Atlanta is the location of one of the early Crown Castle DAS networks, and it continues to grow as mobile traffic increases and wireless service providers (WSP) are added. The system survived the 2008 tornado and provided vital communications to emergency personnel and residents when the weather caused widespread damage across downtown Atlanta.
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Crown Castle will construct the Distributed Antenna System (DAS) network within the Right-of-Way (ROW) areas. One of Crown Castle's subsidiaries is a licensed Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) in the state of California. This subsidiary is considered a “public utility” allowing it to install new poles and facilities in the ROW as needed. While cities and counties cannot prohibit a CLEC from entering any part of the ROW, Crown Castle seeks to work with local zoning authorities to strike a careful balance between the need for wireless communications and local land use planning considerations. Advantages of developing a system in the ROW include:
- By deploying in the ROW, DAS networks utilize already developed areas and avoid intrusions into more aesthetically sensitive areas or private property;
- Siting of DAS low-profile antenna nodes “on-the-street” allows for maximum in-building coverage while minimizing the size and power output of the antenna facility;
- By utilizing streetlights or utility poles in the ROW, the need for new structures in the community is minimized.
- Crown Castle DAS allows for collocation by multiple carriers, thereby reducing the number of of antennas in residential areas.
The DAS network will consist of a central hub location that links, via optical fiber, the system of strategically placed antennas, called nodes, which receive and transmit low-power RF signals to wireless devices. Nineteen nodes will be constructed within or on slim-line monopoles (generally streetlight poles). The remaining nodes will be mounted on existing wooden utility poles. The antenna arrays will generally be located 36 to 40 feet above the ground. In addition, each node will include a stealth, ground-mounted equipment cabinet containing the carrier's equipment.
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