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Big Four Carriers Think Small When Providing Wireless

The use of smaller and smaller cells is becoming increasingly important to AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-mobile and Sprint

LOS ANGELES�In the virtual pages of Digital Radio Update we cover advances in cellular telephone technology not only because it facilitates the use of smartphones and streaming media, but also because ultimately it has the potential to supplant over-the-air broadcast radio (and TV).� Those involved in the broadcast industry need to keep abreast of this technology.�

The use of smaller and smaller cells is becoming increasingly important to the big four carriers (AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-mobile and Sprint).�

With the NFL�s ultimate game just over a month away, San Francisco’s Super Bowl City on the waterfront will bring an estimated one million visitors carrying an estimated one million cellphones, according �Of course that�s in addition to all the cellphones on the Verizon network that already operate in San Francisco.�

Verizon Wireless is a sponsor of the Big Game, and they�ve been working to accommodate all the additional users ready to flock in to town next month. Atop hundreds of San Francisco’s street lights (400, in all) VZW has built small cells � tiny radios that will triple the network’s capacity, and will remain after the Big game is over. (The topic was previouslycoveredin the pages of DRU.)

It�s also important to note that the big 4 are not the only ones working on wireless access.

As wepreviously coveredin DRU, New York City is busy developing Wi-Fi access points at kiosks that previously housed public phone booths.�LinkNYC access points are designed to work at gigabit-per-second speeds, though the bandwidth will be shared by all users that happen to be connected at any given time.

Installation began in mid-December on LinkNYC�s first public access points at 15th Street and 3rd Avenue, near Union Square, according�

The Wi-Fi access will be free, and the City plans to sell advertising on the sides of the kiosks, projecting that the revenue from advertising will exceed the cost of deploying the Wi-Fi hot spots. LinkNYC is a for-profit venture of CityBridge, a consortium of four companies that signed a 12-year, $200 million contract with the city. The four CityBridge partners are Wi-Fi chipmaker Qualcomm; Titan, which is an outdoor advertising company; Comark, which is building the kiosks; and Control Group, which is managing the project.� Each partner reportedly owns around 25% of the enterprise.