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KiwiSurfer

Telecom Pleasant Road

This is a fairly new Telecom site built in the last few years, most likely CDMA only. It seems to just cover a few gaps and probally helps enhance CDMA capacity in Titirangi and Glen Eden South.

Telecom Pleasant Road
KiwiSurfer, Jan 13, 2006
City:
Auckland
State:
Outside the United States
Location / Street Address:
Pleasant Road
Landmarks or cross street:
Pleasant and Titirangi Road
Structure Type:
Monopole
Antenna Use:
Cellular 800/850 MHz
Number of Carriers:
1
Carrier on topmost/highest antenna:
CARRIER NOT ON THIS LIST
    • Andy
      So this is just one sector, correct?
    • ShoresGuy
      What a clever idea, looks like the standard procedure in NZ is to use existing poles/masts to add sites. This must be a clever cost cutting measure.
    • Andy
      And you can definitely see the equipment shelter right in front of the bushes. Again, it's a very interesting setup!
    • KiwiSurfer
      Yep thats right. In Christchurch (NZ's 3rd largest city) both networks have a contract with the council which basically gives them the right to add antennas to council-owned lightpoles etc for a fixed fee. I'm not sure if a simalar agreement exists for Auckland, but these sort of sites are popping up all the time so obviously the two networks have a good relationship with the council to allow this to happen. Last year Vodafone also managed to get 19 3G sites approved all at once by the Auckland City Council, which is fairly impressive.

      Regards,
      James
    • Andy
      Wow, I wish we had agreements like these here in the States. :)
      So is Vodafone adding 3g only sites or are they 3g/voice sites?
    • KiwiSurfer
      It depends. Vodafone has added 3G to nearly all the exisiting 900MHz sites. However the exisiting network was designed with the assumption everything was on 900MHz, so Vodafone are building out some more sites to patch up the numerous 2100MHz dead spots. In areas where there is not much capacity demanded, then the site will be 3G only, else it will be both 3G/900.

      From what I have observed Vodafone are tending to put up more dual-band sites so obviously Vodafone is putting in extra capacity for 900MHz to prevent the need to add 1800MHz capacity to exisiting 900MHz sites.

      Regards,
      James
    • Andy
      So in real life, there really is that difference between 900 voice having good coverage in areas where 2100 UMTS is weak/has no service? Is that the case even in more densely populated areas where cellsites are usually all over the place?
    • KiwiSurfer
      Outside coverage is pretty much simalar for UMTS and GSM, with UMTS fading out a bit earlier than GSM. However once you go inside the difference is much greater. Eg the ground floor of my house gets between 1-3 bars on UMTS, compared to 4-5 bars on GSM. But go outside or go upstairs (near LOS to cell site) and its a solid 5 bars on either frequency.

      Over the road from my place is a park, with a group of trees in the middle. Around the park u get 5 bars UMTS, but go into the trees and the phone will usually drop to GSM or at least show only 1 bar of UMTS. So trees leaves are a major issue for 2.1GHz.

      Areas which were previously only 1 or 2 bars on GSM are often "No Service" on UMTS. So while Vodafone might had be happy with at least 1 bar of service on GSM they obviously have to do more for UMTS to prevent calls and data connections dropping down to GSM/GPRS.

      Regards,
      James
    • Andy
      Wow that is really interesting. I did not think that the UMTS/GSM difference for coverage is that big. I'm not doubting you, but it's simply hard to believe how the UMTS signal can drop from 5 bars to none when going into a little forest type thing. So if there's like 0 or 1 bar of UMTS service and 2-3 bars of GSM service and the phone hangs on to the weak UMTS service, can incoming calls sometime fail to come through to the phone or does the phone switch to GSM beforehand? Thank you so much for the responses, I'm learning a lot.
    • KiwiSurfer
      Ask any radio engineers about the impact on coverage between 900MHz and 2100MHz and they'll all tell you that, theroircally, a 900MHz signal will have more coverage and have stronger signal strength than a 2100MHz signal. However I suspect that Vodafone is broadcasting the 2100MHz signals at higher power than the 900MHz signal so the difference is probally not too bad.

      It's the same for VHF TV vs. UHF TV. I can receive VHF channels perfectly well, but UHF channels from the same TV transmitting site is somewhat weak. For that reason Auckland has 1 high-power transmitter and 2 medium-power UHF repeaters versus just 1 high-power transmitter for VHF. So the theory works for both cellular and TV broadcasting.

      Answering the second part of your post, I've noticed my Motorola phone tends to stay on UMTS for as long as possible before finally dropping to GSM.

      I should add that the drop from UMTS-to-GSM and vice-versa is very smooth on Vodafone since the backend system is the same. You can have a phone call start on GSM and upshiftm to UMTS then downshift to GSM and up again during a call. 'Three' UMTS in Australia has a roaming agreement with Telstra GSM, so every time u left a UMTS area 'Three' would drop the call.

      So having the same company running both sides of the network helps a lot for smooth handovers between GSM and UMTS. The handovers work for data connections (i.e. GPRS) too, I can download my mail or surf the net and the phone will automatically determine in real-time which is the best network to use and shift up to UMTS or down to GSM when neccessary.

      Back to your question, I don't receive any calls as pretty much everyone use text messaging in NZ, so I have no idea how the network handles phones in a weak UMTS area. I can only guess that the network will issue a broadcast on both UMTS and GSM alerting the phone to an incoming call and leave it up to the phone to select the best network to connect to. But I'm fairly sure once the connection is made the network will take over and direct the phone to the frequency/site the switch prefers. Again this is only a guess.

      Regards,
      James
    • Andy
      Kiwi, thanks for your long, great response.
      I have heard from many people that lower frequency ranges further than higher frequency and have actually seen that myself, but in major metro areas(even in major urban areas of Germany for example) where towers are placed very close together, I wouldn't think that there would be the need for extra 3g only sites since the 900/1800 towers are spaced so close together already to ensure proper capacity.
    • KiwiSurfer
      You obviously havn't been to Auckland, it's a very hilly city. Most of the new 3G sites are located in the more hilly suburbs where even 900MHz has issues due to hills shielding people from the cell site.

      Therefore more sites are required, even though there is no need for the capacity. They are built with the sole purpose of improving the coverage, but they have the additional benefit of adding capacity and improving signal strength in areas where it was previously marginal on 900MHz.

      I can think off the top of my head a few places in Auckland where 800MHz CDMA and 900MHz GSM suffers from exteremely weak signal due to hills blocking nearby sites. If Auckland was flat, we would not need so many sites, but unfourtently we have to put up with the bloddy hills and have to work around them!

      Regards,
      James
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  • Category:
    Other Areas / Unknown
    Uploaded By:
    KiwiSurfer
    Date:
    Jan 13, 2006
    View Count:
    3,305
    Comment Count:
    13
  • Antenna Types:
    Sectorized

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