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Tansmission: microwave or fixed-line

Discussion in 'Cell Tower Hunting Club' started by RadioRaiders, May 3, 2007.

  1. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    While you guys are out hunting towers, do you notice what % of sites use microwave radio for tansmission? (They would be small microwave dishes usually around 3-10 feet in diameter and pointing horizontally at another tower)

    I was on the East Coast last year (between New York and Boston) and don't recall seing any microwave dishes on any cell towers.

    I assume most operators used fixed-lines for their transport network then? Usually, microwave is cheaper, as it pays itself off in only a few years, compared to the recurring monthly costs of leased-lines. (However, if you are say ATT and own both the mobile AND fixed line networks, then maybe it's not much of an issue?)

    Are there certain operators in the USA that prefer to use them, and other not? And what are their reasons?
     
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  2. hillbilly44

    hillbilly44 Senior Member
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    One reason you don't see microwave used as the backhaul is the additional cost for tower space (can be more per month than a T-1). In the US carriers rent tower space from tower companies.
     
  3. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    Is that true in all cases, or just some? :confused: I'd think the operator would want to build some of their own sites and not be totally dependant on coverage based on where a "tower company" decides to put their sites.
     
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  4. chuikov

    chuikov Senior Member
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    Often the carriers have operating agreements with tower companies. The carrier decides where the new site is needed and it does all the leasing, permitting and engineering for the tower. Then they sell the site to the tower company and become a tenant on the structure. It works out well for both parties because the tower company gets a tower with at least one tenant from the get-go, and the carrier gets the site where they want it while not having to tie up a bunch of capital in the structure.
     
  5. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    It used to be cheaper to run a Microwave network, but not so much anymore. There are two primary unlicence freqs a carrier can use for a micro hop and they are 2.4 and 5.8. We have quite alot of both. Some of the companies we bought used microwave as the primary backhaul for both T-1 and DS3. Running a DS3 on unlicence 2.4 is a serious no no. Wi-Fi uses 2.4 and some of our microwave takes interference because of this.
     
  6. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    In our area microwave antennas are much harder to get approved by the city when T1's are a viable option. Less visual blight. That said, Verizon Wireless has quite an impressive microwave network in the Los Angeles area but most of it was built out in the mid-late 90's and even early 00's but the approval process was much easier than it's become recently.
     
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  7. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    Verizon Wireless had a great commodity Verizon Business which has a great backhaul structure. Most of that micro was probably part of GTE's back haul and my have already been in place.

    We dont do much new micro unless we cant get a T-1 to a tower.
     
  8. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    Well the Verizon Wireless network here was originally owned by PacTel Cellular (Run by Pacific Telesis). Which was then sold off to GTE/Airtouch.... (Not much later Pacific Telesis decided to try again and launched their GSM network which is became the ATT Orange Network) and GTE/Airtouch became Verizon Wireless around 1999.

    The infrastructure that they're using is completely seperate than the Vz Business microwave, which is almost non-existent in this area.
     
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  9. Jonathan Kramer

    Jonathan Kramer Telecom Atty/RF Engr.
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    TJ is, as usual, correct. Microwave backhaul is a tough sell in the SoCal market where T1s are plentiful (and advisors like me know it).

    jlk
     
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  10. RadioFoneGuy

    RadioFoneGuy Powered by HTC FUZE
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    I bet. SoCal was probably on the forefront of the Fiber revolution back in the day.

    Speaking of Micro, I have to put in a new micro shot in the next month to a new site. The site in question is a raw land build that is in a bird sanctuary and a swampy area. The DNR is looking to make sure the tower wont interfere with the warbler. It would be a pain to get Telco out there so Micro it is.
     

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