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Microwaves on NYC Sites?

Discussion in 'Cell Tower Hunting Club' started by RadioRaiders, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    Coming out of Manhattan I was stuck in traffic on the BQE and spotted this bunch of antennas. Looking at the 4th panel from the left, it looks like a microwave dish on the top left side. I'm kind of surprised to see that, as in dense cities most operators use fixed-line backhaul. Not that there's anything wrong with using a microwave link on a city site, actually I'm working heavily with microwave lately so I'm happy to see it ;):D

    But just not something seen too often. I'm wondering what operator would be doing that? And whats the little square black panel on the bottom? Or is it a box, maybe a TMA or something?
     

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  2. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    That poor, poor site! What it looks like you got there is a tripple-mode site. I am of the opinion that it is originally a Nextel site which was then taken over by Sprint and had CDMA added, and further had Clearwire WiMax added. It is very typical of Clearwire in the NYC market to use microwave instead of wired solutions, probably because it is cheaper and faster to install.

    Here is another example, from Long Island, of a previously iden only site which had CDMA and then WiMax added to it.
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    This would be correct. Clearwire as a whole is trying to rely on microwave as much as possible as are many of the other 4G providers. What's typically happening is a fiber backhaul to a convenient site and have it distributed via MW from there. Most that I've seen aren't building massive intertwined MW networks, it mostly seems to be small radius hub/spoke.
     
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  4. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    Yup, TMA for Clearwire.
     
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  5. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    Thanks, yea, that makes sense. Leasing PDH links (E1's/ T1's) isn't enough for 4G speeds. I've seen some operators use regular DSL links ("pseudo-wire") but they can be unreliable and bandwidth isn't always up to par. The microwaves I'm working with at the moment are capable of native ethernet and links can easily go above 100Mbps. And owning your own link is always better than having to rely on a 3rd party (ie: leased lines). So to take fiber up to a hub site and then break out from there with microwaves sounds like a good plan. At least until getting fiber to all sites becomes possible.


    Well, the up-front cost of microwaves is more expensive than leasing a fixed line, but if I remember correctly, microwaves usually pay themselves back after about 5 years (comparing costs to a leased line). The microwaves I'm working with right now cost somewhere around $20-50k depending on capacity/config/etc. ...I think.... I'm engineering them, not selling them ;)
     
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