Under authority of a franchise granted by New York City’s Department of Information, Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), Crown Castle deployed neutral-host small cell solutions (SCS) on a large scale. This network enables wireless service providers (WSPs) to deliver enhanced wireless service to all five of the city’s densely populated boroughs.

As one of the country’s largest outdoor SCS deployments, the New York City SCS network has expanded to thousands of SCS nodes, enabling WSP coverage in the Bronx, Staten Island, and parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

Crown Castle’s original and expanding SCS network successfully addresses many of the radio frequency challenges presented by the boroughs’ dense urban environment. The SCS network enables WSPs to provide the enhanced wireless performance, capacity, and coverage demanded by the more than two million New Yorkers who live and work within the Crown Castle SCS network coverage area. 

Crown Castle obtained the necessary franchises in order to deploy SCS across the five boroughs and modified its equipment so that the deployment would satisfy guidelines established by DoITT. More than 200 Crown Castle employees and subcontractors—ranging from engineers and site planners to technicians and construction personnel—were employed to build the original 500-node SCS network and install more than 500 miles of fiber-optic cable throughout the city.

The Crown Castle teams worked tirelessly for months to meet an aggressive launch date established by the WSP. Originally, the SCS were part of a comprehensive new market launch for the WSP, not simply a network expansion or overlay to existing coverage. The SCS deployment was only part of the WSP’s launch; they also had to hire employees, open retail phone and service outlets, advertise to gain customers, prepare back-office operations, and more. Failure to meet the launch date was not an option. Crown Castle met the deadline, and the SCS went operational as planned.

The original network was designed anticipating 4G service. Crown Castle worked closely with the WSP to plan for the upgrade. The upgrade was accomplished by simply adding equipment at the nodes to support the new 4G base station and remote equipment. The carefully engineered fiber network accommodated the extra traffic load without any additional changes. Crown Castle’s metropolitan SCS network continues to expand, including expansions onto nearby Long Island and lower New York State.

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