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T-Mobile :(

Discussion in 'Cell Tower Hunting Club' started by Airb330, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. Airb330

    Airb330 Silver Senior Member
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    I emailed a lady at tmobiletowers.com to see who just added panels on the site. She said she checked with the legal department and that information is proprietary. That said, it's 4 cellular white panels. Verizon's been using those panels, but often with 1-2 PCS panels. It's most likely Cingular, who also uses the same panels as Verizon, but doesn't use PCS panels. That said, I haven't seen an improvement in coverage yet, but they're only 2 weeks old at the most.

    Nextel gives out the information readily, and even tells who about who is thinking of adding to the site! I wonder if that will all change with the Sprint merger.
     
  2. Yankees368

    Yankees368 Compulsive Signal Checker
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    Same thing happend with me. T-Mobile put up a new tower in my area and the rep wouldnt tell me who was trying to add onto that tower, although she DID say that someone will.
     
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  3. Jonathan Kramer

    Jonathan Kramer Telecom Atty/RF Engr.
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    Airb: Call the local government planning agency (usually the Community Development Department or Planning Department) and ask for the unit secretary. Ask the secretary if they have any information about a recent case involving the site. If the answer is yes, ask to speak ...briefly... with the case planner. Planning information is public record.

    It's possible that there isn't information about the change if the local government doesn't consider antenna additions to be a site modification (hummm....).

    Best,

    Jonathan Kramer

    PS: See the cell site cleverly disguised as a hotel at my site. I'll be uploading some of the pictures here, too.
     
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  4. ShoresGuy

    ShoresGuy Euer WA Experte in Europa
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    Jonathan, does the FCC also normally have details about tower license applicants seeking to add on to existing sites?
     
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  5. Jonathan Kramer

    Jonathan Kramer Telecom Atty/RF Engr.
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    SG: No. The FCC requires disclosure of sites on the edges of the various networks for interference protection purposes, but sites inside can be added/moved/decommissioned without FCC involvement.

    -Jonathan
     
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  6. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    Usually changes to the panels don't require anything with the planning boards since it's considered an exsisting structure and you can make these types of changes without a permit, only when they are putting up new towers or antenna's, unless the local town/city requires it in there local code, which isn't the norm.
     
  7. ShoresGuy

    ShoresGuy Euer WA Experte in Europa
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    I see, I was under impression that they had a lot more say in this area.
     
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  8. Airb330

    Airb330 Silver Senior Member
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    It was Cingular :). Wish the tower was taller, but it helps a weak outdoor spot.
     
  9. ok i have a NOOB question.. (yeah its been awhile since ive asked one of those.. :D)

    why is it that verizon and cingular's panels look the same... and some providors use the same type of panel (pcs, cellular) but they can operate different technology- gsm, cdma, etc

    do you understand what I'm sayin?
     
  10. Airb330

    Airb330 Silver Senior Member
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    Basically. Each area is different. Today Cingular and Verizon both use 'double sharkfin' white panels here, which only 850 carriers use. Verizon now also uses light gray PCS panels for a total of 2+2=4. Cingular just uses 4 of the cellular panels. T-Mobile tends to use 2 thick white panels, Sprint 1-3 thin grey/white ones, and Nextel 4 thin grey ones. Once you establish a pattern for an area, it's easy to figure out. However, it took me awhile, and Verizon has many different panel layouts here.
     
  11. Jonathan Kramer

    Jonathan Kramer Telecom Atty/RF Engr.
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    Fire: It may not be the norm in the east, but it is in the west. The basis for the reach to the panels is that the site appearance, not just the structure, are considered when approving a conditional or special use permit. It's a real no-no to switch out panels other than for direct replacment.

    In one of my client cities here in SoCal I recently ran across a crew adding panels to an existing project. When I asked the crew boss whether this was being done under permit (and I was fairly sure it wasn't as I see virtually all permits in that City), I got the dumb stare look.

    Busted! Now they have to apply in arrears for a site modification approval, and have to defend why they didn't follow the rules in the first place.

    -Jonathan
     
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  12. Jonathan Kramer

    Jonathan Kramer Telecom Atty/RF Engr.
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    Given the explosive growth, there's no way the Commission could deal with the sites on anywhere near a real time basis. And since their primary consideration is on the licensees who paid $Bs for the spectrum playing nicey-nicey with each other on an interference basis, it makes some sense, too. jlk
     
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  13. pbw

    pbw Member
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    Correct. However, across the river in Montgomery County carriers must get approval to even swap out antenna at an existing site. Want to stick it to the man? Go to your zoning department and pull the electrical permits for said carrier. They all have to have those :)
     
  14. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    That's part of the problem, there is no structured rules to follow on what needs to be done to do things, some area's require a permit some don't even for a simple modification. Part of the reason they went with building & fire codes was to help keep everyone on the same page on what needs to be done correctly, then the state & local goverments can modify it to there desires to a point. So a contractor that works in an area that doesn't need a permit gets caught suprised when he/she finds out they need 1 in another area.
     
  15. Jonathan Kramer

    Jonathan Kramer Telecom Atty/RF Engr.
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    Well, Fire, I agree about standard safety codes, but antennas are not related to safety.

    It's a local government issue as to whether an antenna change-out or increase requires a permit.

    Where the underlying permit was granted for a conditional or special use (for example, the height limit of the district was exceeded by the project) a change of the permitted facility does require a modification or other approval. It really is different from safety code compliance.

    -Jonathan
     
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  16. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    I agree with you on this, that it's a Local Govt. issue & that is where the problems can happen without a contractor realizing it, yes the contractor should check with the local building dept. so see if any modifications require a permit & what would/wouldn't need a permit.
    To me it's just like doing work on a house, unless you are expanding the house, working with electrical or pluming then you can do the work without a permit, including gutting a room & re sheet rocking it & adding insulation etc...
    Adding panels would fall under the "expanding" code, but changing panels would appear as a remodel category in some peoples eyes.
     

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