Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 43

Thread: What does everyone think a WiMAX cell site (tower) will look like?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bajor
    Posts
    3,483
    Phones
    Galaxy Nexus LTE
    Star Trek Communicator (Nokia N76 prototype)
    Carrier
    Verizon Wireless
    Feedback Score
    0

    What does everyone think a WiMAX cell site (tower) will look like?

    Some of us here on the boards like taking long looks at local cell sites to see what carriers are using them, what directions the panels are facing, etc. So I got to wondering: what does everyone think a WiMax cell site would look like?

    I snooped around on the internet and found a couple pictures here of WiMax sites at unspecified cities.

    Anyone live in one of the test markets for WiMax in the States? Seen anything?

    Also, how many WiMax sites would be required to cover an average-sized city (say, Boston)? Are we talking one very large, very tall tower (like VHF), or many smaller ones? My guess would be the latter thank to the higher-frequency nature of the broadcasts, but I'm not an RF engineer. Those of you who are (and anyone else), please chime in.
    Twitter: Captain2Phones Carriers Used: Sprint PCS, Nextel, T-Mobile, AT&T, Boost Mobile. Phone Manufacturers Used: Samsung, LG, Motorola, RIM, HTC, Sanyo, Danger, Palm, Apple.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    5,777
    Carrier
    AT&T
    Feedback Score
    0
    Clearwire is supposedly using some sort of WiMax-like technology, and their sites-- around here anyway-- consist of three panel antennas, similar to those used in a conventional PCS antenna array though a tad smaller, usually mounted directly against a monopole mast.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    6,053
    Phone
    LG G3
    Carrier
    Sprint
    Feedback Score
    0
    There are already plenty of WiMAX cell sites up here in So. Cal. They're putting them right on exisiting Nextel IDEN only towers. They just change out one panel per sector and place the WIMAX panel on which closely resembles a Sprint 1900 Mhz CDMA panel.

    Here's a picture I took of one a couple of months ago (notice the odd panel per sector):



    The reason they have to co-locate them on the Nextel towers is because the equipment for WiMAX cannot be located outside. Nextel has enclosed equipment shelters and Sprint usually does not.
    Sprint user since 1997


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    5,777
    Carrier
    AT&T
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by larryt510
    There are already plenty of WiMAX cell sites up here in So. Cal. They're putting them right on exisiting Nextel IDEN only towers. They just change out one panel per sector and place the WIMAX panel on which closely resembles a Sprint 1900 Mhz CDMA panel.
    That looks a lot like what I see Clearwire using around here. I know Clearwire and WiMax are technically different animals, but it looks like some of the equipment may be similar. They put theirs directly against the monopole.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bajor
    Posts
    3,483
    Phones
    Galaxy Nexus LTE
    Star Trek Communicator (Nokia N76 prototype)
    Carrier
    Verizon Wireless
    Feedback Score
    0
    So ... one of those panels on each corner is a WiMax antenna? SoCal is one of the test markets?

    BTW, what's the tall antenna in the center of that site?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    6,053
    Phone
    LG G3
    Carrier
    Sprint
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by VCI_Cell
    So ... one of those panels on each corner is a WiMax antenna? SoCal is one of the test markets?

    BTW, what's the tall antenna in the center of that site?
    No the WiMAX panels are not on the corners. The WiMAX panel is located to the left of that tall (GPS) antenna in the middle. Notice the white color and flatter shape of the WIMAX panel?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    5,777
    Carrier
    AT&T
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by VCI_Cell
    Also, how many WiMax sites would be required to cover an average-sized city (say, Boston)? Are we talking one very large, very tall tower (like VHF), or many smaller ones? My guess would be the latter thank to the higher-frequency nature of the broadcasts, but I'm not an RF engineer. Those of you who are (and anyone else), please chime in.
    I neglected to address this. Again, I'll go back to Clearwire's system, because they're the closest thing I've got to work with around here. They are on practically every cell tower around here, and their coverage from what I gather is still crap. They are generally in the lowest position on each tower, being the newest network in town. I have never known them to construct their own sites, and I rarely see a cellular tower they aren't on.

    Interestingly, accompanying each of their antenna arrays on the tower is at least one small dish, sometimes as many as four. Apparently this is how they're getting connectivity to their sites. They practically threw all the sites up in Richmond in about a weeks' time. Perhaps this explains their poor performance around here. That's got to be a serious bottleneck. The dishes appear to be pointed at the next site in line. Things have to get worse as you move further out of town.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bajor
    Posts
    3,483
    Phones
    Galaxy Nexus LTE
    Star Trek Communicator (Nokia N76 prototype)
    Carrier
    Verizon Wireless
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by larryt510
    No the WiMAX panels are not on the corners. The WiMAX panel is located to the left of that tall antenna in the middle. Notice the white color and flatter shape of the WIMAX panel?
    Ah yes. I thought it was the same thing as its neighbor, but angled differently. I see now that they're two seperate antennas. Wow -- didn't expect them to be that similar.

    So they're planning to use the existing towers, then, I suppose. Makes sense.

    What's the story out there in SoCal and ... wherever KE4 lives? You guys rollin' deep with WiMax already?

    And what's that center spire for, again?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bajor
    Posts
    3,483
    Phones
    Galaxy Nexus LTE
    Star Trek Communicator (Nokia N76 prototype)
    Carrier
    Verizon Wireless
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by KG4PEQ
    I neglected to address this. Again, I'll go back to Clearwire's system, because they're the closest thing I've got to work with around here. They are on practically every cell tower around here, and their coverage from what I gather is still crap. They are generally in the lowest position on each tower, being the newest network in town. I have never known them to construct their own sites, and I rarely see a cellular tower they aren't on.

