5G Tower Upgrades: What Are the Risks?

July 13, 2020

While every cell carrier is consumed with assembling their own 5G network, they’re also driven to make sure they promote the fastest, widest-ranging 5G availability. As a result, providers employ the services of tower companies and climbers to install new technology and update existing infrastructure across the nation. On top of the added pressure of an understaffed workforce of communication tower climbers, however, tower companies and personnel face a range of unique risks in the face of a 5G rollout.

Widespread Small Cells

Although 5G towers provide faster, more powerful results for consumers, they create coverage in a slightly different way than 4G towers. Because high-frequency 5G waves travel across shorter distances, the technology requires the installation of multiple small cell areas — as opposed to the more sparse installation of larger 4G towers.

However, the underlying risk to tower personnel isn’t just the result of high-volume 5G installations. It’s also a result of the high variety in 5G locations. The widespread integration of small cells requires workers to assemble, upgrade, and apply technology in incredibly rural areas. Such regions include an increased risk of wildlife, such as bears, raccoons, or foxes, which may threaten tower personnel working at low-traffic hours.

Unfamiliar Installation Areas

Considering the shortage of tower climbers, companies may have to discharge employees to work in new regions — and conditions. This is because, to make 5G accessible to as many customers as possible, tower climbers must install 5G small cells in as many areas as possible. By working in remote and potentially unfamiliar locations, many tower climbers eventually work in unfamiliar climates.

From freezing temperatures to heat waves, there are a range of weather conditions that can affect performance and safety, especially for workers who travel from areas with opposite climates. In addition, if workers are underdressed or overdressed beneath their personal protective equipment, they face an increased risk of temperature-related emergencies, such as hypothermia.

Coverage in the Age of 5G

The standards in wireless connectivity are almost always advancing, which is why you should regularly examine your tower company’s risk management policy and liability coverage. Whether you’re unsatisfied with your current package or are searching for more unique options within your industry, the team at USA Telecom Insurance Services is here to help. To learn more about the specialized insurance we provide to companies in the telecommunication sector, contact us today.

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