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Question about cell tower numbering

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by Jay2TheRescue, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    I'm going to quote a post I made in the gallery earlier today, but I feel it will get more exposure here so I'll recopy it and elaborate further...

    Gallery post - http://gallery.wirelessadvisor.com/showimage.php?i=41&catid=newposts&cutoffdate=1

    What exactly is the ARFCN#? Actually, if someone knew what the letters stood for I think it would be self-explanatory.
     
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  2. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    ARFCN = Absolute RF Channel Number
    That's the control channel number.
     
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  3. Jay2TheRescue

    Jay2TheRescue Resident Spamslayer
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    Thanks for the quick reply, is that assigned to a particular tower, or can a tower's number change on a regular basis?
     
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  4. pbw

    pbw Member
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    YEah. This one I can answer. Especially since Bob got the ARFCN thing. Anyway channel numbers are not unique, they will repeater but there is a certain area of seperation. Normally, I have not seen the control channel change unless the carrier moves a site out of its current LAC and into another LAC. If the carrier changes a cell LAC then the control channels and BSIC values also change. Annoying when you collect data from carriers like T-Mobile who seem to change the LAC of all sites every six months.
     
  5. hillbilly44

    hillbilly44 Senior Member
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    The control channel doesn't always change when the LAC (location area code) changes. It usually stays the same unless they are also doing a retune. A LAC change is due to a cell site being "rehomed" to a new BSC so if a cell is placed on a new LAC that means that the network is growing or caring more traffic. :cool2:
     
  6. pbw

    pbw Member
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    Word up! I should have prefixed my statements with "not an engineer". All I know is that when VoiceStream went from a lot of small sized LACs to a handful of large LACs they changed all of the control channels and BSICs at each site. I guess this was coincidental? I had seen Triton PCS do the same thing (only their LAC changes are not so frequent). Also why does VoiceStream not reuse LAC numbers but other carriers do?
     
  7. hillbilly44

    hillbilly44 Senior Member
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    pbw;

    The reason for large LACs is the scalibility of the newer BSC (Base station controllers). They can handle more cell sites than the older models so the LAC boundries are larger. As far as changing BSICs and control channels I don't have a clue why they do that with a rehome. The LAC numbering probably has to do with the BSC configurations.:biggrin:
     
  8. ShoresGuy

    ShoresGuy Euer WA Experte in Europa
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    What is a SID? Is this the Switch ID?
     
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  9. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Here is some addiional info:

    ARFCN for 850/900 GSM, 1-124.

    for 1800 GSM, 512-885

    for 1900 GSM, 512-810
     
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  10. kashkanantambu

    kashkanantambu Junior Member
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    A SID is the acronym for System Idendification It is a five digit number that indicates what area a phone is in.:cool:
     
  11. club333

    club333 New Member

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    I live in South Jersey. Is there a web site that shows the Cingular cell towers with their numbers ? For example, where is Cingular Cell Tower #000000 located ?
     
  12. hillbilly44

    hillbilly44 Senior Member
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    Actually in a GSM network you use NMC for System Identification. SID is used with TDMA or CDMA networks. Also the LAC (location area code) shows where you are in the network (plus allows you access to it) and is assigned to a BSC (Base Station Controller). The channel you are seeing is for the sector (in idle mode) but in a GSM network you frequency hop so the actual channel will change while you are on a phone call.;)
     
  13. ShoresGuy

    ShoresGuy Euer WA Experte in Europa
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    Ok so will this channel change only apply to either GSM 900 or GSM 1800 and GSM 850 or GSM 1900 meaning that the change will occur within one band only if the provider uses GSM 900/1800 or GSM 850/1900. Furthermore, does this also lend creedence (credibility) to the debated topic of whether a handoff occurs between bands or between different network standards (GSM to UMTS handoff and vice-versa)?
     
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