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LTE and airports


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Is there some sort of "incompatability" between airports and LTE?

 

I regularily fly through Houston or Dallas to San Francisco. I have been able to pickup 4G LTE out on the taxiways of both IAH and DFW but lose it as we get to the terminal. And on Sensorly it is pretty clear that nobody else has 4G within the terminals either, other than a few weak blips. Sensorly has purple all around SFO but not at SFO. What's the deal with that?

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Probably weak signals in the terminals, could be building materials or other RF interference. As stated many times by Robert, LTE is very signal strength dependent and will drop off much before EVDO and then again 1X

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Probably building material. Every building near an airport that ice been to had very weak signal inside. Yet e I walk out and literally stand 5ft from the door, full coverage. It has to be the heavy soundproofing against aircraft noise.

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Well also think that airports typically own large amounts of land & there always seems to be homes close by, so unless there is a tower close to the homes, it will be a weaker signal anyway. It would be nice to see either a cell site on the control tower, or them start to deploy the micro cells inside the actual airport.

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I suppose these explanations all make some sense. It just seems to me that busy airports would be a logical place for LTE because of the high volume of people using cell phones in them. Are there other business reasons, such as the airports charging higher fees for the right to install the antennas, or competition with the wifi vendors, or...?

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I also notice you have the EVO, did you try cycling through airplane mode?

Yes, I have tried cycling through airplane mode with limited effectiveness. It has not helped within airports, though it has helped at times within other buildings. Because Baton Rouge does not have LTE yet, I only have limited ability to play around with the EVO LTE and 4G.
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I know when I was last at IAH you needed to be near the windows to maintain an LTE connection. At that time only towers near hardy toll road were active. I don't beleave at current anything at IAH has been converted so that would explain the weak signal along with the building materials for the airport.

 

Sent from my EVO using Forum Runner

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Commerical buildings often use LO-E or LO-E2 glass. It is a solar gain reduction type of glass. It is very popular in use on large glass systems like large storefront and curtain wall systems used in terminals. Especially in very sunny climates. To reduce solar gain makes a significant reduction in cooling costs.

 

However, LO-E and LO-E2 glass severely impacts RF propagation. The stuff is brutal to RF. I have installed it for years in construction projects I have managed. It is very common in airport terminals. Especially south of the I-80 corridor.

 

In places that have LO-E glass (and other similar types of glass), they need to have DAS systems. And most do. However, Sprint has not installed much LTE DAS yet. They will be upgrading their airport facility DAS systems in 2013.

 

Robert

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I work in and around commercial airports for a living and have had many discussions with network engineers from Sprint and other carriers. Early on all of the carriers were prohibited by the FAA from broadcasting their signals over the runways at airports with instrument landing systems. This was due to a fear of interference. Therefore all of the infrastructure around airports was designed with this in mind and as stated above many terminals have DAS's installed that may take time to be upgraded as well (not to mention all of the other issues mentioned). This is obviously highly dependent on the configuration of the airport and the infrastructure of the carrier.

 

For the record, in the international terminal at Chicago O'Hare airport about two weeks ago I had no issues with connecting to LTE.

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Did having LTE at ORD make you feel rhapsodic?

 

 

;)

 

AJ

 

I prefer the Fantasia 2000 animation to Rhapsody in Blue, myself. Sadly, there is no YouTube clip of it.

 

Robert

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I prefer the Fantasia 2000 animation to Rhapsody in Blue, myself. Sadly, there is no YouTube clip of it.

 

Back when I was a film student a dozen years ago, I attended the first showing of "Fantasia 2000" in IMAX at the now defunct Sprint IMAX Theatre at the Kansas City Zoo. I also own "Fantasia 2000" on Blu-ray.

 

AJ

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Thanks Robert. That does explain alot.

Using Sensorly I went back and looked at other carriers coverage at some of the other major airports in areas where Sprint has LTE coverage. In general it appears that Verizon has already begun upgrading their LTE within some airports.

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Probably weak signals in the terminals, could be building materials or other RF interference. As stated many times by Robert, LTE is very signal strength dependent and will drop off much before EVDO and then again 1X

 

Great. So LTE is basically going to be like wimax all over again then? I thought because the frequency was the same as 3G it would be better...

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Great. So LTE is basically going to be like wimax all over again then? I thought because the frequency was the same as 3G it would be better...

 

Compared to WiMax, LTE will be much better.

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Great. So LTE is basically going to be like wimax all over again then? I thought because the frequency was the same as 3G it would be better...

 

I said that LO-E glass that is often used in Airport Terminals blocks all types of RF. Not just Sprint RF. It also is tough on Verizon and AT&T RF signals. It does not discriminate. I'm not sure what you're trying to get at. Your comment seems reactive, but not on topic to what was discussed.

 

Robert via Samsung Note II using Forum Runner

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Yeah sorry. I read the first couple posts while I was in my car waiting for someone and responded quickly while I had a chance. Now that I've read through I realize I shouldn't have posted...

Edited by shifted
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Yeah sorry. I read the first couple posts while I was in my car and shouldn't have responded before reading the rest....

 

No problem. It's nothing compared to half understood response I did a few weeks ago. I thought I was going to have to dig my head in the sand after that.

 

Robert via Samsung Note II using Forum Runner

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As an example, O'Hare has had excellent Wimax for years, at least in the domestic terminals. After NV is complete, you would expect the deployment to be at least as dense, and the signal strength to be as good or (probably) better. Last weekend, LTE was available in Terminal 1, but not fast. I will try to check again today. The Sensorly map corroborates that O'Hare has good but not great coverage in the terminals.

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As an example' date=' O'Hare has had excellent Wimax for years, at least in the domestic terminals. After NV is complete, you would expect the deployment to be at least as dense, and the signal strength to be as good or (probably) better. Last weekend, LTE was available in Terminal 1, but not fast. I will try to check again today. The Sensorly map corroborates that O'Hare has good but not great coverage in the terminals.[/quote']

 

Once the Sprint DAS is upgraded to include LTE at O'Hare, it will be very fast throughout. Currently it is slow because it is picking up faint distant signals outside the terminal. Having full deployment outside will help some. The stronger the signal, the faster the LTE.

 

Robert via Samsung Note II using Forum Runner

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