstaller that it plans to have 25 macro cell sites in operation by the end of 2015. The carrier also has a distributed antenna system at PNC Park Stadium, the home venue of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Costa said that universities have been one venue for the small cell coverage, including Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham University and Carlow University. This effort occurred last summer, with a major push in Pittsburgh's central business district occurring this spring.

Verizon told FierceInstaller that small cells in the area "largely go unnoticed because Verizon Wireless uses existing infrastructure such as utility poles and light posts to house the units." Costa indicated that most of the small cells are on light poles.

The city is providing rights-of-way to the light poles and in return is getting a small portion of the revenues paid to Crown Castle as well as increased LED lighting.

For more:
- see this KDKA article

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