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How to tell GSM/UMTS panels apart? (Question for Jonathan among others)

Discussion in 'Cell Tower Hunting Club' started by ShoresGuy, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. ShoresGuy

    ShoresGuy Euer WA Experte in Europa
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    I have another question related to panel setups and how to best tell them apart. Here in Germany, I know that most sites are GSM 900/1800 or co-located GSM 900/1800/UMTS 2100 or GSM 1800/UMTS 2100 sites since a few people have gone out of their way to meticulously collect this information on their tower location websites.

    My question is how can I tell a GSM 900 and 1800 panel apart from another and also how do I recognize a UMTS panel? Up until now, I've always assumed (perhaps correctly) that a long panel indicates a higher frequency range/band thus an extremely long panel normally indicates the presence of a UMTS setup. To complicate the issue even further, some UMTS panels have the same length and width as standard GSM 900 and GSM 1800 panels.

    TIA
     
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  2. ShoresGuy

    ShoresGuy Euer WA Experte in Europa
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    I found some info here on how Vodafone and E-Plus set up their GSM/UMTS sites which makes it easier to tell which technology is being used.

    Vodafone uses a 4-cable setup for the combined GSM 900/UMTS setups. Their sites with GSM 900 or GSM 1800 and GSM 900/1800 have a 2-cable setup (2 for each antenna).

    "20.06.2004:

    DXBM02 Düren-Mariaweiler: Foto des Hotels Mariaweiler Hof aktualisiert.

    Bemerkenswert ist, dass an einem Mast gleich zwei Netzbetreiber ihre Antennen installiert haben, obwohl eigentlich genügend Platz vorhanden ist. Wenn man sich das Antennenbild genauer betrachtet, kann man erkennen (4 Kabelein-/ausgänge), das über die Vodafone-Kombiantennen sowohl GSM900-Signale als auch UMTS-Signale gesendet werden. E-Plus hat hier noch keinen UMTS-Sender, hier sind jeweils nur 2 Kabel pro Antenne angeschlossen."

    Translation:
    The noticeable aspect to certain Vodafone and E-Plus setups are that in this particular case one monopole has two providers mounted to it even though there is enough space in the immediate area around the mast. If you look closely at the antenna setup, you can see that the Vodafone multi-frequency antennas broadcast both GSM 900 and UMTS signals (4 cables - 2 in and 2 out connectors per antenna). E-Plus doesn't have UMTS at this location yet so their GSM 1800 antennas have only 2 cables per antenna.

    Source:
    http://www.duven.de/d2sender/d2log04.htm (Entry for June 20th, 2004 (20.06.2004)

    Maybe this is a simpler method to determine what kind of setup T-Mobile, Vodafone, E-Plus and O2 have at each of their locations.
     
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  3. Jonathan Kramer

    Jonathan Kramer Telecom Atty/RF Engr.
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    I'm of the opinion that with all of the options of antenna radome designs (and that's what we're really talking about, not antennas), its virtually impossible to say with any certainty that an XYZ design is for GSM, and an ABC design is for UMTS.

    Antennas are designed by band, bandwidth, propagation pattern, stacking, etc. They are hidden inside radomes, some of which have external reflectors, and some of which don't. Some antennas are single band, some more. Some radomes have bottom-mounted connectors, some have rear connectors.

    I'm getting a headache!

    =Jonathan=
     
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  4. ShoresGuy

    ShoresGuy Euer WA Experte in Europa
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    I see, thanks for the info :)
     
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