Overland Park & Leawood

Cell service to improve in Overland Park

Cell phone coverage might soon improve in Overland Park.

Without even installing new cell phone towers, that is.

At its meeting Monday evening, the City Council approved an agreement with Illinois-based ExteNet Systems to install antennas on eight street light poles around south Overland Park. Working with providers such as Sprint and AT&T, the company hopes the 24-inch antennas will eliminate dead zones.

“Cell phone towers aren’t enough anymore because the reality is, they can’t keep up,” said Tim Asta, the director of municipal relations for ExteNet. “Everyone is downloading photos or updating their Facebook profile because everyone has a smart phone. A lot of people don’t even use landlines anymore.”

He said Overland Park is the first city in the Kansas City area to sign up for the service.

In the next couple years, he anticipates the antennas being installed all over the city. He also hopes surrounding Johnson County cities and Kansas City, Mo., will soon follow.

The technology is already used in cities like Chicago, New York and Las Vegas.

“It’s pretty cool because it’s an easy solution,” said Asta. “We’re giving cities what they want — something small which people won’t even notice.”