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Number of cellsites per carrier

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by xenophon, May 25, 2007.

  1. xenophon

    xenophon Member
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    Anyone have the latest numbers? According to this...

    GigaOM For Sprint, a tough 2007 ahead «

    Sprint 67,000 iDen/CDMA (I hear 35K+ are CDMA with 4K coming)
    ATT 45,000
    Verizon 26,000

    Any update on this?
     
  2. rytard

    rytard Junior Member
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    no but the number of cell sites isnt relative really to the coverage since some networks towers are larger and morepowerful they need less of them or more of them.
     
  3. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    Hmmmmmmmm......no.
     
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  4. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    Just curious, where did you come up with this information?
     
  5. TWX

    TWX Mobile Enthusiast
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    I was wondering the same thing.
     
  6. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    Ha, I've got some ideas, but I'll refrain.:browani::browani:


    First off in terms of power, most carriers have all of their sites configured to run up to full power based traffic loads, but lets say roughly 16-20watts out of the back of the base station (and being general, but lets say 500watts EIRP) depending on the band they're on. Now using a combination of elevation, downtilt and antenna gain they'll limit the site's working radius. Factor in the local usage needs and they'll get the approximate spacing of the sites to keep both dropping and blocking to a minimum. By this method metro areas will have a higher density of sites and rural areas will typically have significantly less towers in the same sized area.

    Frequency comes into play here as the cellular block and the PCS block have different propagation characteristics, but that aside the rest is all the same.
     
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  7. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Yeah that is pretty much the only thing matters when it comes to judging coverage from number of towers. Then you'd have to know which towers run which....
     
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  8. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    Cellular networks are not broadcast networks like TV or radio, where you look for the highest point and blast your signal as hard as you can to reach as many people as you can.

    Cellular networks have to consider uplink coverage from the phones (which are very low power at 24dBm), and interference from other sites, plus capacity limitations. So to cover a populated area, it's better to have a medium number of medium height sites, rather than one high one blasting away. As mentioned above, operators calculate a site-to-site distance based on a link budget, and then try to space their sites accordingly.

    The site count of an operator can be a tricky thing tho. In general, yes, the more sites an operator has, the better coverage they'll have. Also as mentioned above, frequency is a big factor, as if someone has only 1900 Mhz they'll need almost double the number of sites to cover the same area as a 850Mhz operator.

    But the USA is so big, and there are alot of local factors and roaming agreements, so the site count can be even more deceiving. If say Verizon has 100,000 sites, but none where I live, then that's a problem...
     
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  9. rytard

    rytard Junior Member
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    thats my point you cant judge by towers unless their the same type
     
  10. TeleTips Network

    TeleTips Network Junior Member
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    esto is totally correct. Unless one is trying to average across a large number of sites or a huge coverage area, this seems to be a relatively useless metric.
     
  11. clock3687

    clock3687 Cell Signal?????? Use it!
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    I don't think the original point of this thread was to compare whos got better coverage based on the amount of cell sites, but to figure out exactly how many sites each carrier has.
     
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  12. PCSuser

    PCSuser Senior Member
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    Well cellsites can only be placed for a carrier if that carrier has a licence in that area.

    And AFAIK. The only carrier with a national licence is Sprint. They have the national 1900 CDMA licence, and the national 800 iDEN licence.
     
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  13. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Wirelessly posted (MOT-24.0_/00.62 UP.Browser/6.2.3.4.c.1.123 (GUI) MMP/2.0)

    I'm not quite sure how this applies?? :confused:
     
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  14. PCSuser

    PCSuser Senior Member
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    I am just saying that with the national licences they can put up towers anywhere. As opposed to other carriers who only have licences in certain areas and are restricted to their licenced area.
     
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  15. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    Ah, okay. Yes that's true....Sprint has that ability. They haven't fully utilized it yet because they are working on mostly synergy sites at the present.
     
