Fiber-to-tower provider LS Networks this week said it’s ready to facilitate small cell rollouts and 5G connectivity with its network of towers across the Northwest.
The company said it started its buildout initiative back in 2012 with 15 towers, and has now expanded its footprint to provide fiber access to more than 500 towers in Oregon and Washington State. LS noted it plans to extend its network into northern California later this year.
LS indicated its high-count fiber assets are ideally positioned to serve carrier small cell builds and provide 5G connectivity to rural areas in the region.
“We are proud to serve towers in some of the most remote areas in the Northwest,” Bryan Adams, director of Sales and Marketing at LS Networks, commented. “Our goal is to provide unbeatable value for carriers needing fiber connectivity in the Northwest. We’ll continue to expand our network coverage as we build fiber to the tower and prepare the region for the next wave of 5G technology.”
Of course, the Northwest is the home turf of at least one major U.S. wireless carrier: T-Mobile. The Un-carrier recently revealed it launched 1,000 small cells just a bit farther south, in Los Angeles, and has a pipeline to add 25,000 more small cells across the country in the coming years. And T-Mobile has been open about its plans to use dark fiber – that is, privately owned fiber like that provided by LS Networks – to make its small cell deployment costs more manageable.
But LS Networks’ announcement comes as carriers across the board are ramping up small cell deployments. Small cell shipments were up 43 percent last year, according to a report from IHS Markit. Looking ahead, SNS Research estimated global spending on small cells will hit more than $3 billion by the close of this year. That figure is expected to grow to $4.3 billion in annual investments by 2020, SNS added.
Filed Under: Infrastructure, Wireless