    Interestingly, accompanying each of their antenna arrays on the tower is at least one small dish, sometimes as many as four. Apparently this is how they're getting connectivity to their sites. They practically threw all the sites up in Richmond in about a weeks' time. Perhaps this explains their poor performance around here. That's got to be a serious bottleneck. The dishes appear to be pointed at the next site in line. Things have to get worse as you move further out of town.
    Yeah, I've heard of cell sites using microwave for interconnectivity (is that what the RF folks call Mobile-to-Mobile, by the way? I know their M2M is different than the consumer definition of M2M). So I guess it makes sense WiMax would use microwave for it, as well.

    What sort of service does Clearwire offer up in Richmond?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    5,777
    Carrier
    AT&T
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by VCI_Cell
    Yeah, I've heard of cell sites using microwave for interconnectivity (is that what the RF folks call Mobile-to-Mobile, by the way? I know their M2M is different than the consumer definition of M2M). So I guess it makes sense WiMax would use microwave for it, as well.

    What sort of service does Clearwire offer up in Richmond?
    Once upon a time many of the wireless sites in the more rural parts around here used strictly microwave for connectivity. I haven't seen it for a while. I suppose it's rather impractical with capacity and data needs being what they are.

    Clearwire really hasn't caught on around here. I know several people who are involved in the sale of their products and the picture isn't very rosy. Major technical issues are the biggest complaint. Slow throughput, disappearing network, etc. Extremely unreliable. In my shopping center we had no choices for store connectivity except dialup, Sprint Mobile Broadband, T1, or Clearwire, and for a while we went Clearwire and regretted every minute of that decision. We have since purchased a T1, justifying the cost by hosting half of the company's VoIP phone system here.

    The top speeds Clearwire advertises are 1.5 mbps down and I believe 128 kbps up for around $35/month. Verizon's got DSL available in most of Richmond and surrounding areas; Embarq has done a good job blanketing some of the outlying rural areas with its DSL service. FiOS and Comcast are an option throughout most of the area. With DSL offering twice the download speed for a lower monthly cost, I don't know why anyone would go with Clearwire.

    If Clearwire really wanted to take off they'd be offering service in the distant suburbs and nearby rural areas where neither cable nor DSL are available, but they don't touch those areas. In the meantime, I'll keep selling Sprint Broadband Cards and Linksys routers to these folks.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bajor
    Posts
    3,483
    Phones
    Galaxy Nexus LTE
    Star Trek Communicator (Nokia N76 prototype)
    Carrier
    Verizon Wireless
    Feedback Score
    0
    Just looked up Clearwire -- now I see. They offer wired service AND wireless. Seems like you need to buy one of their PC card modems to access their wireless network. Interesting.

    But this isn't true WiMAX, you say?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    1,040
    Phones
    Motorola i580
    motorola i850
    boost i215
    Carriers
    Nextel
    Feedback Score
    0
    I'll take some pictures of wimax sites this week and post them this weekend. just a little hint though.....they look like a pcs site with 2 panels per sector.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Bajor
    Posts
    3,483
    Phones
    Galaxy Nexus LTE
    Star Trek Communicator (Nokia N76 prototype)
    Carrier
    Verizon Wireless
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by jrip
    I'll take some pictures of wimax sites this week and post them this weekend. just a little hint though.....they look like a pcs site with 2 panels per sector.
    Thanks jrip!

    So, I know Xohm's WiMAX is going to be hanging out around 2.5GHz, and I think Clearwire is in that neighborhood, too ... what's signal propagation like way up there in that band? Is there a certain point where the "higher-freqs-are-worse-for-wall-penetration" rule becomes null and void?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Melbourne, FL
    Posts
    4,501
    Phones
    iPhone 4S
    Blitz
    Sprint Treo 755 (for sale or trade)
    Carriers
    AT&T
    PagePlus
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by VCI_Cell
    Thanks jrip!

    So, I know Xohm's WiMAX is going to be hanging out around 2.5GHz, and I think Clearwire is in that neighborhood, too ... what's signal propagation like way up there in that band? Is there a certain point where the "higher-freqs-are-worse-for-wall-penetration" rule becomes null and void?
    From a pure RF point of view, propagation is worse than the 1900MHz band. But let's look at it from both directions. From the tower to mobile terminal point of view, they can turn up the power and reach farther. The problem comes on the mobile terminal to the tower direction. If you turn up the power on the mobile terminal, then your battery life goes to hell. The solution is to limit the communication from the mobile terminal to the base station by carefully selecting the type of applications you support and the type of devices you support. For example if you do not support voice, then your device does not transmit often. If you mainly support internet browsing, downloading, music streaming, video streaming, gaming, all those activities are heavily assymetrical with respect to the downlink, so you don't expend as much power on the uplink. Also if your end devices are internet tablets, laptops, car video and audio streaming devices, etc, then their battery budget is not the limiting factor. From what I have heard, Sprint does not intend to put voice devices on their 2.5GHz network.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    6,053
    Phone
    LG G3
    Carrier
    Sprint
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by VCI_Cell
    So they're planning to use the existing towers, then, I suppose. Makes sense.
    Yep they will be panel co-lo's on existing Nextel towers to start and then eventually they hope to be able to deploy them on Sprint CDMA towers as well. Assuming that the vendors will come out with WiMAX equipment that can be placed outdoors.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Bookmarks