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Thread: Interesting 'case study' of a small vacation town and cell service

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    Interesting 'case study' of a small vacation town and cell service

    Rehoboth Beach, Delaware is a popular beach for Philly and DC and of course, Delaware residents. It actually has a year-round population, unlike the NJ shore points. It has become very popular over the last 15 years. Cell service in Delaware always struggles due to a severe lack of density, even though the state is flat.

    Verizon has adopted a macro-site fix for the area. They added a site in 2015 and a "temporary" macro site in summer 2018. AT&T adopted a small cell fix, with approval for 5 c-rans in late 2017, and they are being built now actually. AT&T asked for an additional 2 c-rans in August 2018.

    Current State of Affairs:

    AT&T (diamonds are c-rans/small cells):


    Sprint/T-Mobile (Sprint is Yellow, Pink is T-Mobile, Shared sites are Green)


    Verizon:


    Takeaways: Sprint and T-Mobile will have a solid network when combined. T-Mobile struggles in Dewey currently. AT&T's network is relatively solid. Verizon's network is fantastic in the core area of downtown, it used to be 1X in many areas until 2015. Verizon stinks elsewhere though, notice that huge hole along the highway?

    AT&T wants 2 more small cells:




    These will have Airscale B2, B66A, B46, B42. Remember, B2 is 20x20 in Delaware and typically the primary band.

    Verizon wants a site on the water tower right in town; the 2 panels per sector are up and are "temporary" and on a ring structure around the neck of the site. Verizon wants to make this a permanent site with 4 panels per sector.


    Lots of activity from the big two carriers. In October, however, City Council "paused" the idea of the Verizon site being permanent and the 2 new AT&T c-ran nodes. Hence these are dark purple on the map.

    The town wants to see if there is some carrier-neutral option. While that sounds great, I feel like it's a little too late for that idea. Let AT&T finish up and let Verizon have the macro site. IMO a carrier neutral DAS does make sense, but Verizon probably doesn't need the nodes, and AT&T probably doesn't really need another macro. A combined Sprint/T-Mobile should be fine with the sites they have for now. Likely, most people who travel to Rehoboth have Verizon; they dominate DC. They also tend to dominate Delaware based on old outdated information that they're "the best" in every spot, so I do think they likely need all the capacity they can get. However, Verizon has a large hole in service on the highway that drops to 3G or 1X inside buildings such as the outlets and they are not addressing that.
    AT&T: 2003 (gophone) & 2008-2009 & 2013-Present
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    Lower, Slower, Delaware, I know it well. It's a great place to live. Though Rehobeth is a smallish resort town with some 12-month residents, the Atlantic beach resorts running down to Ocean City Maryland get millions of visitors a year. I have fambly near Bethany. Sprint and T-Mo don't make it to their house a few miles from the beach strip.

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    Thanks for keeping us updated. My family has a beach house in Prime Hook, so this is very helpful!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    -Bentley


    5-carrier aggregation with LAA (4+46+46+46+66) in Oklahoma City, OK on AT&T's commercial network

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    Quote Originally Posted by Airb330 View Post
    .......The town wants to see if there is some carrier-neutral option. While that sounds great, I feel like it's a little too late for that idea. .......
    There are carrier-neutral options but they require that the carriers cooperate. LTE has provisions for up to six carriers to share a single signal, which appears to be native to the customers of each of the carriers. There are also ways to share infrastructure and keep the spectrum separate. There just needs to be the will to do it.
    Donald Newcomb

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    Lower, Slower, Delaware, I know it well. It's a great place to live. Though Rehobeth is a smallish resort town with some 12-month residents, the Atlantic beach resorts running down to Ocean City Maryland get millions of visitors a year. I have fambly near Bethany. Sprint and T-Mo don't make it to their house a few miles from the beach strip.
    Eh, it's an OK place to live haha. It's sleepy. I grew up not far away in Kent County. Bethany sucks for coverage too. Verizon is supposedly building small cells there, we'll see. Only AT&T has a site north and south of the main area...so for now they're #1.

    Quote Originally Posted by BentleyBeard View Post
    Thanks for keeping us updated. My family has a beach house in Prime Hook, so this is very helpful!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Nice!

    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    There are carrier-neutral options but they require that the carriers cooperate. LTE has provisions for up to six carriers to share a single signal, which appears to be native to the customers of each of the carriers. There are also ways to share infrastructure and keep the spectrum separate. There just needs to be the will to do it.
    Right- and (shockingly) it seems like Verizon doesn't want small cells while AT&T does. Meanwhile Verizon wants small cells in the more southern towns of Bethany and Fenwick Island. They make no sense in this market. Sprint/T-Mobile don't really "do" small cells in Delaware or most of this market. I think thw town will see if AT&T will do more carrier-neutral c-rans, and maybe they will. Then whoever wants to, can jump on them. I think the town will eventually approve the Verizon site. Verizon already pays them in Dewey and on the south Rehoboth water towers, why not add a third.

    What's shocking to me, is that no one wanted that water tower spot until 2018. It's a PRIME spot and Rehoboth has always been willing to lease it given they lease their other water towers. To me that's very strange, it would have been a prime spot even in the tdma/cdma days.

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