Prairie Village approves agreement paving way for installation of wireless signal boosting antenna on street poles

The antennae are about the size of a coffee can and affix to the side of streetlight poles.

The Prairie Village council this week approved a franchise and licensing agreement with a company looking to install equipment on northeast Johnson County light poles that will boost wireless signals for cell phone companies.

The agreements with Mobilite are a first step before the company can submit an application to have any of their “small cell” facilities put into use in the city. Mobilite approached the city of Roeland Park last month about a pilot installation in that city, which would be located at Birch Street and Sycamore Drive.

Documents submitted with Prairie Village indicated that Mobilite hopes to eventually place one of the antennae around 75th Street and Ash. Mobilite often works with Sprint on such projects, leasing its equipment to the provider to boost signal for Sprint customers.

“That particular project is not part of this specific agenda item, but staff expects it would be the first Mobilitie project in the
City, and a typical example of small cell installations,” said city attorney David Waters and public works director Keith Bredehoeft in a memo.

The equipment, which improves the strength of the signal cell phone users need to access data via their devices, is expected to become more and more common in the coming years.

In Overland Park, Verizon has contracted a company called Extenet to install similar equipment, though Prairie Village officials say Verizon is expected to approach both Overland Park and Prairie Village in the coming months about installing their own signal-boosting antennae on city light poles.