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Can there be more than one A-Side carrier in one place?

Discussion in 'Western US Wireless Forum' started by reevejf, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. reevejf

    reevejf Junior Member
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    I was traveling on HWY 13 from Rifle to Craig (colorado) yesterday and as i drove through Meeker i picked up a very strong analog signal on SID 6531, and it was on Ch 329 (A Band) well Verizon has the A band license in Rio Blanco Co. It wasnt picking up VZW because there is no tower near meeker to cover this small town of 2,000 people. Well dialing 611 a Commnet message was played. How can VZW be the A band carrier and Commnet too. They dont sell phone here and B band is Union Cellular. Any ideas?
     
  2. royc

    royc Junior Member
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  3. roamer1

    roamer1 In Memoriam
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    Multiple carriers can be licensed on the same band in a single county, although not in the exact same place.

    In the case of Meeker, it appears that CommNet Cellular (not Commnet Wireless)/AirTouch/VZW never built anything out there, it became unserved area under FCC rules, and Commnet Wireless was able to get it. This is the same way Commnet got B-side 850 licenses in far southwest Maricopa County AZ and far eastern Kern County CA when the rest of those two counties (read: Phoenix and Bakersfield) are served by VZW.

    In a few other cases, carriers have agreed among themselves to split a county. The B-side license in Jackson County AL is a good example -- Cingular has the valley/US 72 corridor while Farmers Wireless has areas of the county atop Sand Mountain. (The reason for this is fairly logical: most of Sand Mountain is in DeKalb County, prime Farmers territory, but it spills over a bit into Jackson; building coverage that would cover only the Jackson side of Sand Mountain would be next to impossible given the terrain.)

    -SC
     
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  4. BillRadio

    BillRadio Wireless Consultant
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    There are several CMA's (Cellular Market Areas) with as many as 4 different carriers all using the same channel, but not all in the same exact place. The FCC allowed these small carriers like Commnet to cover "Unserved" areas of the country with a process called "Phase II", with the intention of providing service in areas the big guys didn't want to serve.

    In Elbert county, a rural suburb of Denver, there are 2 carriers each on both the "A" and "B" channels.

    Now, the larger carriers are asking Commnet and others to provide service in these smaller areas, and these small carriers presumably get repaid with the roaming charges.

    What was once a big negative with these small carriers who do not service local customers, they are now a big help in supplying pieces of the coverage puzzle that the larger carriers don't have time to construct themselves.

    BTW, it's very telling in that area of NW Colorado how much better the cellular coverage gets in direct proportion to the number of oil wells in the area.
     
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