The University of New Mexico recently signed an agreement with Verizon to install 25 small cell nodes on upgraded Code Blue poles across main, north, and south campus to further enhance campus safety with improved wireless connectivity.   

Small cells are just like the name implies – short-range cell sites used to complement traditional macro cell towers in a smaller geographic area ranging from a few hundred feet to upwards of 1,000 feet. These lower-power antennas enhance capacity in high traffic areas, dense urban areas, suburban neighborhoods, college campuses, and more. Small cells use small radios and small antennas placed on existing structures including utility poles and street lights, and now on Code Blue poles at UNM.

Code Blue
UNM has upgraded Code Blue stations across main, north, and south campus to further enhance campus safety.

“This project is a two-fold win for The University of New Mexico," said Mark Reynolds, IT Voice associate director. "First, the emergency phones in the designed locations will be replaced with a new blue pole structure, lights, and faceplate. Secondly, the addition of the small cell technology will be deployed at the twenty-five sites across the main, north, and south campuses where Code Blue poles have been located.”

The agreement, which incorporated feedback from various UNM departments including information technologies, real estate, and legal, brings the small cell network to campus to improve overall wireless coverage along with other technological benefits. Moreover, the UNM campus will benefit from the new Code Blue poles that will be installed as part of this project.  

“With data usage growing exponentially each year, densifying our network with small cells helps meet the capacity demands of today and tomorrow,” said Desmond Jackbir, director of Network Engineering, Verizon Wireless. “It’s fitting that we are upgrading the Code Blue stations. We build reliability into every aspect of our wireless network to keep customers connected when you need it most.”

Reynolds summed up the project saying, “the benefits from this project will enable the University to be better served for cellular coverage for the thousands of visitors, staff, faculty, and students. From the safety aspect, this will allow better triangulation for 911 and first responders, city police, and the University Police. Having the cellular signal closer to the handset will assist the dispatcher in GPS coordinates for location information in the event of an emergency.”