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DsmIowaGuy

Iowa State Fair - Not just Sprint

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Hello,  I wanted to give you guys some looks at Cell Stuff installed at this year's Iowa State Fair. This is actually the first time Sprint has deployed a COW at the fair. They have always felt there wasn't a need since they have a tower fairly close. Of course with 100K people a day on 400+ acres of land with bldgs and a big hill - DA!!  Enjoy.

 

As I say this is Sprint's first year to deploy something on grounds. Funniest thing was the logo on that old truck - retro!! Sorry for the poor pic outside the fence. If I think of it and find time when I'm out there working I will go try and get better pics of the Sprint install.  The Sprint truck and tower are located right next to US Cellular's Permanent site - literally spitting distance from one to the other.

 

FairSprintTruck.jpg

 

Sprint's tower is pretty small looking next to the permanent one... I don't know the technology end of it but would have to guess this is probably just to help voice and text??  The tower wasn't live that i could detect while I was there. There were two Ericsson pickups but they must have been in search of a corn dog as i didn't see the guys around.  

 

FairSprintTower.jpg

 

So we'll look at USCC's permanent site which you have already seen in the above pics.  Funny thing is the site is permanent but there is truck there and connected. I almost wonder if the tower/panels are there but they don't have the tower live all the time? Maybe the truck is there to somehow augment the base cabinet equipment and beef that up ?  Also one of those panels is HUGE up on the tower.

 

FairUSCCNorth%20Lot1.jpg

 

My attempt at getting a pic of the inside of the USCC Truck - again no one around but they were obvioiusly close.

 

FairUSCCNorth%20Lot2.jpg

 

FairUSCCNorthLot3.jpg

 

Here is an attempt at a photo the the Verizon Truck/Cow on the far SW Corner of the fairgrounds. Funny thing the first time VZ put a Cow/Truck at the fair was when they were ready to launch LTE in Des Moines. They had their truck fairly close to where this one is and it was pumping LTE - however there was no other LTE in Des Moines at the time. I think that was last year but maybe it was two years ago - I can't remember the year for sure.

 

FairVerizonTruck.jpg

 

We will flow right into the next story which seems to be Verizon also from checking the data on the doors of the base bldg. I knew this was a new cell tower that was installed permanent but didn't know who it was. I got brazen last week and got some really close pics. This is the new tall flag pole (disguise) cell tower on the hill. I assume but don't know that this site would be live all the time and supporting VZ's large LTE deployment in Iowa.

 

Fair%20Monopole1.jpg

 

Fair%20Monopole2.jpg

 

Fair%20Monopole3.jpg

 

Since we have moved up the hill we'll touch again on US Cellular. They have placed a COW/Truck on the hill for years next to what used to be the original homestead house (until it was torn down in 2011.)  The following 4 pictures are of the Hilltop USCC Truck:

 

FairUSCCTruck1.JPG

 

FairUSCCTruck3.JPG

 

FairUSCCTruck4.JPG

 

FairUSCCTruck5.JPG

 

Next comes a mystery.  The following 5 pictures are of a trailer mounted unit on the hill next to the USCC Truck. Not sure what carrier this is but it seems fairly extensive.  Also for this unit and the USCC site on the hill I believe they buy power and appears maybe fiber or backhaul connectivity from the fairgrounds.  Speculation mind you...

 

FairTrailer2.JPG

 

FairTrailer3.JPG

 

FairTrailer5.JPG

 

FairTrailer6.JPG

 

FairTrailer7.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest mbrinson

It'd be really sweet if sprint had 4g on that mobile tower for the fair... but probably not!

Edited by mbrinson
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great job on the pics and report! just having a COW there for voice and text should be a tremendous help! i remember the last couple of years it was almost impossible to make a call while at the fair. it will be interesting to see if they are broadcasting LTE from it. the panels are not the new NV ones they are installing, but depending on what they are it could be possible for them to broadcast LTE from them. (like a GMO site can broadcast LTE depending on what legacy panels they have)

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Bottom truck is tmobile.

Thanks for that info..  I wondered and was close enough to read several things and still wasn't getting a clue. Seems like quite the extensive system just thrown on a trailer like that.  I sort of assumed it was AT&T just because of the whole "big 3" thing and would have expected them to put something at the Fair.  T-Mobile does have pretty decent speeds around the Dsm area providing you get their signal ok. Friend of mine has their prepay and it does well most of the time.

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Thanks for that info..  I wondered and was close enough to read several things and still wasn't getting a clue. Seems like quite the extensive system just thrown on a trailer like that.  I sort of assumed it was AT&T just because of the whole "big 3" thing and would have expected them to put something at the Fair.  T-Mobile does have pretty decent speeds around the Dsm area providing you get their signal ok. Friend of mine has their prepay and it does well most of the time.

T-Mobile uses the same cabinets in most markets as the old Sprint Ericsson cabinets, plus the fact that their radio units are very distinct looking.

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Very nice reporting!  This is the kind of stuff I like to hear about the fair rather than the agricultural topics and butter cows...yes, yes, I know that is what makes the fair "the fair", but even though I value farmers' work and don't take it for granted, the topic bores me to tears, just like to farmers, mobile phone talk and retail bore THEM to tears, so it's a win-win.

 

THAT said, by reading this, I think I'll drive along University and 31st tomorrow night after work to check out to see if 4G LTE is up and running (I have a sad life, don't I, lol?) 

