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Network Vision/LTE - New York City Market


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On 10/1/2021 at 11:46 AM, thisischuck01 said:

Once again, agreed! Here's a similar setup in Williamsburg (eNB 58152). Kinda hard to tell what's going on - maybe these were four-sector sites that were downgraded to three-sector sites once they were upgraded with split-sector antennas? Or perhaps they changed sector azimuth at some point and were too lazy to take down the old sector?

I'm leaning towards the idea of changes in the sector azimuth and didn't take down the old sector. I don't know of any 4-sector sites within NYC, but I have realized sites with 2/12/66 setup that get upgraded to all bands may get one or 2 sectors split after the upgrade. I think T-Mobile knew some of these sites had capacity issues, and are now doing something about it when they do their 5G upgrades. Another example of this is eNB 40988, a former 2/12/66 tower with no splits, and now it has all licensed bands, and B66 is now split on it. I would assume B2 is also, but I didn't check when I passed by.

Former view of the site, compared to the current view below:
W0Xrinl.jpg

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10 hours ago, T-MoblieUser207 said:

I'm leaning towards the idea of changes in the sector azimuth and didn't take down the old sector. I don't know of any 4-sector sites within NYC, but I have realized sites with 2/12/66 setup that get upgraded to all bands may get one or 2 sectors split after the upgrade. I think T-Mobile knew some of these sites had capacity issues, and are now doing something about it when they do their 5G upgrades. Another example of this is eNB 40988, a former 2/12/66 tower with no splits, and now it has all licensed bands, and B66 is now split on it. I would assume B2 is also, but I didn't check when I passed by.

Former view of the site, compared to the current view below:
W0Xrinl.jpg

At least in the case of 58152, it seems as though they had only three sectors in late 2017 and then built a fourth in early 2018. The fourth sector was never upgraded from three APX16 antenas, though, so it's a bit hard to tell what exactly they were doing. I generally agree, though, I haven't noticed any active four-sector sites in NYC.

Also, AFAIK the AIR 3246 is a single band antenna - Ericsson has a B66 variant and a B25 variant (though T-Mobile seems to only deploy the B66 variant). SOP for B2/B66 split sector sites typically seems to involve the deployment of two split sectors antennas, though I've seen them do it with a single 2HH-38A-R4-V2 (ie. eNB 43381).

Very glad to see more split sector sites, but still waiting for more LAA/CBRS and mmWave deployment... 😭

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33 minutes ago, thisischuck01 said:

though I've seen them do it with a single 2HH-38A-R4-V2 (ie. eNB 43381).

Yup, I think you identified for me a while back that eNB 55828 has that same antenna. Though it looks like it's only on one sector and the others have Ericsson AIR32's.

Quote

Very glad to see more split sector sites, but still waiting for more LAA/CBRS and mmWave deployment... 😭

Same lol. The optimist in me want to believe that they're just waiting for the go ahead on deploying the new small cell design so that they can put LAA, CBRS, and mmWave all inside a single small cell instead of deploying it on macros where the antennas will take up space and site density makes it so you're always just out of range.

Sidenote: Despite Verizon's continued push with mmWave in the city I find that I almost never connect to it. It feels like I have to stay in one place and deliberately attempt to connect by cycling airplane mode while standing within line of sight of the antenna. Recently I connected to a site in Gowanus and while standing near it with LOS, I couldn't get over 800Mbps down which was really weird. I guess not all Verizon sites have been provisioned with massive amounts of backhaul.

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On 10/4/2021 at 12:52 AM, thisischuck01 said:

Also, AFAIK the AIR 3246 is a single band antenna - Ericsson has a B66 variant and a B25 variant (though T-Mobile seems to only deploy the B66 variant). SOP for B2/B66 split sector sites typically seems to involve the deployment of two split sectors antennas, though I've seen them do it with a single 2HH-38A-R4-V2 (ie. eNB 43381).

I was expecting to see the Commscope panel, but didn't, unless its on the south-ish facing sector. I'll take another spin around the site to see if I missed something. eNB 49619 is another with B66 being split on one sector, but I don't see the usual split sector antenna(s) on it.

On 10/4/2021 at 1:09 AM, Paynefanbro said:

Yup, I think you identified for me a while back that eNB 55828 has that same antenna. Though it looks like it's only on one sector and the others have Ericsson AIR32's.

