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How do Carriers tell when a tower stops operating?

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by ajulius, Jul 28, 2002.

  1. ajulius

    ajulius New Member

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    Hello. I am curious as to how carriers know when a tower stops operating other than from alot of users calling in to complain? If their was an RF problem on the tower or the antenna was damaged or whatnot, how would carriers know about such?

    I happen to have a cellphone with Sprint PCS. I used to get consistent 4 bars coverage year round. Now it is 0 bars coverage and I get signal fade in various locations throughout the community. This has gone on for a few weeks now at least. I reported the problem just recently so hopefully its resolved whatever the issue is. I probably am picking up the next tower past the one that usually worked for me. But Im just curious if it is a tower problem, if there is any sort of detection mechanism in place to tell before customers start complaining that the problem is there.
     
  2. WirelessBeachBum

    WirelessBeachBum Soylent Green is People
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    The larger wireless companies generally have a NOC (network Operations center) that is manned 24x7, when something goes wrong with a cellsite an alarm will go off and they will notify their closest technician.

    The smaller carriers will generally have a tech on call 24x7, that tech will have the ability to access the switch via laptop and check it from time to time, they also generally have pagers also, that will go off if there is an alarm.

    Sometimes, however there are problems which do not show up on an alarm, and these can anly be resloved by drive testing the area. Which is what trouble tickets are for for with your carrier. Once a trouble is reported, the tech. will pull up the cell site in question and check it out. If no problem is evident in the system, the next step is a drive test, actually sending a tech out in the field to check out the coverage in that area. If there is a problem, the cellsite is rebooted...if that doesn't help some more trouble shooting on the ground then finally a tower crew to come out and check the antenna's and coax to the panels.

    (My last company we had a cell site out for two week and could not figure out what the problem was until we had a tower crew check it out...turned out someone had shot the wire about half-way up the tower...Upset Customer???Who knows???)
     
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  3. Rasputin

    Rasputin Bronze Senior Member
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    Normally you have Sensors that monitor the output power on a TX line and monitors the VSWR on RX/TX, the units themselves have alarms built into them, there is an alarm if power is lost, and the NOC would know immediately if the backhaul line to the cellsite goes down, you normally have a alarm monitor also on the tower preamps also, normally 95 out of 100 problems they know about it immediately, a tech can normally fix 9 out of 10 probs normally by that night. Tower issues are the only ones that take up to 48 hours.
     
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  4. Fobulous

    Fobulous Junior Member
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    Like wirelessbeachbum says, all large Wireless Companies have NOCs in the country...Nextel,Sprint,ATT etc etc. even smaller ones have their own version of NOC,just a main MSO (Mobile Switch Office) I believe is what they call it, to control their whole region (SoutherLinc's Birmingham MSO which is in charge of all RSOs in the Southeast. On top of all this...these companies have 24x7 coverage in their MSOs and these techs monitor their 5Ess switches...and run programs to monitor all of their Cell Sites and of course they perform all the great upgrades we needed at night. Personally, when NOC notices the Cell tower or Cell sites are down...it's kind of too late [​IMG]

    During Equipment upgrades...which i'm mostly involved with,i'm a vendor, all Wireless Techs are on-site with us to monitor the network just in case something goes wrong which i hope will never happen!

    Unfortunately, however, i did witness multiple Cell towers down in Sprint PCS Las Vegas area during the Maintenance window (12am-6am)...all sites went down for 5 mins because of a software glitch in the newly upgraded software in the DACs. it wasn't pretty
     
  5. ILUVSOCAL

    ILUVSOCAL Banned
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    AT&T(Me),Cingular(Me,Mom),Edge Wireless(Dad)
    When enough reps and customers call them lol
     
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  6. beermogul

    beermogul New Member

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    An alarm is sent from the equipment that manages the cell back to a network monitoring application at the provider's NOC. Generally providers have people monitoring alarms 24x7, and/or create scripts which will open up a trouble ticket/page a tech that there is a problem. Generally these alarms are fixed by the techs at the NOC centers and usually don't require a visit to the cell site unless there is some type of hardware issue..

    Ciao,

    Beermogul
     

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