Crown Castle became involved with San Diego when the city needed a solution that could complement its traditional macro wireless infrastructure and address topography and zoning challenges.

Wireless service providers (WSPs) needed infrastructure in order to expand their wireless coverage in the area, increase the quality of calls made over their networks, an offer more wireless data services to their customers. Due to the extremely varied topography of the city and surrounding area—coastlines, snowcapped mountains, forests, deserts, valleys—traditional wireless infrastructure was not a viable option to support WSP growth.


  • Large and growing population with seasonal fluctuations
  • Increased demand for improved wireless service
  • Growing technology business sector that relied on high-quality wireless coverage
  • Variety of topographies that created wireless coverage challenges
  • Crown Castle deployed its new small cell solutions (SCS) in locations that address the radio frequency (RF) challenges presented by San Diego’s diverse topography. SCS nodes typically are placed on existing utility poles, street signs, and other locations in the public right-of-way. Crown Castle provides a neutral host solution that meets the community’s requirements.

The benefits of the Crown Castle SCS network are:

  • Supports current and future wireless voice and data services from WSPs
  • Serves multiple WSPs on a single system
  • Minimizes future construction by using advanced fiber-optic technology
  • Utilizes low-power, low-profile, unobtrusive equipment

Today, Crown Castle has a fiber network throughout the San Diego metropolitan area that can be used to serve macrocell sites and SCS nodes, stretching north to Del Mar, east to El Cajon, and south to Imperial Beach, as illustrated in the blue areas of the map at right. This extensive intracity network is within a few blocks of most of the metropolitan-area population and is ready for the addition of more SCS locations as mobile smartphone data traffic increases.

Download a PDF of this project.