While eNB 55828 has it on only one sector, eNB 55976 had 2 facing the same direction! It has since been changed now with the 6449 up on it. eNBs 40989 and 41362 are other towers with one single split panel on one sector that I know of.

On 10/4/2021 at 12:52 AM, thisischuck01 said:

Very glad to see more split sector sites, but still waiting for more LAA/CBRS and mmWave deployment... 😭

To be honest, while I definitely want more spectrum, the backhaul is more of an issue. Even sites with the ancient RFS 2/12/66 panels, once they get upgraded, their speeds go up by a lot on LTE. Plus, its fairly easy to hit the 1G backhaul cap with 80 MHz n41 added to B2 and/or B66. I hope they start ramping the small cells with that spectrum though as Paynefanbro said, as adding them in places with a ton of pedestrian traffic/infill coverage would help to place the icing on the layer cake.

--

T-Mobile 2xB41 seems to be expanding across Brooklyn, but it also seems targeted, as in for areas where they need/want the extra LTE capacity. Along Eastern Pkwy, most of the towers from Franklin Avenue (eNB 142953) to Rochester Avenue (eNB 475428) seem to have 2xB41 live. A trip along Fort Hamilton Pkwy only produced one tower with 2xB41, eNB 131646. I ran a test on 131646, and I think 2xCA uploads are active on the sites that have 2xB41, but that was the only site I ran the test on so I'm not 100% sure. Sprint definitely had it active when I tested eNB 7263, when 2660 MHz on Sprint was still around.

 

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On 10/7/2021 at 5:13 PM, T-MoblieUser207 said:

T-Mobile 2xB41 seems to be expanding across Brooklyn, but it also seems targeted, as in for areas where they need/want the extra LTE capacity. Along Eastern Pkwy, most of the towers from Franklin Avenue (eNB 142953) to Rochester Avenue (eNB 475428) seem to have 2xB41 live. A trip along Fort Hamilton Pkwy only produced one tower with 2xB41, eNB 131646. I ran a test on 131646, and I think 2xCA uploads are active on the sites that have 2xB41, but that was the only site I ran the test on so I'm not 100% sure. Sprint definitely had it active when I tested eNB 7263, when 2660 MHz on Sprint was still around.

Nice find!! Seeing a secondary B41 carrier on at least a few sites in Williamsburg, I'll see if I can't map it. 

Dropped down to LTE to do some testing, and it is still SLOW. Very glad I upgraded to a 5G phone. At 5:30PM on a Friday:

2x B41: 29.7/1.70

B2/B66/B12: 11.2/0.95

n41/B2/.B66: 149/8 (I can generally pull upwards of 300/40 on off hours)

This is on a site with an AIR3246 per sector.

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Went up to Woodbury Common again. Just like all the other times, T-Mobile outperformed Verizon by a significant margin. Verizon still doesn't offer 5G at Woodbury Common which is interesting considering it has heavy foot traffic year round.

The nearest site to the outlet mall is actually brand new. There used to be a lattice tower that only T-Mobile was on up until 2019. In 2020 that tower was taken down and rebuilt as a traditional monopole and it has 3 carriers on it. 

I don't have a clear picture of the site but it's clear that everyone deployed as much capacity as possible. T-Mobile is on the top rack, I believe Verizon is just below them with those massive high capacity antennas, and AT&T was below that with a MatSing Ball. The only reason T-Mobile doesn't have high capacity antennas on this site is because they have another stealth site nearby that neither AT&T nor Verizon are on which also has all of their spectrum deployed on it inside this red building.

xBdpAqS.jpg

I forced my T-Mobile line to LTE so that I could do a "fair" comparison of both Verizon and T-Mobile in the same place at the same time. These speeds I received made me question if the Verizon antennas were even active as they're not mapped on Cellmapper and neither is the AT&T site.

FBUo9Fi.pngNUzauUl.jpg

Also thanks to the engineering mode in iOS 15 I was able to spot something really interesting while there. I managed to connect to a standalone 40MHz n41 carrier.

