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How to Spot Sprint Antennas and RRUs (Samsung)

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huh interesting as fiber is all through downtown where this site is.

 

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Might not have been easy for some reason. We have about 4 or 5 licensed backhaul sites in our market. I found them on the FCC database search.

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Microwave is highly capable, regardless of the market.

 

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Might not have been easy for some reason. We have about 4 or 5 licensed backhaul sites in our market. I found them on the FCC database search.

None in that area we had 6 most had been cancelled Clear had one active still in database. Kinda surprised me due to this being a wimax market?

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Microwave is highly capable, regardless of the market.

 

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Definitely is!  As long as it is setup right and has enough bandwidth at the donor site you'll never know the difference.

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any tips for the search fields in that database there is a whole lot of options to choose from!

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any tips for the search fields in that database there is a whole lot of options to choose from!

I just did a CF for carrier fixed. Active. Then did a Geo search for my state. Opened the Sprint ones in tabs. Dug through the path docs for the com search docs and it lists ALL kinds of site paths across the US on some of them.

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any tips for the search fields in that database there is a whole lot of options to choose from!

 

Yeah. There's a ton of information there.

 

I do service group microwave, name Sprint, active, 100 per page, geosearch, then whatever area you want to look for.

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Definitely is!  As long as it is setup right and has enough bandwidth at the donor site you'll never know the difference.

 

Wait, someone other than me supporting microwave? NO WAY! I thought I was the only one...

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Wait, someone other than me supporting microwave? NO WAY! I thought I was the only one...

 

Yes indeed...old school RF guy here, did quite a few ship to shore backhauls on the coast with old UHF equipment back in the day along with instrumentation work, electrical, etc.  Plus a few home brew links for various folks with Ubiquiti equipment.  Impressive stuff for the price. 

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Yes indeed...old school RF guy here, did quite a few ship to shore backhauls on the coast with old UHF equipment back in the day along with instrumentation work, electrical, etc.  Plus a few home brew links for various folks with Ubiquiti equipment.  Impressive stuff for the price. 

 

I've done a few dozen UBNT links. Good stuff, but it has its limitations. There's a ton of options out there.

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I've done a ton of Dragonwave Licensed links and now playing around with a couple of UBNT 24GHz AirFiber units. For the price point you really cant beat the capacity for short  line of sight links. They just brought out a 5GHz version as well but im trying to stay out of that band due to more and more WIFI equip in that band.

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I've done a ton of Dragonwave Licensed links and now playing around with a couple of UBNT 24GHz AirFiber units. For the price point you really cant beat the capacity for short line of sight links. They just brought out a 5GHz version as well but im trying to stay out of that band due to more and more WIFI equip in that band.

I've expressed my dissatisfaction with the AF5 many times. The gain sucks. For licensed I'd look to Exalt, Ceragon and SIAE.

 

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This is IN03UB076 south of Richmond, IN....there are new Samsung cabinets but I am not sure what these cabinets are....anyone?

 

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Looks like some sort of hybrid ground-mount RRU setup...

 

This is IN03UB076 south of Richmond, IN....there are new Samsung cabinets but I am not sure what these cabinets are....anyone?







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This is IN03UB076 south of Richmond, IN....there are new Samsung cabinets but I am not sure what these cabinets are....anyone?

 

tydysa3u.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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Those are Nortel Base Stations, 3030s I beleive. Tons of those were deployed in Indiana by Ubiquitel.

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Are there any benefits of using a Samsung setup vs Erricson or others? Or is it simply what was cheapest for each market? Also great info and great pics of the towers!

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Are there any benefits of using a Samsung setup vs Erricson or others? Or is it simply what was cheapest for each market? Also great info and great pics of the towers!

 

Sprint had a bid for vendors back in 2011-2012 and vendors were selected based on equipment price, capability, and availability amongst other things.

 

From the very beginning Samsung equipment were the most advanced& capable and had a smaller footprint than the other 2 vendors (alcatel-lucent & ericsson) equipment. They also had an excellent logistical trail and were not faced with equipment shortages like Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent who resorted to installing 4G only equipment due to a lack of 3G equipment. 

 

Samsung remote radio heads (PCS & SMR) were dual mode capable (CDMA + FDD-LTE) from the very get go whereas alcatel-lucent & ericsson were not (they've been FCC certified for dual mode capability now). Thus Samsung onlys needs 1 radio head for each frequency and that was it unless its a high capacity site where Samsung opts to add another PCS RRU and antenna. On the other hand, Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson needed 1 radio head per technology which resulted in 3 and 4 RRU setups depending on capacity needs. This increases the weight on the tower racks which impacts lease and engineering costs. 

 

Furthermore, Samsung has, according to numerous contractors and Ericsson network management workers, the best and easiest to work with base stations (MMBS) which were apparently very straightforward to work with. Workers LOVED to work in Samsung markets and loathed being sent to Ericsson or ALU markets. 

 

Adding to that, the physical size of a single ericsson RBS cabinet can fit both the Samsung MMBS cabinet & the BBS battery cabinet. Alcatel-Lucent is larger in both height and dimensions due to them retrofitting legacy Lucent mod 4 cabinets. This is important also in the lease costs of a cell site. 

