Will the cell towers go the way the dinosaurs did? Alcatel-Lucent is trying to do just that. Alcatel is a leading communications equipment company that has been on a tear with respect to creating greater speed, capacity and equipment size for cell sites.
In order to keep up with the growing demand for more and better carrier coverage, more infrastructure needs to built. Cell tower structures are expensive and time consuming to construct. Alcatel has been the leading innovator with regards to router speeds, which allow more information to be processed quicker. The European telecom company's new compact cell antenna system is called lightRadio, which incorporates radio technology and base station technology in a single box. The entire system can fit into a lamp post. Not only are the units smaller and faster, they cost half as much to maintain.
To keep up with demand, cellular communications need to grow exponentially in the near future. Cell towers will be replaced with the smaller less expensive devices. By setting the smaller equipment up in grids, coverage will be better and have fewer dead spots.
Others are developing similar technology. Does this mean that the huge cell towers are going away tomorrow? I don't believe so because the demand is so high that eliminating towers would only worsen the problem. However, I do have to say that there will be some cell towers that find themselves among a well placed grid of the new innovative cell sites and the towers will be the site that dies first.