How does this
affect me?

This affects you if you rely on cell phones to connect with your family, friends, work, school or health care providers. It affects you if you use your cell phone during emergencies or just to look up directions or local businesses. This is your opportunity to get better wireless service for you and your neighbors.

90% of US households use wireless service. With this increase in demand from users at home and those who work from home comes the need for more facilities to meet the customer needs. Citizens need access to 911 and reverse 911 and wireless may be their only connection. (CTIA, June 2015)

The wireless future is here with small cells.

To stay ahead of demand, Verizon is deploying new technology, commonly referred to as small cells. A small cell network adds coverage, capacity, and increases connection speed so that more users can connect to reliable high-speed wireless service where they live, work and play. Small cells are part of a macro-micro cellular communication coverage umbrella enabling information flow between traditional cell sites and small cells. This architecture provides higher quality of service and increased capacity to a dedicated geographic location. Small cell architecture enhances the network for users in the selected geographic small cell area. The increased communication quality benefits customers during normal communication use and emergencies.

Small cells are a fraction of the size of traditional communication facilities, use a fraction of the power and serve a much smaller area than traditional cell sites. The reduced size allows the small cells to attach to existing utility poles and light standards.


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Small Cell Photos

Small Cells blend into a city’s landscape using existing infrastructure like utility poles or street lights, or new poles in the public right-of-way.

Improved Service

Today, reliable service and in-building coverage are essential to the everyday lives of New York City area residents, commuters and workers. Over the past year, the demand for Verizon Wireless voice and data services has nearly doubled, and network enhancements are required to keep up with this ever‐increasing demand.



Frequently Asked Questions

What is a small cell?

A small cell is just like the name implies. Small cells are short range mobile cell sites used to complement larger macro cells (or cell towers).  A small cell augments Verizon’s capacity in a given area. It consists of a radio, antenna, power and a fiber connection. Small cells enable the Verizon network team to strategically add capacity to high traffic areas.  Small cells can also be used to provide coverage in difficult to reach areas.

Why small cells?

Demand for wireless data services has grown 18 fold over the past 5 years.

How does it work?

A small cell uses small radios and antennas placed on various types of poles like utility poles, street lights, or new poles in the public right-of-way. This small focused footprint supports the latest technology-enabled devices, allowing more consumers to use the network for ever more data reliant applications such as health monitoring, location services, and enhanced social media services.  

Does this replace the need for macro cell sites?

For Verizon, small cells are part of a balanced approach to network coverage and capacity. Small cells compliment a macro cell network. As a network matures both small cells and macro cells are added where needed. Macro sites provide broad coverage, while small cells provide localized coverage in difficult to reach areas and localized capacity in areas of high demand.

Where will Verizon add small cells?

Verizon Wireless engineers design small cell networks to add needed capacity and coverage to meet rising demand.  As a result, small cell networks are designed for areas ranging from urban centers to residential neighborhoods.

Are small cell applications reviewed by the City?

Yes, Verizon Wireless must obtain permits to install small cells in accordance with the New York City permitting process and design guidelines.

Are small cells reviewed for compliance with FCC safety guidelines?

Yes. All small cells must comply with the same stringent standards under which macro communications sites are reviewed and regulated.

Are small cells safe?

Verizon’s small cells comply with applicable safety standards. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), sets safety standards for small cells. The FCC developed its standards in consultation with numerous other federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Those standards have wide safety margins and are designed to protect everyone, including children, and they were established after close examination of research that scientists in the US and around the world conducted for decades. The research continues to this day, and agencies continue to monitor it.

Based on all the research, federal agencies have concluded that equipment that complies with the safety standards poses no known health risks. And advisers to the World Health Organization have specifically concluded that the same goes for 5G equipment. In fact, the RF safety standards adopted by the FCC are even more conservative than the levels adopted by some international standards bodies.

What is “5G” technology?

We call this service 5G because it is the fifth generation of wireless communication technology. The first generation (1G) gave us cell phones with voice capability. The second generation (2G) gave us text and messaging. The third generation (3G) gave us smartphones and wireless access to the internet. And the fourth generation (4G) gave us video streaming and many other connected services and devices that we rely on and enjoy today. Verizon is building 5G to improve existing communications and to support innovative applications. 5G will enable self-driving cars, virtual and augmented reality, smart homes, smart buildings, and smart cities. 5G is at the heart of the Internet of Things.

How does 5G work?

Like the equipment used for earlier generations of wireless technology, 5G equipment uses radio waves, or radiofrequency (RF) energy. It’s the same type of energy that is all around us and that has been used safely for over 100 years. RF energy is used for radios, televisions, cordless phones, cell phones, WiFi routers, and garage door openers. The new 5G equipment includes “small cells,” which are low-powered radios attached to antennas. These small cells send and receive information from wireless devices using radio waves. The 5G small cells support both mobile and fixed broadband internet services to homes and businesses.

How is Verizon building the 5G network?

You may see us installing 5G small cells on poles and at other locations in your neighborhood. The 5G small cells sometimes are physically closer to users and
more numerous than the wireless equipment we’ve used in the past. That’s because the 5G radio waves that are capable of supporting very fast speeds and
low latency do not travel as far as the radio waves that 4G service uses. So to provide super fast 5G service, we have to use more small cells to cover the same
area as 4G service.

What makes 5G safe?

5G can operate in a wide range of spectrum, or radiofrequencies. All of the 5G equipment that operates in these various frequencies is subject to the same Federal Communications Commission (FCC) RF safety standards as the equipment used for other services, such as 3G and 4G. Those standards have wide safety margins and are designed to protect everyone, including children. And RF energy has been used safely for over 100 years.

FCC: The FCC provides information about the safety of RF emissions from cellular base stations on its website at:

FDA: The Food and Drug Administration’s Cell phone website.

EPA: The Environmental Protection Agency’s overview of cell phone safety: Cell phone safety.