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Sprint had a bid for vendors back in 2011-2012 and vendors were selected based on equipment price, capability, and availability amongst other things.

 

From the very beginning Samsung equipment were the most advanced& capable and had a smaller footprint than the other 2 vendors (alcatel-lucent & ericsson) equipment. They also had an excellent logistical trail and were not faced with equipment shortages like Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent who resorted to installing 4G only equipment due to a lack of 3G equipment. 

Samsung remote radio heads (PCS & SMR) were dual mode capable (CDMA + FDD-LTE) from the very get go whereas alcatel-lucent & ericsson were not (they've been FCC certified for dual mode capability now). Thus Samsung onlys needs 1 radio head for each frequency and that was it unless its a high capacity site where Samsung opts to add another PCS RRU and antenna. On the other hand, Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson needed 1 radio head per technology which resulted in 3 and 4 RRU setups depending on capacity needs. This increases the weight on the tower racks which impacts lease and engineering costs. 

 

Furthermore, Samsung has, according to numerous contractors and Ericsson network management workers, the best and easiest to work with base stations (MMBS) which has an extremely small footprint compared to Ericsson / ALU. The size of a single ericsson RBS cabinet can fit both the Samsung MMBS cabinet & the BBS battery cabinet. Alcatel-Lucent is larger in both height and dimensions due to them retrofitting legacy Lucent mod 4 cabinets.

 

Sounds like Samsung was a good idea but why haven't the other carriers followed suit other than clear wire which I believe used samsung too. Also another question are there fewer Samsung towers than Ericsson towers? I've seen very few samsung towers.

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Sounds like Samsung was a good idea but why haven't the other carriers followed suit other than clear wire which I believe used samsung too. Also another question are there fewer Samsung towers than Ericsson towers? I've seen very few samsung towers.

 

Ericsson basically dominates North America and have been since the exit of Lucent, Motorola, Nortel, and numerous other vendors over the last decade. ALU has a good foothold due to the lucent acquisition and also is warring against Nokia in europe. 

 

On the other hand, Sprint and Clearwire is Samsungs first significant forays into the North American market. Elsewhere in Asia, middle east, and other nations Samsung equipment can be found in many a places as their price to performance ratio is excellent compared to Ericsson & other vendors who charge a premium. Huawei and ZTE and other OEMs have been challenging Samsung and other Asian equipment vendors and it's getting very heated especially with China's recent vendor bids & testing for their LTE networks. 

 

This makes Samsung an unknown in NA & Europe compared to the establish vendor giants like Nokia, ALU, and Ericsson and of course vendors would be wary of them until they prove themselves. The performance of Samsung & their equipment for Sprint has raised the view on Samsung by many in the industry and many telecomm operators are taking a serious look at their equipment. 

 

The information on exact amount of towers being converted by Samsung, Alcatel-Lucent, and Ericsson is available to sponsors here. From what I can see, the vendor regions were split up along geographical and market lines as per the first image on the OP. ALU has the most due to them being the OEM of major metropolis areas like NYC, Northwest & Pacific Southwest (Los Angeles ->  San diego). Ericsson has texas to florida and most of the south which also incorporates many major metropolis's which have more cell sites.

 

Meanwhile Samsung has most of the north, pacific northwest, northern california, midwest, and to Chicago. It's a very large footprint but has far less sites due to the spread out nature of the population and less major urban areas. Still a very significant number of cell sites. Each vendor has about 12,000-14,000 (out of 39,500) sites that they're responsible for.

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I have worked on all of the CDMA vendors in NA and Samsung certainly isn't the worst. One of the biggest changes is switching to a 100% IP based cabinet. The controller in the MMBS is basically a computer with a bunch of Gigabit NICs... Some copper, some fiber.

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hey i have a question.  I noticed that samaung and im sure the other vendors, and even i saw at&t use the brand powerwave antennas.  But wiki says the company is no longer. So does samsung and others still use them or another brand now?

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hey i have a question.  I noticed that samaung and im sure the other vendors, and even i saw at&t use the brand powerwave antennas.  But wiki says the company is no longer. So does samsung and others still use them or another brand now?

 

The company, based in Santa Ana, California, listed debt of $396 million and assets of $213 million in a Chapter 11 petition filed today in Wilmington, Delaware. Chapter 11 is used by companies that plan to stay in business while either reorganizing or liquidating their assets.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-28/powerwave-technologies-files-for-bankruptcy-in-delaware.html

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So I have a question. I am a non tower technical person. So I finally got really close to a tower in shelton, wa and looking closely hardly any of the a antennas are connected. I understand some of the equipment on this tower is verizon as the site has verizon branding on the fence but also has sprint as well ------- is the tower. Im just curious as what type antenna each one is that I see in the picture. I am not very goot at identification. All the longer ones look the same to me... I see a smaller antenna hooked up but thats about it. Thanks in advance.

IMG_45388759938500.jpeg

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I do see lines going to several antenna. The rest are probably just hidden by lack of zoom, resolution, angle, etc.

 

I see that a mod took out the site ID. You can't post site IDs collected from S4GRU, but you can post site IDs from any other source. Common valid sources are the FCC's ULS and signage/writing at the site itself. You just have to state where you got it if it wasn't here.

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