/New Year, New Wireless Connections

New Year, New Wireless Connections

Strong networks are vital during the biggest events of 2019.

Descending on the City of Pasadena, California during this year’s Rose Parade: more than 700,000 people.

Descending on the City of Atlanta, Georgia during Super Bowl LIII: more than 200,000 people.

Descending upon the City of New Orleans, Louisiana during Mardi Gras: more than 1 million people.

As cities welcome the first quarter of the New Year, large crowds of people will gather at some of the nation’s biggest events. This influx of visitors boosts local economies through increased lodging, shopping and dining.

While city officials plan for the New Year, it’s important to install and maintain a reliable wireless network to ensure public safety officials, businesses, healthcare providers, transportation sectors and consumers have the connections they need for a safe and smooth communications experience.

Last year’s annual Rose Parade generated approximately $300 million in economic impact to the City of Pasadena. Parade attendees may have noticed full bars on their mobile device but are not able to make a call or send a text because of a congested network. An increase in wireless infrastructure installations like small cells and towers relieves the strain on the existing network and provides for seamless connectivity and enhances the visitor experience.

As the city’s population inflates on parade day, first responders receive twice the number of calls than on average and rely on a strong wireless network to quickly assist in an emergency. Enhanced 911 technologies that provide dispatchers the location of a cell phone that made a 911 call are required by federal law. But weak wireless networks only offer accuracy to within a fifth of a mile, not nearly good enough for first responders. Contrast that with strong wireless networks, which can be accurate to within 150 feet.

Last year, the Federal Communications Commission approved a landmark order that will help wireless infrastructure providers meet the rapidly growing demand for wireless data and support the rollout of 5G technology. Effective on January 14, 2019, the Streamlining Deployment of Next Generation Wireless Infrastructure Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order limits what municipalities can charge for each small cell placed in the public right of way and sets time limits for processing these permits. This landmark decision will help wireless carriers work with municipalities to ensure robust wireless networks are in place to meet our demand for wireless connectivity.

Today’s wireless infrastructure is not ready to meet tomorrow’s needs. As we move into 2019, cities need to make a resolution to provide the connectivity that will help their communities thrive.