Pai, O’Reilly, and the telco lobbyists proclaim the new FCC rules will result in far more 5G small cells deployed. They are wrong, as any conscientious reporter could have discovered. The new rules by some estimates will move US$2 billion from the cities to the telco bottom lines. (I think that’s a high estimate but haven’t looked closely.)
Some cities have ridiculous rules that should be changed, but the industry has long proven they can almost always be dealt with. The primary result will be lower charges to the telcos. Most of the savings will go to shareholders rather than increased investment, per Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg.
I knew the promised construction boom was hogwash because the companies were telling Wall Street they would keep capital spending roughly flat. They won’t be spending much on more small cells. This was confirmed by CEO Jay Brown of Crown Castle, with the largest deployment of small cells in the U.S.
I wouldn’t look at that and assume that we’re going to see a material change in our 18 to 24 month deployment cycle. In fact, we don’t believe that will result.
Brown has 30,000 small cell sites deployed and 30,000 more contracted for. They are designed to serve two or three customers, but he’s having a hard time finding more than one in many places. Verizon and the other telcos have been cutting drastically the number of small cells they will need.