Cell phone 'dead zones' could be thing of the past in San Antonio

Cell phone dead zones could be eliminated

SAN ANTONIO -- Cell phone service is good in San Antonio, but there are still a lot of spots where it's not.

A company says they can fix that, not with cell towers, but by installing small gadgets on light and utility poles around the city. They're aiming to solve possibly the biggest "first world problem" of mankind.

"People demand more on their cell phones and their apps in everyday life as kind of a currency, the table stakes to be able to interact in society today," said Kevin Goodwin, the assistant information services director of the City of San Antonio.

Mobilitie, LLC, with corporate headquarters in Newport Beach, California, is looking to fill in the gaps where wireless coverage is poor to nonexistent inside the Alamo City.

"Provide infrastructure capacity for multiple cell phone carriers to be able to expand in an area and lease infrastructure rather than having to buy it," Goodwin said.

On Thursday morning, San Antonio City Council approved a new ordinance to allow the company Mobilite to install gadgets on existing poles.

"It's an issue that's not just important to our city, but one that's nationwide," said Councilman Ron Nirenberg of District 8.

They look like cameras, but they're not. They simply boost coverage.

"The specific agreement we have in place right now is for either city light poles, to install their own poles in city right-of-way or to use CPS electricity poles based on working with CPS, City Public Service," Goodwin said.

The goal is to knock out dead spots in San Antonio. So, gone could be the days of dropped calls or connection problems when surfing the web.

For better coverage, the wireless carriers will need to enter into a lease with Mobilitie.

"This agreement, however, is patterned after an agreement that we entered directly into with Verizon about one year ago," Goodwin said. "So it's not totally new for the city. It's totally new to work with infrastructure providers as opposed to dedicated carriers."

In the next steps, Goodwin says Mobilitie will begin their permitting and installation process.

For more information on Mobilitie, you can visit their official website here.

(© 2016 KENS)


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