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Tilson Provides Creative Ownership Solutions to Expedite Infrastructure Deployment


It can be frustrating to suddenly lose your cell phone connection while driving along the highway in a heavily populated area. In many cases, this happens when there are gaps in coverage, despite the installation of nearby macro towers.

Tilson was selected by a national mobile wireless carrier to help fill one of those coverage gaps – in this case, along a busy highway interchange just outside of Burlington, Vermont.   


Tilson’s customer determined that the best way to fill the gap was by deploying a small cell. A small cell is typically mounted on a utility pole, and offers localized coverage without the siting limitations, expense and deployment timeframes of a new macro tower. However, after months of trying, the carrier was unable come to agreement with the local electric utility for use of its poles and did not have approval to set a new pole in the road right-of-way.   


Tilson developed the small cell on private property in the needed area by placing a specialized light pole at the entrance of a subdivision. Tilson worked closely with the pole manufacturer, a custom metal fabricator, and the local Homeowners Association (HOA) to match the aesthetics of the HOA’s existing light poles. Today, Tilson owns the light pole through its infrastructure affiliate, and pays ground rent to the HOA. 

Providing Elemental Infrastructure to Solve Our Customers Toughest Challenges

By working around local limitations and eliminating the burden of owning and maintaining a specialized utility pole, Tilson helped the wireless carrier close its coverage gap. Today our customer’s customers – including the HOA residents – enjoy expanded wireless coverage in this busy area.  


A major wireless communications provider.


  • Lack of wireless coverage in populated area.
  • Colocation on local utility pole not feasible.
  • Concerns about aesthetics.

Solutions / Services

  • Working with private entity for small cell site placement.
  • Using relationships with pole manufacturer, custom metal fabricator to match aesthetics of existing light poles.
  • Infrastructure development and rental agreements.

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