Cell providers are getting more and more clever all the time when it comes to disguising their towers. You've probably driven by this 5G Micro-Cell on 1st Street in Grand Junction, Colorado a thousand times and didn't know it.

You've seen towers disguised as trees, flagpoles, church steeples, and now streetlights. Keep an eye out for this one the next time you're cruising 1st Street.

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Microcell Tower Well Hiden in Grand Junction Colorado

I never would have noticed this. The only reason I know about it is the engineer at our studio spotted it the other day. He has an eye for such things. For the rest of us, it looks pretty much like a street lamp.

You'll spot this unit on the northwest corner of 1st Street and Independent Avenue in Grand Junction right next to the Grand View Apartments.

Grand Junction Colorado 5G Microcell 1st Street Independent C
Waylon Jordan

Why Structures Such As This?

According to 5gradar.com, "5G will require operators to densify their networks in areas where tall towers aren’t an option. Microinfrastructure is the answer." The site adds, " 5G towers take up a significant amount of space...the height of the mast would be unsightly and would likely fall foul of local planning laws." The solution for areas such as ours? One solution is to consider compact antennas that are deployed alongside traditional macro infrastructure.

Please Welcome the Microcell

Microcells are great. They don't use up much space, and they can be attached to a wide variety of things, as in this case, lampposts. The site 5gradar.com states, "Mobile operators can then provide additional capacity to cover a large number of users in a crowded area – such as a public square, shopping center or football stadium."

Why Would One of These Be at 1st Street and Independent?

Units such as this can have a range of 2 kilometers, but, if the microcell is using a high range spectra such as millimeter-wave, buildings and other objects could block the signal. In addition to that, the number of users might exceed the capacity of the microcell. The solution to this? Providers will need to deploy multiple microcells in the desired coverage area.

Living in the Modern World

If you're like me, you're probably at the point where you're keeping an eye out for these things no matter where you go. After spotting the tower at Home Depot in Grand Junction cleverly disguised as a tree, I've been keeping a sharp eye out for other brilliantly disguised towers.

Win, Win, Win Situation... Maybe

From my point of view, this is a potential win for everyone. If I'm thinking at all correctly:

  • Users get better coverage
  • Providers get great locations where power is already available
  • The City of Grand Junction gets a streetlamp

When I was growing up in Grand Junction, we used to entertain ourselves by watching for Volkswagen Bugs and out-of-state license plates. The world has changed. Now we try to be the first to spot camouflaged 5G towers.

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