NewsLocal News


Naples Pier improving cell service with new tower

Posted at 9:11 PM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-12 05:51:16-05

NAPLES, Fla. — The Naples Pier is one of Naples’s most popular destinations. But all those people can make it hard, even frustrating, to get cell service.

That could change soon.

FOX 4 spoke to visitors to the pier, and they expressed frustration about getting poor cell phone service.

However, the city is teaming up with a communications company to help solve that problem.

This week Crown Castle, a communications company out of Houston, Texas, is installing a small cell tower near the entrance to the Pier.

“The service is very bad overall,” said Paul Barham, a Naples resident for 18 years. “I don’t know what happen over last year or two, but the service is very, very poor.”

The City of Naples said that the area near the pier has been designated as needing significant cellular date.

“It’s a little spotty,” Todd Dion, a visitor from Boston said of his cell service. “I’ve been on like one bar for a while. It takes a while for stuff to load."

A Crown Castle spokesperson said its small cell towers sit close to the ground so they can reach users in a more precise and targeted way.

Visitors to the Pier say that’s a good thing, because finding a signal can be frustrating.

“You just want it to work,” said resident Michelle Barham. “You want it to be simple. You want service. You want to get work done and move on to the next thing, and it never happens. And it should happen.”

City officials say they have no control over where a cell tower in placed, but they have some say over what it looks like.

Construction the tower near the pier began Monday and is expected to last a week.

Crown Castle representatives said this tower will be used by existing cell phone providers. Right now it contributes to 4G cell service, but once those providers switch to 5G, it will use that, too.