What are Small Cells?

Small cells are small radio antenna equipment installed on streetlights, rooftops, and other locations as a primary way to deliver 5G (Fifth Generation) mobile technology. Other equipment, such as an electric meter, may also be placed on the pole or a on a nearby pedestal. They are always connected to a fiber network.

Small cell facilities will help wireless service providers in meeting the continuously increasing demand for wireless services.  The increased use of smart phones, tablets, health monitors and other wireless devices in every-day life relies on a robust wireless network to maintain fast, reliable speeds.  A small cell network will add capacity and improve in-building coverage in San Mateo neighborhoods. Also, small cell networks will improve voice quality, reliability and data speeds for San Mateo residents, businesses, first responders and visitors using the wireless networks.

Show All Answers

1. What are Small Cells?
2. What is Public Right-of-Way?
3. Can the City prohibit the installation of Small Cell facilities?
4. Who regulates limits for radio frequency (RF) emissions?
5. How can I get more information about my health concerns?
6. Do Small Cell facilities require City permits?
7. Does the City’s permit review address the design of Small Cells?
8. Can I appeal an approved Small Cell permit?
9. What Environmental Review are Small Cell facilities subject to?
10. Who owns the poles or wires and who can attach equipment?
11. Can multiple carriers install Small Cells on the same pole?
12. How long does construction take for a Small Cell facility?
13. Do other cities have Small Cell facilities installed?
14. Can the City impose a moratorium or prohibit small cells in residential or school zones?
15. How is it that other cities have prohibited Small Cells near residences?
16. Is there a conflict of interest since the City receives money from all the cell companies?