3 of 5
BACKNEXT
Tower improvements
Tower improvements
Networks are building more cell towers and improving their existing infrastructure.

Cell sites, which are typically divided into three sectors, are now in many cases being upgraded to six separate radios. That increases their overall capacity.

Sprint Nextel recently announced a $5 billion deal with Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and Samsung to modernize its towers -- a plan that the network says will ultimately save the company $10 billion to $11 billion in operating costs over seven years.

About 80% of the cost of a network is in the deployment and maintenance of radio towers, experts say.



NEXT: Backhaul
Last updated December 27 2010: 5:35 PM ET
More Galleries
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More
Royal wedding: How much will it cost? Meghan Markle's wedding to Prince Harry could cost millions once security is included in the bill. See how the costs break down. More
Robot co-workers? 7 cool technologies changing the way we work Experts believe humans and machines will work much more closely together. More

Special Offer