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Question for current tower dogs and engineers....

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by LoyalServant, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. LoyalServant

    LoyalServant Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter
    163

    May 24, 2010
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    Male
    Programmer
    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    Back when I fooled with this stuff it was analog so I am way out of date.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?
     

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  2. ddoolin

    ddoolin Well-Known Member
    36

    Jul 17, 2010
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    Student
    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.

    :thinking:.
     

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