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This is a T-Mobile GSM/UMTS setup on top of a house in downtown Cologne.
Is the top floor all equipment?
Do you mean just the top roof section that the antennas are mounted to? I don't know, I'll have to get a closer look. I took the pic as I was passing by with the train on the way home. I have determined with some other sites I posted in the past actually have the BTS cabinets on the roof as well. It seems like the 4 German providers want to save themselves the work of drilling a cable duct down into a basement and dragging cable down through the duct.
However they still need to get the power cables up there somehow, wouldn't that require a duct anyway? Unless these stuff run on solar power? Probaly not I would say.
Here in NZ the two networks tend to just slap a duct on the side of the building and run the cables down there then stick the cabinet somewhere on the side of the buidling near the exit of the duct. Power and (if neccessary) landline links are easy that way since you just need to get the power or phone company to run a underground cable to the cabinet.
I've seen some site, however, that occupies a room in the building. Especially for camoflaged sites. Also some of the earlier sites were like that too -- including four of my local Vodafone sites which were set up during the time BellSouth ran the GSM network.
That is a very interesting question indeed.
In Germany, I have actually seen some sites where they slap a type of 'house' on the roof a building like shown in this picture that houses the equipment...I believe there is one around the Cologne area as well...Shoresguy, have you seen that picture online?
There are at least two sites here in western Cologne which have the same setup with a BTS cabinet on the roof. The one you're referring to is located here:
The second is a T-Mobile setup. I didn't get a pic of that yet.