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Help determine this service provider, antenna pics

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by DandyDon, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. DandyDon

    DandyDon Senior Member
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    So there is a new cell site going up, actually the tower has been there for a while. Drove by today and saw a new antenna's on the tower, guys were working on it. (You can see the antenna's arn't even fixed in position yet)

    Can anyone figure out who the provider might be, just by number of antennas per sector, type of antenna panel, or other physical appearance of the site?

    I am hoping this is a Nextel site, I know Nextel has 2 GPS receivers outside their shelters but couldn't get a look at the shelter. I also know Nextel also typically uses 4 panels per sector, but I guess any provider can.

    Any guesses with a certain degree of certainty?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Could even be AT&T/Cingular. If all panels looked like panels 2 and 4 from the left I would have said Verizon.
    You could have asked the guys working on it... :)
     
  3. DandyDon

    DandyDon Senior Member
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    Thought about that, trust me I will be back. They are in a fenced off area though, and I didn't see anyone......just their truck.
     
  4. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    You can also check labels, power meters, and maybe there's a logo on the truck that tells you???
     
  5. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Just to add something: Panels 2 and 4 from the left to the right look like newer panels some VZW sites in my area now have on them.
     
  6. MeatChicken

    MeatChicken Senior Member
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    There is a VZW site here with that same exact layout, EXCEPT Panels 2 & 4 would be "1 & 4". Your 2 & 4 are 800Mhz panels, while the 1 & 3 are 1900Mhz.
    Since VZW has added 1900Mhz EV-DO & voice to many of their sites here in NY/NJ, they have gone to a "2 outers are 800 & 2 inners are 1900" layout, in most of the sites I have seen. My guess is Verizon.
    Check for what carrier(s) is licensed for both bands in your area, & that should narrow you down to the 1 or 2 choices of who it could be.
    BTW, where are you/where is this new site??
     
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  7. DandyDon

    DandyDon Senior Member
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    The site is on Route 54 in Delaware, about 3 miles west of the Atlantic Ocean and the MD/DE state line. (Between Ocean City MD and Fenwick Island DE.) I thought it was Verizon who first occupied the site originally (Pic doesn't show the site above well) but maybe it wasn't Verizon.

    Upon closer inspection, maybe the panels are different. Since it's under construction I thought they were the same panel just not secured, maybe not.

    Thanks, I'll try to ask the contractors, forget now who it was putting it up.
     
  8. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    MeatChicken is right-the 1900 overlay would explain the differences in panels. Panels 1&3 do look like 1900 panels, judging by their thickness(or thinness in this case).
    On another note; if VZW does a 1900 overlay in an area, will they have to change all antennas or are some antennas already capable of transmitting 1900 so they only have to change/finetune other things?
     
  9. MeatChicken

    MeatChicken Senior Member
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    In our area all VZW cell sites put up over the last 18-24 months or so were as above, "ready for PCS", although they didn't start actually turning it on until this past spring. Older sites needed the addition of 1900 panels, which in most cases involved taking out 2 of 4 800's & replacing them w/1900's.
    Most of these older sites also had their 2 800 panels upgraded to newer types at the same time, including some as pictured above...
     
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  10. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Interesting, MeatChicken. Does taking down 800 panels cause less available 800 Mhz capacity from that site?(I would think so but I'm not sure). Are there any side effects of VZW doing this?
    Here, most VZW sites consist of the older antenna style, which they will most likely have to exchange as well if they want to start broadcasting 1900. Here, though, some sectors have as many as 16 antennas on them. Will be interesting what they'll do.
     
  11. Airb330

    Airb330 Silver Senior Member
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    It's Verizon Wireless. 99% certain. EXACT same panels added in Newark DE in April (the one I complained they were never on).

    Panels 2 and 4 are used by both Cingular and Verizon here...so that's tricky. However 1,2,3,4 in combination I've seen used by Verizon.

    This is American Tower #10274. Go to their site and see all kinds of stuff. From the photo's there...it looks like it's Sprint on the top spot. There's only 1 panel per sector when clearly it was 2 before, Sprint loves to do that along with having super-low power on their sites :rolleyes:

    OMG COULD VERIZON ACTUALLY ADD 2 TOWERS IN DELAWARE IN ONE YEAR?????!!!! lol
     
    #11 Airb330, Dec 30, 2004
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2004
  12. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    I was going to say, maybe we should ask Airb for some help, since you are not that far away.
    Is cingular using the same type of antenna maybe because they are an 800 carrier as well or does that not have anything to do with it?
     
  13. MeatChicken

    MeatChicken Senior Member
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    That was the 1st thing I asked my VZW tech when I became aware of it... & it does not reduce the capacity of the 800 system. Perhaps 2 of these newer style 800 panels can internally do what 4 olders did, or (most likley) they simply decided to multiplex the signals better, so as not to need more roof or tower space that adding more than 4 panels would require ....
    BTW, are you shure about 16 panels per sector for 1 carrier in your area?? I have never seen that many, usually 1 to about 5 with 2 to 4 being the norm...
     
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  14. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    This can't be Sprint, T-Mobile or Nextel.
    This can only be ATT/Cingular or VZW.
     
