Utility crews are working in downtown Evanston this week to install infrastructure to make the new 5G wireless service available here.

The crews are replacing existing light poles with new, taller ones that have cell phone equipment attached near the top of the poles.

One of the new light poles at the intersection of Davis Street and Maple Avenue.

Evanston’s Public Works Agency director, Dave Stoneback, says the wireless carriers have submitted permit applications for about 60 of the new poles, mostly in the downtown area, in other business districts and along the Northwestern University campus.

One of the new poles, to the right of the mast arm for a traffic signal, at the corner of Church Street and Oak Avenue.

He says that under state law authorizing the new wireless network the city has very little control over the installation of the small cell antennas and that he had no information about how extensive the coverage will be or when it may be available to customers.

Evanston Now has contacted cell phone carriers Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T, and we’ll provide an update if we hear back from them about when the new service will be available.

5G wireless networks are slowly being rolled out to replace the current widespread 4G system and are expected to offer greater speed, reduced latency and increased bandwidth.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.