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
Five things to know about Putin's Russia An economic crisis, Western sanctions and a comeback currency: What's going on in Russia? More
9 up-and-coming collectible cars They're relatively cheap now but these models have already caught collectors' eyes and are expected to increase in value in years to come More
How I got into an Ivy League school These twelve high school students share what it took to get accepted into Ivy League schools. More

Special Offer