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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to share some pictures I took yesterday which relate to the Bell/Telus network upgrades. It's not often we get such good views of this stuff!

I've seen new antennas placed on Bell cell sites here (We don't have "Telus" sites here, they run off Bell's network) .. things are definitely in full swing with regard to their network upgrades. I usually visit different tower sites as a hobby, yesterday I happened to simply drive past this place and noticed a big antenna rack sitting on the ground at a Bell Aliant tower site. I am assuming they are planning to mount this thing soon. Looks like they can just remove the old piece from atop the current tower and lay this thing right back on there as it's pre-built.

I know more about this stuff than an average person (again, only a hobby), but still not a whole lot, so if anyone has more information to share about this equipment, please tell! I find it odd how they have so many boxes, etc, that will be mounted at the top of the tower. Never really seen anything like that before.

This site is in St. John's, Newfoundland.

First is a shot of the current tower, with the new antenna structure on the ground in front of it.




Some of the equipment mounted on the top of the tower, seems strange to me.


 

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Discussion Starter #2
The back of one of the antennas. These are Andrew brand.




Had to include this one just so you can understand the actual size of this thing!
 

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Neat.

Looks like they are running fibre optics and DC power up to the top of the tower now and then converting the signal to RF at the top.

"Normal" towers the RF amps are at the bottom in the Hut you then run a big thick antenna cable up from the hut to the top.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Looks like they are running fibre optics and DC power up to the top of the tower now and then converting the signal to RF at the top.

"Normal" towers the RF amps are at the bottom in the Hut you then run a big thick antenna cable up from the hut to the top.
Thank you!

As I said, I don't really know much about this stuff, but I did notice the optical cable so I assumed SOMETHING like this was happening but didn't quite know the specifics.

I wonder what the benefit of this setup would be.. lower costs for cables?.. Wouldn't it be harder to change something out in the event of a failure if it was atop the tower?
 

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For anyone interested, this new piece is now installed. They actually put it right ontop of the old one, so there are now 3 layers of antennas. All for one carrier, seems like a lot to me, I'd be interested to know why they need so many. Might try to get a picture sometime to post.
 

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For anyone interested, this new piece is now installed. They actually put it right ontop of the old one, so there are now 3 layers of antennas. All for one carrier, seems like a lot to me, I'd be interested to know why they need so many. Might try to get a picture sometime to post.
They may sharing the site, in which case there would be - potentially - 5 or 6 different configs:
- Bell 850MHz
- Bell 1900MHz
- Rogers 850MHz
- Rogers 1900MHz
- Telus Mike Service at 900MHz'ish
- Bell Trunking (2-way radio)

There are tons of other potential companies that they are sharing the site with. They do this to get additional income on some sites, and also if the site is acutally owned by someone else and they are a tennant on the site. The latter is more common with the really large omni-directional sites in rural areas.


There is also going to be even more site sharing. Industry Canada legislated that the incumbent carriers have to share their sites with the new wireless entrants. That is to reduce the number of new sites, and to stop the incumbents from obstructing their competitors.
Victor
 

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I considered that too but wasn't sure. There is a Rogers site VERY close to this site and is in a prime location, highly elevated, I can't see them sharing on this tower.

Telus has no towers here, but as for 'Mike' service I can't say much because I don't really know anything about it.

The 2-way radio sounds very possible, but that is not a new technology, so why would they have just made the upgrade now? Up until this point, BellAliant sites around town for the most part have been one set of antennas, all the same type.

I've seen this exact configuration on another BellAliant tower here as well, and more being upgraded. They're looking very ugly now compared to before!

I do like the idea of site sharing, it seems to be very popular in other places, especially like you said, on really large sites.

The only two carriers here being Rogers & Bell, Rogers has VERY few sites in the province compared to Bell, so they have nothing to share here :D

Still meaning to get a pic of the antennas installed.. will try to do that soon.. and maybe some other upgraded sites if I can.
 

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The existing antenai is bell CDMA and the one they dropped on top is likely wcdma / umts broadcasting 302-880 telus / bell shared so that could explain why it has separate dc and optical because the rnc could be located elsewhere and not combined with the bell eqpt.
 

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This is very cool.. I've noticed them doing similar upgrades at at least 4 other sites here so far.. they're not all simply having a piece dropped on top like this one.. In most case they're installing everything at the top of the tower piece by piece.
 
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