HOUSTON (Covering Katy News) - Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr came to Houston Monday to see that the infrastructure that will ultimately help enable 5G cellular service across Houston, including major hospital systems and education institutions. 5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology that is the fastest, that the world has seen to date.

It was just one year ago that the first 5G customer began receiving service but much more needs to be done to make the technology widely available.

Fiber Optic Cable

Fiber optic cable on two large spools is being laid to support the Houston area's transition to 5G cellular service. 

"That means quicker downloads, outstanding network reliability and a spectacular impact on how we live, work and play," according to Verizon Wireless. "The connectivity benefits of 5G will make businesses more efficient and give consumers access to more information faster than ever before. 

Crown Castle, the nation’s largest provider of shared communications infrastructure provided the tour of one of their fiber optic and small cell sites to Commissioner Carr.

"It's not just about faster phones. It's about a whole new wave of technology that will be supported by 5G," Carr said.

Super-connected autonomous cars will use the technology. There will also be smart communitiesindustrial applicatons, and immersive educational applications that will rely on 5G.

Small cell sites are lower-power than the big towers that are sometimes unpopular due to their looks.  Small cell sites that are installed every few blocks, instead of miles apart and are better looking. They consist of small radio equipment and antennas about the size of a pizza box that can be placed on structures such as streetlights, the sides of buildings or poles.

Small Cell site

This is a small cell site that is low power and attached to a utility pole. 

"Crown Castle’s fiber and small cell construction will not only prepare the Houston area for 5G services, but in the process it is creating 410 jobs annually for women and minority-owned businesses," the company said in a statement released to the media. 

"Houston is a major city and a driver of innovation in this country. It's very important that we have 5G technology here," said Mike Kavanagh, Senior Vice President, Sales and Chief Commercial Officer, Crown Castle

By the end of the year, Crown Castle will have approximately 1,700 small cell nodes on-air. They also expect to have built 1,900 linear miles of fiber optic cable in the Greater Houston area.

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