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Question for current tower dogs and engineers....

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by LoyalServant, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. LoyalServant

    LoyalServant Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    May 24, 2010
    Columbia, SC
    So I am trying to understand the current motivation that carriers have to upgrade towers.... except Verizon I think it's ego with them :D
    GSM carriers.. AT&T/T-Mobile.
    Back when I fooled with this stuff it was analog so I am way out of date. :eek:

    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. :D
    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 :eek:)
    Anyone currently in the industry lurking around the board that cares to share how sites are picked for upgrade these days?


  2. ddoolin

    ddoolin Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    Surely they prioritize by demand of their consumers. The highest populated area (with their users) goes first, usually, or places where they have large bases/headquarters.

    Surely if there is a shortage of tower/field workers, it can only mean the company is going through a rough spot (on the decline...doing bad financially?).

    2c. It's just speculation though, I'd rather see a professional opinion, too.


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