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  16. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    There is no national 800 license. Each Nextel site is individually licensed.
     
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  17. Bill Clinton

    Bill Clinton 10 years scandal free....
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    Very observant. Sprint has covered major roads and cities and decided that was enough, then they began working on the EV-DO network. They added a few more sites to major roads and in cities during that time and they feel that this gives them 'the most powerful network.' Well there are too many areas that are not covered so I have to laugh at this statement. I am glad that they are getting the synergy sites up because that will help in some areas where Nextel has already built out and Sprint has not. Sprint still has a long way to go and now it looks like they want to turn their attention to WiMax. Sprint could have much better coverage than they do and I hope they try harder to improve.
     
  18. bdiddle21

    bdiddle21 New Member

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    Terrain effects cell signal adversely.....a typical CDMA tower has a range of about 7-10 miles, but throw that tower in WV, and it has about a 3.5 mile range, moutains and hills kill signal......thats why you look at a map of the country..... Kansas is completely covered no matter who you got because it is all flat, and signal carriers forever.....the same map for that provider will show the rockies and appalachaians in want for coverage.
     
  19. rytard

    rytard Junior Member
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    How much range do GSM, TDMA, and iDen towers get?
     
  20. bdiddle21

    bdiddle21 New Member

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    Not sure about iden and not positive on GSM, but old analog type towers could reach up to 50 miles, but with fewer users and had alot of interference. There farther you were from the towers, the worse the signal and interference were, but they were limited in the amount of calls they can handle and data capabilities, as well as security of someone listening in, and interference. New digital towers have less range, but can handle three times the call volume, have great data capability, are more secure, and much less interference. GSM is basically a newer TDMA type service, so I would probably estimate the ranges to be 10-20 miles depending on terrain, but not an expert on that one, Iden I have no idea.
     
  21. PCSuser

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    Sprint Has The Most Towers. More Iden Than Cdma Though. But As Far As Sites/panels Go I Think There Are More On The Cdma Side As They Use Pcs For That.
     
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  22. firstmode

    firstmode Member

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    US Cellular has just under 6000 towers according to their annual report (Public information) as of the end of 2006
     
  23. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    GSM and CDMA are limit compared to Coverage distances compared to TDMA and analog. The usual max coverage is approx 30 miles, yes farther out calls can be made on both technologies but 30 miles is pretty much border line.

    The reason for the limitation is due to the nature of both technologies needing timing from the network. Once a mobile gets to far out it takes it longer to communicate with the tower and the tower treats it as an RF dropped call.

    GSM can have the timing changed to operate better farther away but this will affect the mobiles that are closer to the tower.
     
  24. rytard

    rytard Junior Member
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    ok thanks!
     
  25. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    That'd be incorrect. There are several thousand more CDMA sites than iDEN sites on air. Also, iDEN will almost always have four panels on a tower whereas a CDMA site could be running a single, two or a quad antenna setup depending on the age and desired propagation patter of the site.
     
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  26. Scrumhalf

    Scrumhalf Bronze Senior Member
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    There are so many factors at play here. As esto pointed out, 1900 vs. 850 makes a big difference in terms of range. Any TDMA modulation scheme will have severe timeslot syncronization issues that will limit range from handset to base station to about 35km. Finally, CDMA has significantly higher spectral efficiency compared to TDMA and this will have a bearing on tower location and coverage.
     
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  27. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Like others have mentioned, it depends on the setup of the cell site and equipment used, but normal GSM equipment has a hard distance limit of...22 miles I think... As others have mentioned, this limitation, due to timing, can be eliminated with extra equipment at the base. CDMA does not have a hard distance limit like GSM does, and a few months ago I made a call 75 miles from a Verizon CDMA cell site. No problems with call quality or anything.
     
  28. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    I've been up to 30 miles from a Sprint tower and still had a -100 dbs, perfectly useable signal out in the desert. But this situation is not very common.
     

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