Project Overview

The largest city in North Carolina, Charlotte is the third fastest-growing city in America. With that growth comes opportunities—and challenges. As more people crowd onto the existing wireless networks, it has become necessary to supplement the city’s existing wireless infrastructure with new network solutions.

To give the residents of Charlotte access to the latest in wireless technology, we are proposing a new small cell solutions (SCS) network. SCS has become the new standard of wireless technology in other top-tier cities around the country. An SCS network consists of small, discreet nodes connected by fiber optic cable. This is an ideal solution for a diverse city like Charlotte that needs the improved capacity and bandwidth that such a network provides. Currently, small cell networks are operating in some areas of Charlotte but more are required to satisfy the high level of demand by residents, businesses and visitors.

As a Competing Local Provider (CLP) of telecommunications services certificated by the State of North Carolina, we are able to access the public right of way and to place its equipment on utility structures like distribution and streetlight poles. We’ve been working with Duke Energy and the city to introduce a modified streetlight pole design to accommodate small cells. This innovative and collaborative approach helps provide an equipment installation which blends in with the streetscape. Chances are, you’ve already walked or driven by a small cell node and didn’t even realize it.

We embrace a shared model to accommodate multiple wireless carriers on our fiber-fed network. This allows us to maximize coverage and capacity with the least amount of infrastructure possible.

As this effort continues, we will coordinate with the Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) on our projects across the city — perhaps even in a neighborhood like yours.

The challenges we're solving

We have over 15 years of experience implementing SCS in communities, including dense urban centers and residential neighborhoods. SCS provides many unique benefits, including:

  • With the increased use of data-hungry apps and video, the SCS network will add much-needed capacity and relieve the congestion and strain put on existing towers in the area.
  • When the population surges during large events, SCS has been proven to be able to provide reliable speed and connectivity.
  • Our CLP status and shared model enable new approaches to maximizing coverage and/or capacity while in most cases minimizing the need for new infrastructure.
  • By installing our equipment on utility and streetlight poles (where possible) in the public right of way, Crown Castle can deliver improved wireless coverage in an unobtrusive way.
Birkdale decorative pole

Blakeney slim line pole

Carmel Commons wooden street light pole

Charlotte Uptown decorative pole

Charlotte Uptown dual use Duke street light pole

Charlotte Uptown wooden street light pole

Huntersville metal slim line pedestrian light

Kings Grant slim line pole

Quail Hollow wooden street light pole

Westinghouse slim line pole

Proposed sites

The map(s) below indicate proposed locations throughout the City where equipment will be installed on poles within the public right of way.  These locations are selected to improve network capacity and performance in heavily travelled corridors, and/or busy residential and commercial areas.

Birkdale

Blakeney

Carmel Commons

Charlotte Uptown

Huntersville

Kings Grant

Quail Hollow

Rea Road(Piper Glen)

Southpark

UNCC

Westinghouse

Crown Castle enables the necessary daily mobile connection that communities require. We work closely with our wireless carrier customers to determine which areas require network enhancements. Our improvements support the essential services that people rely on to conduct business, access public safety and emergency services, and live their daily lives.

Should I be worried about radio frequency emissions?

It’s a common concern. And it’s understandable. But even if you’re right next to a tower or node, cellular RF (radio frequency) output is significantly lower than what FCC guidelines permit. And at ground level, the RF levels are not significantly different from background signals in urban areas from things like TV and radio signals. For these reasons, most scientists agree that there are no adverse health effects from cellular signals.

To read more, visit the following links:

  • American Cancer Society 
    A summary of American Cancer Society studies that have shown no link between cellular RF signals and cancer.
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
    For more information on exposure guidelines and RF safety, click here.
  • International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)
    ICNIRP is composed of independent scientists from around the world with expertise in a wide variety of disciplines that study the possible adverse effects of RF exposure on human health and recommend safety standards.
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
    As part of its charter to protect public health, and in response to public concern, the World Health Organization established the International EMF (Electromagnetic fields) Project in 1996 to assess the scientific evidence of possible health effects of EMF in the frequency range from 0 to 300 GHz.

Questions?

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