WHAT THE INDUSTRY SAYS
The wireless industry has been pushing the fiction that small cells are the size of a pizza box. Here is a quote in a Wireless Week article–
"Americans will benefit tremendously from innovations like 5G and the Internet of Things, which require more small cell facilities – often the size of a pizza box – to build a denser network," CTIA's assistant vice president of regulatory affairs Scott Bergmann said. "Today’s action by the FCC recognizes the minimal impact of these facilities, but there is more work to be done. We must streamline infrastructure policies at all levels of government so that wireless providers can rapidly deliver the next generation of products and services to consumers.” (emphasis added)
Furthermore, as reported by Wireless Estimator here, "In the CTIA presentation, the trade group said that networks can now be extended on (sic) common structures like street lights and utility poles and that there will be 300,000 “pizza box-sized small cells needed in [the] next 3-4 years.”
WHAT THE INDUSTRY ACTUALLY WANTS
While some small cells are the size of a pizza box- many aren't. The industry clearly doesn't think so either despite their public pronouncement otherwise. In the newly proposed state legislation in 20+ states, there is language that allows the wireless industry to install up to 6 cubic feet of antennas and up to 28 cubic feet of equipment on each pole. For example, see this language from the recently passed Virginia statute.
"Small cell facility" means a wireless facility that meets both of the following qualifications: (i) each antenna is located inside an enclosure of no more than six cubic feet in volume, or in the case of an antenna that has exposed elements, the antenna and all of its exposed elements could fit within an imaginary enclosure of no more than six cubic feet; and (ii) all other wireless equipment associated with the facility is cumulatively no more than 28 cubic feet in volume, or facilities comprised of such higher limits as established by the Federal Communication Commission. The following types of associated equipment are not included in the calculation of equipment volume: electric meter, concealment, telecommunications demarcation boxes, ground-based enclosures, back-up power systems, grounding equipment, power transfer switches, cut-off switches, and vertical cable runs for the connection of power and other services."
In other words, the industry likes to present to municipalities that small cells are the size of a singular pizza box because it makes a compelling story. However, the want to give their members the right to install substantially larger equipment than would fit in a single pizza box.
Please feel free to use this image without attribution. Also, for another good representation of what 28 cubic feet represents- see http://wireless.blog.law/2017/04/22/california-sb-649-big-lie-small-cells/.