Outdoor Small Cell

Small Cells & Outdoor Distributed Antenna Systems (oDAS): Enhancing Network Coverage & Capacity 

Even robust cellular networks encounter capacity and coverage limitations. Tilson is an expert in small cell and oDAS technologies that enhance coverage and capacity in places where the network performance may be compromised and where connectivity is critical. We provide expert siting solutions to achieve optimum network performance in difficult to reach places, such as campuses, enterprise buildings, stadiums and arenas, shopping centers, outdoor urban and recreational areas, roadways with terrain interference, rails corridors and tunnels. In addition, Tilson’s infrastructure affiliate develops, owns, and leases back poles in the right of way to carriers, utilities, municipalities, enterprises, broadband/internet service providers and smart city IoT operators, offering financing flexibility and faster deployment. 

Utility Pole Attachment rights

Wood Utility Poles

Tilson’s real estate specialists have secured utility pole attachment rights for wireless carriers across the country. We have worked with large, investor-owned utilities as well as small, municipally owned electric companies and local cooperatives. Because Tilson has experience working with both utility companies and with wireless companies, our real estate specialists have the benefit of speaking both languages. We understand the safety requirements of poles owners, as well as the requirements for an effective wireless deployment that meets our customers’ RF objectives. This helps us negotiate design standards with the utility companies that will allow for safe and effective wireless installations. Many of Tilson’s real estate specialists are also attorneys who can effectively facilitate negotiations between attorneys and risk management personnel on both sides of the table.

Street Lights

In cities with underground utilities, street lights are generally the location of choice for wireless small cells and oDAS nodes. We have negotiated agreements for the use of existing or new stealth street light structures for small cell and oDAS node deployments in these dense, urban environments. Tilson has partnered with leading manufacturers of stealth wireless enclosures to ensure the best possible design options that fit into the streetscape while meeting RF objectives and safety requirements.

Innovative Siting & Design Solutions

Picking the right candidates on the first try saves time and prevents expensive and time-consuming re-work. Tilson’s experienced outside plant engineers select the right location for small cells and oDAS nodes based on their knowledge of utility pole owner standards, radio frequency requirements and equipment limitations. OSP engineers collect pole data using state-of-the-art photogrammetry tools that export data directly into programs that calculate pole loading and attachment locations.

Engineering Services

  • Professional drafters experienced with both AutoCAD and MicroStation.
  • Professional engineers licensed in multiple states and well versed in all applicable national codes.
  • Drafters experienced with Photoshop who can produce high-quality photo simulations showing the visual impact of proposed small cell and oDAS nodes.

Tilson’s engineering division self-performs all aspects of small cell and oDAS engineering. Our team includes:

Our team produces high-quality, detailed lease exhibits and PE stamped construction and zoning drawings. Using field data collected by our outside plant engineers, our PEs can produce structural analyses for utility poles, calculate the locations of existing attachments, and create make-ready plans to submit with pole license applications.

Real Estate Entitlements

The siting of small cells and oDAS nodes on private property and in the public right-of-way requires a deep understanding of local, county, state and federal rules and regulations. Tilson’s real estate specialists are spread throughout our many office locations across the country. We understand that having local knowledge is imperative to the success of our client’s projects. In addition to traditional wireless leasing, jurisdictional zoning and permitting services, our real estate team has experience with the entitlements necessary for wireless providers to occupy the public right-of-way, like Franchise Agreements and Right-of-Way Use Agreements. Tilson routinely secures these agreements on behalf of providers in both small rural towns and in large cities.

Pole Licensing & Make-Ready Management

Tilson has a team dedicated to pole licensing and make-ready management. Our pole licensing team will submit the pole license applications for wireless attachments to the utilities and follow the make-ready process with the utility through to completion. Our outside plant engineers attend the joint rideouts with the utility field engineers to plan the make-ready process. This allows us to negotiate with the utilities and avoid expensive and unnecessary moves and pole replacements.


Tilson provides both routine general maintenance following OEM and owner protocols for small cells and oDAS nodes, as well as emergency response to trouble tickets. Our emergency number is staffed 24/7 and crews can be dispatched to assess and repair sites across the country.


Tilson provides both construction and construction management for all types of small cells and oDAS installations. Tilson has a fleet of bucket trucks that we deploy for construction in the telecommunications space, as well as relationships with electrical space contractors across the country. The benefit of having clients that are both utilities and wireless carriers means that our construction crews have a depth of knowledge that allows them to work safely on and around utility poles in the right-of-way, and to property install, test and commission wireless equipment. Our wireless construction technicians are certified by the OEMs to install and maintain wireless equipment.

Click here for asset development and leaseback options.

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