Transmission Facilities Coordination Group

What Are Strand-Mounted Antennas?

Cellular providers have for many years been applying for permits to install “small cell” antennas on utility poles, light poles, and roof tops throughout the County. As wireless technologies evolve—and in light of the County’s zoning requirements and aesthetic concerns—the County is now seeing more applications for so-called “strand-mounted” small cells.

Strand refers to the metal strand between utility poles. As the name implies, the strand-mounted small cells are mounted on the strand, typically close to a utility pole. To the casual observer, the strand mounted small cell may look similar to other infrastructure mounted on strands, including the cable companies’ fiber splice boxes and amplifiers.

Strand Mount Public Information Meeting Audio

Two examples of Strand-Mounted Small Cell Antennas that show the antennas, radios and equipment.
Photos used with permission of Crown Castle

General Information

  • Strand-Mounted small cells are attached to the metal strand between 2 utility poles.
  • Strand-Mounted small cells are similar in size to cable operator’s equipment that is placed on their aerial fiber throughout the County. The Cable operator’s install splice boxes, amplifiers and fiber nodes on their fiber.
  • A wireless telecom must first obtain permission from PEPCO or Verizon before submitting a Strand-Mounted small cell application to the County.
  • Strand-Mounted small cells increase network density, providing additional capacity to the surrounding area similar to other small cell sites deployed throughout the County.

Strand Mount Public Information Meeting