3u0b6cl.pngadg2aIW.jpg

P.S. Verizon eNB 84357 has C-band now

zNZ3bZ0.jpg

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On 10/4/2021 at 1:09 AM, Paynefanbro said:

Sidenote: Despite Verizon's continued push with mmWave in the city I find that I almost never connect to it. It feels like I have to stay in one place and deliberately attempt to connect by cycling airplane mode while standing within line of sight of the antenna. Recently I connected to a site in Gowanus and while standing near it with LOS, I couldn't get over 800Mbps down which was really weird. I guess not all Verizon sites have been provisioned with massive amounts of backhaul.

That definitely hasn't been by experience since switching to Verizon a few weeks ago. Now that my iPhone 13 Pro can actually connect to mmWave I'm finding it everywhere the Verizon map says I should be, and even a little more. My phone immediately switches to it when available and routinely hits over 3 Gbps. But yea, move a few feet and it vanishes. I have gotten some impressive range, though. eNB 84364 has a new antenna added to a sector recently (Myrtle Ave at Ashland Pl) and I can pick that site up on the other side of Flatbush Ave at 3+ Gbps.

Just like the map says, I can walk down Myrtle Ave in Fort Greene between about Washington Park down to about Pratt and my iPhone stays on mmWave. Ironically, though, the iPhone seems to hold on to it even when the speeds dip far below what even LTE could provide.

6KtnrtW.jpeg

Edited by AirlineFlyer
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On 10/3/2021 at 2:10 PM, T-MoblieUser207 said:

eNB 40988, a former 2/12/66 tower with no splits, and now it has all licensed bands, and B66 is now split on it. I would assume B2 is also, but I didn't check when I passed by.

Was able to pass by this tower again, and it seems like only B66 is split, not B2. I wasn't able to do the 360 spin I did for B12/41/71, but 2 of the sectors are split, would assume the third is too. Still confused how the antenna layout leads to B66 being split, as its not something I recognize.

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1 hour ago, T-MoblieUser207 said:

Was able to pass by this tower again, and it seems like only B66 is split, not B2. I wasn't able to do the 360 spin I did for B12/41/71, but 2 of the sectors are split, would assume the third is too. Still confused how the antenna layout leads to B66 being split, as its not something I recognize.

B66 is split via the AIR3246 (the antenna to the right of the AIR6449). It's a 32x32 mMIMO antenna that they run in split-sector mode. Unlike the 2HH-38A-R4-V2, which can support both a B66 and a B2/B25 split with a single antenna, the AIR3246 is a single-band antenna. Ericsson has two variants - one that supports B2/B25, and another that supports B66. I haven't seen them deploy the B2/B25 variant. The B66 variant seems to be the replacement for the 2HH-38A-R4-V2 (I haven't seen them deploy that antenna in a little while).
 

On 10/8/2021 at 6:09 PM, Paynefanbro said:

The only reason T-Mobile doesn't have high capacity antennas on this site is because they have another stealth site nearby that neither AT&T nor Verizon are on which also has all of their spectrum deployed on it inside this red building

Huh! Nice find! I've often wondered what exactly is going on there, CellMapper is a total mess haha. Any guesses as to what the deal is with 58611/131684/47695?

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On 10/11/2021 at 4:14 PM, thisischuck01 said:

Huh! Nice find! I've often wondered what exactly is going on there, CellMapper is a total mess haha. Any guesses as to what the deal is with 58611/131684/47695?

I'm not certain what those 3 eNBs are at all. They've confused me for a long time and the trails on Cellmapper don't make any sense to me. 58611 hasn't been seen in nearly a year so I think it's safe to say that it doesn't exist anymore. 131684 appeared at roughly the same time 58611 stopped being mapped.

I'm not certain about the other two though. The PCI pattern in the area doesn't make it easy to determine if they're small cells or macros. The cover a large enough area for it to be macros but the signal strength and shapes of the mapped areas don't match up to any sites in the area. 

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On 10/11/2021 at 4:14 PM, thisischuck01 said:

B66 is split via the AIR3246 (the antenna to the right of the AIR6449). It's a 32x32 mMIMO antenna that they run in split-sector mode. Unlike the 2HH-38A-R4-V2, which can support both a B66 and a B2/B25 split with a single antenna, the AIR3246 is a single-band antenna. Ericsson has two variants - one that supports B2/B25, and another that supports B66. I haven't seen them deploy the B2/B25 variant. The B66 variant seems to be the replacement for the 2HH-38A-R4-V2 (I haven't seen them deploy that antenna in a little while).

