January 22, 2023

TECH TALK: Industrial Grade Wireless Network Pre-Deployment: The What, The Why and The Best Practices of Site Development Pre-Construction


Valerie Sciortino | Head of Site Development, Future Technologies
Author & Subject Matter Expert (SME)

Connect with Valerie

What is Site Development?

Site Development is pre-construction planning/service through construction/post-construction and all the tasks that need to be completed in between. Site Development is instrumental in achieving a successful wireless network deployment. For purposes of this blog post, we are going to focus on the pre-construction phase of site development.


An array of services to thoroughly assess, plan and mitigate risks associated with constructing a project; including evaluation of existing site conditions, site acquisition, architectural & engineering and environmental & regulatory considerations.


An array of services to build out and/or co-locate.


An array of services to maintain and support network, asset management and centralized storage of all documentation.

For purposes of this blog post, we are going to focus on the pre-construction phase of site development.

Site Development

Site Development Approach/Process includes process steps within project scoping, project planning and project execution.  Following these steps will ensure you are considering all requirements that lead to a successful project deployment.  See best practices below for more details.

Why Site Development?

There are many benefits to leveraging site development during the pre-construction phase of building out a wireless network.  Some of those benefits are geared around minimizing safety and reliability risks and others involve jurisdictional compliance and project planning & deployment scheduling.  Having years of experience overseeing these projects, we have seen the good, the bad and the ugly.  The good happens when site development is leveraged and timelines are met, risks are minimized, and network deployments go smoothly.  Here’s an example of the bad and the ugly when not leveraged or not leveraged properly.


Real World Example Resulting in One-Year Delay


Future Technologies was awarded an installation project and when our team deployed to complete the installation, the tower was found to be structurally unsound.  In this case, they did not utilize our pre-construction services for site development, which ensures a tower is safe and optimized for equipment installation.

End Result

When it came time to install equipment, the skilled tower climbers were unable to complete the work due to the unsafe and unstable conditions of the tower structure.  Unfortunately, this delayed the customer’s ability to complete their tower equipment installation therefore making them unable to complete the deployment of their industrial grade wireless network.  This delayed the project a full year as they not only had to complete work to reinforce the tower, but had to redo their zoning & permitting, work back with the FCC for equipment broadcasting date extensions and re-establish/re-define their project plan.


The customer learned the importance of the pre-construction phase of site development to ensure the tower is structurally sound and ready for equipment installation. As a result, the customer has included this phase in all project plans and subsequent tower equipment installation and network deployments have gone smoothly.

Site Development Best Practices

Project Scoping

As a best practice, a site development subject matter expert (SME) has responsibility of project scoping. This is an important stage in the pre-construction phase of site development as it defines customer needs and provides clarity for all stakeholders as to the requirements of the project as well as roles and responsibilities.  In addition, it determines the cost of the project and defines what will be needed from the site acquisition, architectural & engineering, and environmental and regulatory teams.  All of this leads to moving into the next stage, project planning, providing a Project Manager the information needed to build out a solid and comprehensive project plan.

Project Planning

As a best practice, the Project Manager has project planning responsibility.  Project planning is an important stage in the pre-construction phase of site development as it defines the schedules, budget, team member assignments, materials and equipment needed to complete the project in the target timelines established in the project scoping stage.It is within this stage, prior to transitioning to project execution, where the project manager meets with the site acquisition, architectural & Engineering, and environmental/regulatory teams to review the project with them ensuring all the team members will be prepared to execute the project and have it run smoothly.  This is also the stage in which equipment and materials are ordered in preparation of the execution phase of pre-construction.

Project Execution

As a best practice, the Project Manager has oversight responsibility of this phase.  The Project Manager ensures all compliance activities are completed with an end goal of establishing a Notice to Proceed (NTP) so construction can begin.Project execution is when we fulfill the leasing, zoning and permitting requirements, document plans of record such as 1A certification, land survey, structural analysis, and construction drawings.  Concurrently, FAA, FCC and NEPA assessments are completed.  In addition, any needed historic land clearances are established, and any required public notices are performed.  All of this, and then some, needs to be completed to establish a NTP and start construction.  For a smooth transition to the construction phase, the Project Manager meets with the Program Manager and Construction Manager to review the project plan and kick off the construction phase.


How frequently should towers be inspected to ensure stability and make sure equipment is in good condition?

Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) recommends tower be inspected every 3 – 5 years (3 for Guyed towers and 5 for Self-Supporting and Monopoles)

What is the optimal method to tracking and managing equipment and other assets on a tower?

Utilizing a digital asset management solution will allow an organization to keep a centralized inventory of what equipment is located where.  When considering the size and scope of these wireless networks being built leveraging towers, one network can utilize hundreds of towers.  Centralized documentation of what equipment is on what tower in what location is a critical component to optimizing maintenance scheduling, upgrade scheduling, regulatory compliance and more.

When is the right time to engage Site Dev?

The right time to engage site development is at network design - before you want to upgrade or deploy a new wireless network. Alternatively, if you don’t have an upgrade or new network need coming up yet you also don’t have a centralized documentation strategy of your tower equipment and other assets, we can get started on implementing a digital asset management solution.  This will set the stage for future upgrades and new builds simply allowing you to add any new or upgraded equipment to this asset management solution. 

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Future Technologies has over 20 years of experience in both site development and wireless network deployments, thus offering expertise across diverse project portfolios bringing a wealth of knowledge and past performance to your site development projects.  Our site development services support a wide range of technologies to include private cellular, public cellular, licensed microwave, 4G/5G, fixed wireless (FWA), Wi-Fi, millimeter wave and Fiber/Wireline.

Taylor Juska