U.S. carriers will likely have access to thousands of new 5G sites, and regulators in New York have authorized 10 infrastructure providers to install equipment on the city’s own traffic lights and streetlights. The agreement, with companies such as Crown Castle, ExteNet Systems, Transit Wireless and ZenFi Networks, also includes the option of installing 4G and 5G devices in bus booths, public toilets and kiosks for 10 years.
New York City officials say previous deals for 3G and 4G deployments have resulted in 6,000 pole towers installed.
The news comes as U.S. operators continue to wrangle with municipalities and co-founders across the country over the location of small stations.
Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, recently highlighted the issue as one of the key obstacles to the widespread deployment of 5G.
U.S. operators rely particularly on small stations for 5G deployments, which use mainly the millimeter-wave spectrum, which has a very limited coverage, although it can provide significant capacity.
CTIA, an industry group, had predicted that the number of small u.S. stations would surge to more than 800,000 by 2026 from about 86,000 by 2018 as operators increase the density of 5G networks.