July 2018

242 243 THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TOWER ERECTORS if integrated appropriately, can play a supplemen- tal role in enhancing safety and quality in the in- dustry as well as contribute to the vital economic, public safety and national security benefits asso- ciated with broadband network deployments in the United States. NATE member contractor firms are also play- ing an instrumental role in densifying networks through the deployment of “micro” Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) and small cells. DAS and small cell installations are critical in bol- stering network coverage to accommodate large volumes of data traffic in urban environ- ments, stadiums, airports, shopping malls and in other populated areas. For example, Minnesota-based NATE Member company, Vertical Limit Construction, recently completed the DAS testing work on U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. U.S. Bank Stadium is the new, state-of-the- art home of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and is slated to be the future host of both the Super Bowl and NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four. Due to the work of Vertical Limit Construction, attendees to the new stadium will be able to enjoy lightning speed data connectivity at the palm of their hands on game day. NATE member companies have also been involved in deploying DAS and Small Cell networks at other prominent American sports venues, airports and shopping centers around the United States. This work is paramount to ensure that in-building coverage and connectivity can handle both present and future data demands. According to the International Telecommunica- tion Union (ITU), it is widely anticipated that 5G (5th Generation) commercial networks will be in the marketplace by 2020. Wireless carriers like Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile are already in the process of planning 5G trials in the United States in order to pave the way for this technology. The ITU states that 5G networks will have a peak speed of 20 Gbps (billions of bits per second), or 20 times the peak speed specification of today’s 4G LTE networks, which stands at 1 Gps. To place this speed into perspective, this could result in a two-hour movie being downloaded in a matter of minutes. NATE member companies have developed and maintained every generation of communications networks and will help make 5G networks a reality in the future. The next time you utilize your smartphone to watch a YouTube video or stream a movie on Net- flix, remember that NATE is on the forefront of making these next generation technologies and modern day conveniences possible.