So I am trying to understand the current motivation that carriers have to upgrade towers.... except Verizon I think it's ego with them GSM carriers.. AT&T/T-Mobile. Back when I fooled with this stuff it was analog so I am way out of date. But.. some questions first.. We apparently have GPRS,EDGE, and a few 3Gish network types around like HSPA and friends. I am on T-Mobile and there is 'not really' 3G coverage at home. I can force it, but it's weak. My When I look at my phones radio info I can see that I have this EDGE tower that my phone usually likes to be on and it's signal is fairly strong, so I went hunting for it. I had a sneaking suspicion where it was by using an application and just being able to see a cell tower from a mile away So I drove literally up to this thing. It's not a T-Mobile tower per se, but it was rather owned by crown castle. (their signage was on it, site id, etc) I could also see that it had several arrays at various levels so there was more than one provider using this particular tower - as expected from these guys. It was at least a 150' tower - free standing.. possibly taller. The signal level on my phones diagnostics were telling me I was at the right place, the signal was very hot.. no other towers nearby. But.. no 3G... however I had rather fantastic EDGE. So this tower is apparently not upgraded... and it's one of a few that would serve my area. And it's not in a wooded area or in an area there would be no infrastructure.... so what gives? So, my questions are... What is required to upgrade a site? Software? Hardware? (obviously backhaul) How do they choose what sites they will and will not upgrade? I am literally 15 minutes from downtown so I just don't get why the 3G footprint is SO small here. Shortage of tower dogs? (I hope not ) Anyone currently in the industry lurking around the board that cares to share how sites are picked for upgrade these days?