Ah, thank you! I also haven't seen new 2HH-38A-R4-V2 deployments in either. The deployment of the AIR3246 lines up with most of the new B66-only eNBs I have seen on Cellmapper. Seems like some of the towers have the panel running with split-sector active, and some don't.

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On 10/8/2021 at 6:09 PM, Paynefanbro said:

Went up to Woodbury Common again. Just like all the other times, T-Mobile outperformed Verizon by a significant margin. Verizon still doesn't offer 5G at Woodbury Common which is interesting considering it has heavy foot traffic year round.

The nearest site to the outlet mall is actually brand new. There used to be a lattice tower that only T-Mobile was on up until 2019. In 2020 that tower was taken down and rebuilt as a traditional monopole and it has 3 carriers on it. 

I don't have a clear picture of the site but it's clear that everyone deployed as much capacity as possible. T-Mobile is on the top rack, I believe Verizon is just below them with those massive high capacity antennas, and AT&T was below that with a MatSing Ball. The only reason T-Mobile doesn't have high capacity antennas on this site is because they have another stealth site nearby that neither AT&T nor Verizon are on which also has all of their spectrum deployed on it inside this red building.

xBdpAqS.jpg

I forced my T-Mobile line to LTE so that I could do a "fair" comparison of both Verizon and T-Mobile in the same place at the same time. These speeds I received made me question if the Verizon antennas were even active as they're not mapped on Cellmapper and neither is the AT&T site.

 

Here's a better view of the high capacity site at Woodbury Commons. Verizon is still LTE only here. No 5G.gajVfvR_d.webp?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&

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40 minutes ago, AirlineFlyer said:

Here's a better view of the high capacity site at Woodbury Commons. Verizon is still LTE only here. No 5G.gajVfvR_d.webp?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&

What is that on the 2nd rack from the top?!  I've never seen those antenna's before.

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1 hour ago, clbowens said:

What is that on the 2nd rack from the top?!  I've never seen those antenna's before.

Multibeam antennas for massive capacity. 

The MatSing ball is the really impressive antenna here. Those have 48 independent cross-polarized beams that are 6 degrees by 6 degrees arranged in a 12x4 (horizontally by vertically) pattern. 

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On 7/2/2021 at 2:20 AM, Paynefanbro said:

Looks like there's a T-Mobile site at 101st Ave btwn 84th and 85th St in Ozone Park, Queens that hasn't been mapped at all yet on Cellmapper. Sadly I don't have an Android device to do it. I believe that eNB 138730 is the Band 41 eNB for that site.

Wasn't able to take a spin around this site for all bands, but 2/66/41 should be mapped along 101st Avenue, whenever Cellmapper updates as they are currently having some issues. No idea when/if I'll pass again for lowband.

One of Sprint's sites that I was hoping to be kept is actually being converted!! Location is eNB 6695, and here are pics:
w71OzVI.jpgdvRSw8H.jpg
West sector and northeast sector have all the panels up, didn't check the south one but would assume they are up there too. Now I wonder what they will do with the small cell they have on the same intersection... that's a worry for another day. Strange enough, the keep PLMN still isn't being broadcasted from the site, as it was still active as Sprint when I passed today. Locked B26 and B41, and it was still only 311-490. It is going to be a white knuckle ride until the end of June in 2022...

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9 hours ago, T-MoblieUser207 said:

One of Sprint's sites that I was hoping to be kept is actually being converted!! Location is eNB 6695, and here are pics:


West sector and northeast sector have all the panels up, didn't check the south one but would assume they are up there too. Now I wonder what they will do with the small cell they have on the same intersection... that's a worry for another day. Strange enough, the keep PLMN still isn't being broadcasted from the site, as it was still active as Sprint when I passed today. Locked B26 and B41, and it was still only 311-490. It is going to be a white knuckle ride until the end of June in 2022...

Looks like it's the second time that site was kept and converted. I think that antenna on the far right with the little radome is from the Clearwire days.

This gives me hope for eNB 74366 in Greenpoint. I desperately want them to keep/convert that site since it'll improve coverage significantly and relieve congestion in much of northern Greenpoint and Hunters Point. T-Mobile already performs poorly there and without that site, things will only get worse with the seemingly endless construction of highrises along the waterfront.

