What Step Bolts Have to do with 5G

The world seems to be abuzz with talk of 5G technology, the next generation of mobile connectivity. A key step in bringing that technology to the masses is through an upgraded grid of 5G cell towers, which contain step bolts. These towers act as telecommunications sites with the potential to increase the speed of wireless signals by ten times the speed of 4G. This increased speed will allow users to download data more quickly with less lag time. Because 5G cannot travel through walls or over long distances, a grid of closely-placed sites will need to be built, a process that will surely take time. Current cell towers can be modified for 5G service while the necessary infrastructure for small, cell site technology is created.

Cell tower with step boltsTechnicians climbing cell towers for any sort of maintenance or technology update will surely know the importance of step bolts. These bolts are literally used as steps on steel transmission and communication towers. Global Certified Fasteners currently offers two types of step bolts, A394 type O and A449 type 1, but will supply to any demand. These bolts are 5/8″ round head bolts and are made of galvanized low or medium carbon alloy steel.


Step Bolts as Safety Features?

Step bolts serve as climbing steps for technicians ascending and descending towers, but many laymen wonder if they can also serve as safety bolts for belay tie off. Researchers at The Smart Lab, the University of Dayton Research Institute, recently conducted static and drop tests on 5/8” bolts in an effort to demonstrate the yield strength. The official verdict? Step bolts are not intended to serve as anchorage for any type of personal fall arrest. They exist on cell towers purely to aid technicians in climbing up and down, not to protect workers from a fall.

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) put out the first in a video series this spring titled #ClimberConnection (watch it here). As the narrator summed up, step bolts are “great for climbing, not so great for fall arrest.”

A449 step bolt

What Global Certified Fasteners Can Offer You

If you’re looking for high quality step bolts, look no further! We only carry the best. If you’d like any assistance in finding what you need, don’t hesitate to contact us. You can get in touch by calling 708-450-9301 or emailing us at sales@gcfasteners.com.