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Technology advances at a rapid pace. To continue meeting today’s technological needs, telecommunication companies are proposing 5G, which can boost wireless signals by up to 10 times current speeds. 

However, with 5G comes hundreds if not thousands of new cell towers to support it. This has presented concerns within communities about health, but also about their impact to city skylines and property views. Thus, people are begging the question: how tall does a cell tower have to be to be effective? 

Traditional Tower Height

The answer depends on the type of tower. Traditional cell towers, typically stand-alone towers, and they can be between 50-400 feet. The tallest towers can give service up to a range of 40 miles. 

Another option in the past has been antennas, which are placed on rooftops or water towers to bounce transmissions from devices to the towers and are usually 2-6 feet tall. 

Height & Placement of 5G Towers

The newer cell sites needed for 5G are much smaller. That’s because the 5G radio wave frequency cannot travel as far or pass through structures. The new “small cells” showing up throughout cities and communities only effectively cover a mile or less. That means in order to support the 5G rollout, new cells will need to be placed every couple hundred feet with 20-30 foot towers scattered throughout. 

This is why neighborhoods and cities are discussing how to minimize any negative impacts these towers might have to our current landscapes. The good news is, these smaller towers don’t require as much power so they are essentially just a small box. Telecommunication companies are working with cell tower companies to find ways to “disguise” these small cells so they blend into the backdrop of urban areas. Most designs include attaching boxes to existing telephone poles, buildings and possibly even under manhole covers. 

Many business owners, real estate investors, and HOAs are being contacted about adding these new small cells to their property. While the size and visibility of the tower is one concern to consider, there are many other factors that should be weighed during the negotiation of a cell tower lease

If you’ve been approached about a cell tower lease or would like to know the value of your rooftop lease, contact us today for a free consultation.