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  15. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    MeatChicken, Thanks once again for the information! :)
    Yes, I'm sure about 16 panels per sector on Verizon in my area. They are the older type of antennas 2&4 from the left on the picture. There are 16 of them per sector most of the time. Verizon towers here either have 8 of those antennas per sector or 16. Some new Verizon sites, that are mostly fill ins for coverage and capacity only have one thick panel per sector. I can take some pics for you if you want...I'll try googling first though ;)
    Happy New Year
    Andy
     
  16. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Here's an example of a VZW site common in my area. Some sites in my area have 8 of those panels per sector, but a lot of sites have 16 of those panels per sector.
    ~Andy
     

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  17. MeatChicken

    MeatChicken Senior Member
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    OK, that picture shows 4 panels per sector, but you are saying VZW uses 16 of those per sector ? Wow!
    Those "double sharkfin" panels you show are the ones VZW has been removing around here, (I guess your pic technically shows "8" , if you count each double sharkfin as "2"), the new 800 panels are either "solid", like a thicker 1900 panel, or a different style "double", more like the original pic posted earlier.
    If your area has 16 I guess they are doing little multiplexing of the 800 channels, once/if they upgrade they will add multiplexers that allow (more) multiple channels to xmit off the same panel, reducing the need for 16 panels...
     
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  18. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Okay- I guess I wasn't clear with what I was talking about ( I guess I still have to improve my English ;) ). If you look at that picture, here a lot of VZW sectors are double as big as the ones in this picture-that's what I ment. I did count each double sharkfin as '2'... so is this where we misunderstood each other?? Sorry! :)
    I can try to take some pics in the next couple days and send them your way ;)
    Andy
     
  19. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    I'll agree with the others. That antenna is most likely Verizon. It's not Nextel or Sprint.
     
  20. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    There is no such thing as 8 panels (or even 16 panels :eek:) per sector. The most I've seen is 5. Those double-panels are just one panel. They are not two separate ones.
     
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  21. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Oops ;)
    I'll try to get some pictures this coming week and post them. Their sites are big, nobody else has cellsites that big/with that many panels on them.
     
  22. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Sprint has only one tower that I've seen with 5 brackets per sector. However the 5th spot is just an empty bracket without the panel. So it looks like they built the tower with plans to possibly add the extra panel at some point. Weird how there's only one like it though.
     
  23. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Doesn't having more brackets give you more capacity?? I guess not on the newer style antennas as far as I can remember someone saying, but on the older antennas; am I correct?
     
  24. Airb330

    Airb330 Silver Senior Member
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    Most of Cingular's new sites around here (GSM only), have panels that look exactly like 2 and 4. There are 3 of them per sector, two close together, and one on the far right. Somtimes it's just 2 panels per sector. Cingular towers look pretty much the same throughout Philly, DE, and SNJ. The TDMA and GSM ones are usually huge and odd looking...one can tell immediately it's Cingular TDMA/GSM.

    All that said, I still think those panels above are Verizon.
     
  25. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Yes on the older technology. On the newer Sprint technology usually only one panel per sector is needed.
     
  26. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    So GSM can use the same type of panels CDMA uses? I somehow didn't think that was possible. :eek: But aren't 1900 panels thinner than 800 panels in general?
    On a side note, GSM antennas here look more like 1 & 3 and Cingular TDMA sites sometimes look somewhat like the VZW antennas I pictured, just a little bigger; Nextel here has fat, long antennas.
     
  27. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    I guess that would also explain why Verizon's newer sites often consist of only one panel per sector as well. They are quite thick, but only one panel per sector. Sprint, here, in general always has two panels per sector, which are often very thin. Some cellsites they have actually exchanged antennas and expaned them from two to three or four panels per sector within the last year... I wonder why?
     
  28. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    You should be able to use the same panels for GSM or CDMA. After all, they are just radiating power to the air. It's just in a different way. I've seen T-Mobile and AT&T use the same exact panels that Sprint uses. However, I've always noticed that 800Mhz panels are longer than 1900Mhz. It even shows in Verizon's implementation of dual-band sectors here. In some towers, they have removed one 800Mhz panel from each sector and replaced it with a smaller 1900Mhz panel, leaving the rest of the panels unchanged. So in the end Verizon is serving all AMPS, CDMA 800 and 1900 from the same tower. AT&T Wireless (prior to the acquisition) has done the same in this area to add GSM 1900 to their towers. Their existing 800Mhz panels are transmitting both GSM and TDMA/AMPS.
     
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  29. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    Yup, panels don't care whether it's GSM or CDMA.
    Where they matter is whether it's 850 or 1900 MHz.
    That's why we can say it's not T-Mobile, Sprint or Nextel
    because there's 850 and 1900MHz
    since they only use 1900MHz except Nextel.
     
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  30. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Very interesting. What I've seen(both in the states and in Europe) is that lower frequency providers(meaning Cellular Providers) use much thicker panels than 1900 providers. I'll try to take some pic within the next week, but a Nextel site on top of a school here is very, very thick and long, compared to, say, Sprint's sites, which are very thin and not very long at all most of the time.
    ~Andy
     

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