How does this
affect me?

This affects you if you rely on cell phones to connect with your family, friends, or work. 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.

All Tucson residents benefit from improved Verizon Wireless service, even non-Verizon Wireless customers. First, the small cell network will relieve congestion on the Verizon Wireless network serving Tucson by providing additional capacity to address demands for service. This added capacity improves Verizon Wireless’s network for all of Tucson by off-loading calls and data demands from existing facilities. Second, these enhancements will improve network service for Tucson first responders. Finally, should another wireless carrier’s network fail, the Verizon Wireless network is available to all users for emergency calls and text messages.

At home, the Verizon Wireless Network is leveraged for more than staying connected with friends and family or entertainment online. The Network supports work from home, remote learning, home security monitoring, connectivity for home health monitoring devices or even tracking a lost pet.

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.

We regularly collaborate with the City of Tucson and residents on the unique needs of neighborhoods throughout the city.


Health and Safety information


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in consultation with multiple federal agencies, sets federal government safety standards regarding small cells. Those standards have wide safety margins and are designed to protect everyone, including children, and 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.

Scientists have studied potential health effects of radio frequency (RF) emissions from cell phones for decades. 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.

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

More information is available here:

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

CTIA:  Information by CTIA on protecting health and safety.

CNET:  FCC says there’s no evidence 5G is a health risk.

New York Times:  The 5G Health Hazard That Isn’t

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. Small cells are part of Verizon’s network strategy to provide reliable service and keep up with this booming demand for wireless data. Small cell networks add capacity in small specific areas to improve in-building coverage, voice quality, reliability, and data speeds for local residents, businesses, first responders and visitors using the Verizon Wireless network.

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. The coverage area can range from a few hundred feet to upwards of 1,000 ft. depending on topography, capacity needs, and more. 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.  

Are small cell applications reviewed by the City?

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

Will Verizon provide notice to residents?

Per the City of Tucson small cell permitting process, Verizon must provide notice to property owners near the proposed small cell installation.

Will these decrease my property values?

National studies demonstrate that most homebuyers value good cell service over many other factors including the proximity of schools when purchasing a home. In fact, according to a May 2021 study in partnership with the Morning Consult, 90 percent of homebuyers prioritize fast reliable home internet and good cellular service when looking for a home. And nearly eight-in-10 homebuyers say 5G home internet makes a home more valuable.

 Why do you place these in residential neighborhoods?

To meet customer needs and expectations, wireless providers need the ability to expand and enhance their networks where users live, work, travel and play. We take great care when selecting residential locations and strive to be an asset to the community by providing enhanced wireless connectivity.

 Why are you placing a new pole versus using existing infrastructure?

Using existing structures is considered first. If that is not possible, then we look to adding a new small wireless facility. We then pick a location that has the highest likelihood of meeting technical needs and works within the community.


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