To help boost LTE performance around certain areas of San Francisco, Verizon will soon be deploying about 400 "small cells" that will help with congestion and overall performance. The "certain areas" comes into play because each one of these cells can only affect a 250 ~ 500 foot area, so for this rollout, Verizon is focusing on the SOMA, Financial District, Market Street and North Beach areas.
As seen in the illustration below, these small cells can find their home on utility poles in these key areas, and to the regular passerby, chances are they'd go unnoticed. In this particular example, cells are placed around the body of the pole as well as the top, to handle different frequencies.
Cells like these are not new -- Verizon has already deployed them in some other big cities, like New York, Chicago, and Phoenix. Being that San Francisco is in the heart of Silicon Valley, it stands to reason that this will be the best test yet, as the town has an insatiable hunger for mobile data.
The sheer extent of this rollout is also notable. Gigaom notes that AT&T is working on its own rollout across the US, but nothing compares so far to Verizon's commitment of 400 cells.
Now if I could only get a cell like this for my washroom, or the chamber of defeated signals, as I like to call it.