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7 hours ago, Paynefanbro said:

This gives me hope for eNB 74366 in Greenpoint. I desperately want them to keep/convert that site since it'll improve coverage significantly and relieve congestion in much of northern Greenpoint and Hunters Point. T-Mobile already performs poorly there and without that site, things will only get worse with the seemingly endless construction of highrises along the waterfront.

Hope so. Areas like that, really this area and site specifically, is what motivated me to switch to Verizon.

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38 minutes ago, thisischuck01 said:

"The City is proposing a design to expand 5G through the city's existing LinkNYC franchise: Link5G."


Source.

Those look horrible and massively oversized. I don't understand the point of it because it's not as if there's a lack of telephone poles to put 5G equipment on. The LinkNYC kiosks that currently exist fit in well with the streetscape. These stick out like a sore thumb no matter where you put them.

This just seems like the city looking for a way to further monetize LinkNYC so that they not only get money from advertising but also from site leasing when carriers hop onto them.

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Haven't posted in ages. But just noticed what was a Tmobile dead spot for me (since i switched sim cards) has now been filled by B26 no less. . I thought B26 was not part of the deal.  But seeing this gives me hope that this will fill in some gaps nicely. 

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On 10/25/2021 at 8:19 PM, AirlineFlyer said:

Also does it look like it's sporting LAA on the side focused right down Flatbush? eNB 84402.

I don't think Verizon is deploying those smaller CBRS/LAA antennas anymore. They look like some of the newer outdoor WiFi APs. Given the direction it's facing and the area it's in I wouldn't be surprised if it belongs to Spectrum.

29 minutes ago, nexgencpu said:

Haven't posted in ages. But just noticed what was a Tmobile dead spot for me (since i switched sim cards) has now been filled by B26 no less. . I thought B26 was not part of the deal.  But seeing this gives me hope that this will fill in some gaps nicely. 

Reminds me of a post from a few months ago where I had no native T-Mobile signal in Home Depot in Red Hook so my phone roamed on Sprint's network and gave me good speeds and signal. That was in spite of the T-Mobile site being much closer to the Home Depot than the nearest Sprint site. Sadly unless T-Mobile decides to keep and convert these sites, next year all of these areas may become a dead zones again.

It does seem as though T-Mobile is opening up more Sprint sites for roaming though.

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12 hours ago, Paynefanbro said:

I don't think Verizon is deploying those smaller CBRS/LAA antennas anymore. They look like some of the newer outdoor WiFi APs. Given the direction it's facing and the area it's in I wouldn't be surprised if it belongs to Spectrum.

Really weird to see a co-location like that. Does anyone actually use Spectrum Wi-Fi outdoors? It's has been universally awful in my experience. Maybe Spectrum Mobile phones prefer it over cellular? I'd love to see Verizon start to co-locate its equipment on some of the many rooftops that Spectrum has its junky old Wi-Fi equipment on, though.

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On 10/28/2021 at 11:10 PM, Paynefanbro said:

I don't think Verizon is deploying those smaller CBRS/LAA antennas anymore. They look like some of the newer outdoor WiFi APs. Given the direction it's facing and the area it's in I wouldn't be surprised if it belongs to Spectrum.

Those antenna are actually pretty old - they were installed between Dec 2017 and Jul 2019 (according to Streetview). An antenna shroud was installed on another sector facing exactly the opposite direction at around the same time, so I'm more inclined to believe they are VZ gear. Not really sure why one sector would have the antennas shrouded and the other wouldn't, though...

I was thinking they were Nokia mRRHs, as seen here. But the pic is too low-res and I can't find a good Streetview pic. So who knows. 

On 10/28/2021 at 11:10 PM, Paynefanbro said:

Sadly unless T-Mobile decides to keep and convert these sites, next year all of these areas may become a dead zones again.

I'm starting to see more sites broadcasting the keep PLMN! One of 'em is the Sprint site at 206 Scholes St in East Williamsburg, which is an area that T-Mobile is currently covering with two oDAS nodes. I wonder if they're going to turn those down once they convert the site.

Would love to see them keep the site at 304 Boerum St, as well, what with the new Netflix studio - I'll have to take a trip over there and check it out.

