Industry Rep on Hiding 5G: “concealment materials could impede C-band signals” and “this is becoming more common”

By B.N. Frank

American opposition to 5G deployment has been ongoing for years due to a variety of concerns and risks associated with its installation including reduced property value. Of course, industry folks are always happy to make suggestions on how to disguise infrastructure.  Now one is saying that you can’t hide 5G with just anything.

From RCR Wireless:

A hidden challenge of C-Band deployment: Legacy concealment infrastructure

By:RCR Wireless News and Raycap (Sponsored)

November 30, 2021

Mobile network operators are already planning and deploying new C-Band radios, ahead of the first wave of spectrum that will be cleared and available in December of this year. This new spectrum will play a critical role in filling the spectrum gap between millimeter wave and sub-6 GHz frequencies, according to Trey Nemeth, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Small Cell and R&D at Raycap. C-Band airwaves have better propagation and penetration characteristics than mmWave and can support wider bandwidths than existing lower cellular frequencies.

Raycap has unique insights on C-Band deployment, as a company that not only manufactures infrastructure products that connect, protect and conceal wireless tech, but is involved with the concealment deployment process all the way from advising on potential options early in the site acquisition process to providing photo-simulations or drawings that assist with local approvals, and then working directly with construction managers and installers after approval. Raycap is already seeing carriers prep for C-Band deployments that will incorporate new radios and antennas that will go on rooftops and existing macro tower sites, Nemeth says.

“These C-Band radios have very robust 5G functionality, and the carriers are really focused on this at the moment,” he adds.

Although C-Band is still considered midband spectrum, it’s a higher frequency than has been used in traditional cellular deployments, Nemeth notes. The introduction of new radios and spectrum means that Raycap must carefully assess and test the structural, thermal and material design of concealment products to make sure they support the specific characteristics of the band and the technology.

“These frequencies are very sensitive to what kind of concealment material is being used,” Nemeth says. Raycap has conducted testing that has shown older concealment materials that have a high glass content, such as fiberglass, degrade C-Band radio performance. Since operators are initially pursuing putting C-Band gear on existing sites so that they can deploy quickly, they and their site contractors need to be aware that they could run into issues where the existing concealment materials could impede C-Band signals.

“With the concealed sites, you really have to look at the concealment material,” Nemeth explains. “There have been concealed cell sites being built since the mid-1990s. We were involved in a lot of them. And so, there are tens of thousands of them out there, and as you go to deploy C-Band on one of these existing sites, step one is to look at what kind of concealment material was used originally during the construction, and is it compatible with the C-Band frequencies? If not, we have to look for ways to retrofit those.

“Even though these existing concealments may have worked fine for the lower frequencies, once you put these new, higher frequencies with 5G functionality, like C-Band has, you can run into some problems,” Nemeth says, going on to add, “We’re seeing this becoming more common.”

To address this issue, Raycap has a full line of C-Band compliant concealment materials, available in a full portfolio of form factors from radomes to rooftop screenwalls to even larger panels for use in clock or bell towers. Retrofitting is a more complex proposition than just adding a new radio on tower, Nemeth says, because it’s important to maintain the structural capacity of the site as well as to make sure that the new concealment material matches the aesthetic of the existing one while still being C-Band-friendly.

“Ultimately, it’s important to partner with an experienced concealment expert, with materials that are approved by the carriers, and really make sure that we’re ensuring proper site performance after installation,” Nemeth says.

The full video interview with Nemeth, in two parts, is available below. For more information about Raycap’s C-Band-compliant product portfolio, click here.


Also relevant to 5G signals in the C-Band, the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) and other aviation experts have been warning for years that they could cause dangerous interference issues with aviation equipment.  Up until recently, these warnings were largely ignored by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and other proponents.  However, because of increasing pressure (and perhaps bad press), earlier this month AT&T and Verizon agreed to delay 5G deployment until January as well as limit it for six months.

Other risks associated with 5G include

Reports have also shown that 4G service is still better and safer than 5G (see 1, 2, 3, 4).

Despite all of the above, the new Infrastructure Bill was written to continue funding U.S. 5G deployment (see 1, 2, 3, 4).  Crazy, right?

Earlier this year, scientists submitted a letter to President Biden asking him to protect the public from 5G and other unsafe technology.  Instead he continues committing to adding more  as well as funding it, most recently via the Infrastructure Bill.  Americans opposed to any or all of this may sign and share the following online petitions 1, 2, 3, 4.

Activist Post reports regularly about the 5G and other unsafe technology.  For more information visit our archives and the following websites.

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