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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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