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On 10/18/2021 at 10:45 PM, T-MoblieUser207 said:

Wasn't able to take a spin around this site for all bands, but 2/66/41 should be mapped along 101st Avenue, whenever Cellmapper updates as they are currently having some issues. No idea when/if I'll pass again for lowband.

Seems like the data for this tower has been lost to the void; it still hasn't shown up, yet the data from Eastern Queens did, and it was on the same trip. The Sprint data did somewhat show, but its patchy like I had GPS issues or poor/no signal, when I didn't have any issues, but it is what it is. Going to remap it eventually, same with B41 for eNB 43673, as I mapped it that day also.
X0DAjJw.jpg

The issues with Cellmapper have been fixed, and data has been processing much faster now when I did a recent spin around my neighborhood, so next time I map, it should show up. Quite a few eNBs I need to add since they are still doing splits when upgrading.

For the recent small cells that have been popping up, there is a method to the madness. Each eNB usually has 3 small cells attached to it, except for the single ones. B66 is usually Cells 1/2/3 or 4/5/6. B2 is either 7/8/9 (older small cells, like 49470) or ten digits higher than B66 for the latest small cells (11/12/13, and 14/15/16). For most of the recent ones, I have seen the small cell eNB numbering is consecutive, for example eNBs 134386 to 134388 are all small cells, same for eNBs 475788 to 475790, and 127065 to 127069. Seems like there are plenty of small cells that haven't been found yet.

 

On 10/30/2021 at 3:03 PM, thisischuck01 said:

I'm starting to see more sites broadcasting the keep PLMN! One of 'em is the Sprint site at 206 Scholes St in East Williamsburg, which is an area that T-Mobile is currently covering with two oDAS nodes. I wonder if they're going to turn those down once they convert the site.

Would love to see them keep the site at 304 Boerum St, as well, what with the new Netflix studio - I'll have to take a trip over there and check it out.

The more I have mapped Sprint and found where their towers are, I have realized a ton of Sprint's towers fit like a glove into T-Mobile's network; if the Sprint tower doesn't increase/provide better coverage, it helps to densify the network. It seems like conversions/decommissions are starting to ramp across the city, now that most towers have the n71/41 upgrades.

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    • Mike, I sent you diagnostics today from my Moto One 5G Ace, which is on Tello service so I could do 5G-NR with it.  It suddenly started picking up 5G stand-alone, but it appears the API is not providing any detailed information. Since sending it this morning, I've concluded the problem is likely that this device is still stuck on Android 10, and that Android 11 is needed for full information.  If so, I'm at Motorola's mercy, waiting for them to release an update.  Does that sound right to you? - Trip
    • I don't think NR CA is available on the iPhone 13 just yet but I did connect to SA n41 in Brooklyn as recently as Tuesday. I spotted this in my basement with my phone flipping between n41 and n71.
    • All 5 are being kept, plus eNB 5882, which I didn't expect to be kept. This is going to be an extremely hyper dense macro network. Also to add to the keep list: 5826 and 15941. Album of screenshots past and present here. 253934 has been wiped clean, and eNB 5900 is the one that has been fully converted. Not what I expected at all as eNB 127922 has n41 installed. I wanted a pic from the north (127922 in focus, former 5900 in the background), but did the south instead. You can see a pixelated 127922 if you look very closely, and here are both circled if you can't. I'm not sure what happened with the Cellmapper data here, but I think other towers were picked up instead, as nothing has updated the way I expected it to, plus its height means I was probably wasn't connected to it when I thought I was. I couldn't flip through band locking, nor was the time of the day helpful for taking a spin around it. It's T-Mobile shifting locations. PC Mag has a new T-Mobile 5G article here, and I would love to check if n41 SA is live across NYC, as it being live means NR CA is probably also live, but they removed the n41 SA option from my A71. @thisischuck01 have you seen any NR CA since you last saw it, as I have heard the S21 is one of the few, if not the only T-Mobile branded Samsung device that still has the n41 SA option.
    • Found another keep site in Crown Heights. Sprint eNB 837970. What's unique about this site compared to the others I've encountered is that my phone roams onto it automatically. It'll drop T-Mobile coverage completely and pick this site up if I get close enough to it. I've noticed it happen a bunch of time while driving on Atlantic Avenue.
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