 

On a side note, I wish T-Mobile would invest more in Des Moines.  I am happy a few more T-Mobilie stores opened up over the past few years, but they need to update their towers on the Highway 5 bypass on the South Side of town, as well as in Altoona.  Sure, texting and talking are fine, but data is slooooooooow (I fooled around with iWireless a bit, and get GPRS on Hwy 5!!!!)  HSPA+ cuts out just before Altoona on Hubbell, and I get EDGE throughout town (Altoona), but HSPA+ everywhere else within Des Moines.  As soon as I leave Des Moines and Ames, though....EDGE network all around.  Even iWireless doesn't invest in 3G immediately outside Des Moines/Ames (Boone, Perry, Nevada, Marshalltown) at this time, nor does T-Mobile when it goes through Story City, Newton and Osceola.

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Des Moines market management passed from T-Mobile US, Inc. to Iowa Wireless Services, Inc. at the beginning of this year, I think. Though, I'm not certain if that includes engineering management, since Iowa Wireless Services and T-Mobile US have different deployment strategies.

 

However, both companies have improved lately, so their investment budgets toward network upgrade and expansion has been increased, so we could see considerable network equipment turnover in the next few quarters.

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first day of the fair! anyone make it out there yet? any LTE? ;)

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Great pictures! I have Verizon and it works fine at the fair was getting around 40+mbps before fair starts, I will be going up tommorow so will see how it is going, I remember a few years ago they turned it on just at the fair so hopefully other cellular carriers do that!

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LTE or HSPA+ on AT&T?  As far I as I knew, AT&T just had HSPA+ here and not LTE.

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Will post pics later, at the fair now and got over 2 meg down from the sector of the COW covering the parking lot and couldn't run a speedtest from a sector covering the fair :-D

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Hello,

 

Yep I have LTE on my AT&T phone it must be just for the fair because I can't get it much farther away.

 

xREjkcT.png

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Hello Everyone,

 

I will try to recap what I've found for cellular around the ISF for the 2015 season.

 

Here is the main site on the NW Corner of the speedway; USCC has a permanent tower located behind in this picture. They did add that lower rack this year with another huge panel antenna pointing basically SW.

 

Verizon again brought in a COLT and Sprint has a COLT and a newer one than last year.   Sorry for the bad picture.

 

I have a good pic of the Sprint panels at least since that is what we're here for  ;)   As for their backhaul they are doing that through the SE 18th Heartland Coop site again just like the last couple years.

 

2015_ISF_NWSite.jpg

 

2015_ISF_USCC_Sprint.JPG

 

2015_ISF_Sprint_Tower2.JPG

 

2015_ISF_SprintTower.JPG

 

 

AT&T brought in the same trailer they brought last year, however..  Quite the new antenna and tower they have. They spent some coin for sure on this tower/antenna system install.  They got booted along with other carriers from "Cellular Hill" so things are different all around this year.  AT&T is just inside the campground NE from the old Cellular Hill Site.

 

2015_ISF_AT%26TSiteBase.JPG

 

2015_ISF_AT%26TSiteTop.JPG

 

Here is Verizon's SW site near E 31st/Dean on the fairgrounds property - just as it has been since they launched LTE in the Des Moines market with a COLT.

 

2015_ISF_SW_Verizon.jpg

 

Here was a surprise this year, outside the fairgrounds in one of their fair parking lots near SE 33rd/Carr is another Verizon site !

 

2015_ISF_VZ_SE.jpg

 

Here is Verizon's permanent site at the fair, flagpole disguise. 

 

2015_ISF_VZFlagPole.JPG

 

Last but not least one more VZ small cell was installed this year which (near as I can find makes a total of 3)  Those stay up all year. They have been installing these all over the metro in the past year.

 

2015_ISF_VZSmall.JPG

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There were two Ericsson pickups but they must have been in search of a corn dog as i didn't see the guys around.

 

 

 

Wow, I had no idea there were LSU fans in Iowa!

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At the fair now! The COW is only broadcasting B25 and B26 and is only sort of working. I was hoping they would have a tri band COW. I had decent speeds from it this morning but as the day has progressed they have gone down. However the south and east sides are getting coverage from the B41 they just added to the Dean ave tower. Speeds from it are great, getting over 30 meg down!

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At the fair now! The COW is only broadcasting B25 and B26 and is only sort of working. I was hoping they would have a tri band COW. I had decent speeds from it this morning but as the day has progressed they have gone down. However the south and east sides are getting coverage from the B41 they just added to the Dean ave tower. Speeds from it are great, getting over 30 meg down!

 

 

:wall:  :wall:  For years no cow or augmentation and basically unusable phones. Then they got cows in there the past three years but have never gotten it right for a few reasons.

 

They are paying contractors lots of money to include installing then removing the backhaul each year, seems like actual Sprint folks should hold some payments back for non compliance!    :wacko:   It's too bad as they are really deploying a great network around here and have been for sometime now and at a huge event like this where they could shine they sort of allow things to not be better seems so odd to me.

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At the fair now! The COW is only broadcasting B25 and B26 and is only sort of working. I was hoping they would have a tri band COW. I had decent speeds from it this morning but as the day has progressed they have gone down. However the south and east sides are getting coverage from the B41 they just added to the Dean ave tower. Speeds from it are great, getting over 30 meg down

 

question, did the COW hurt the performance at the fair this year? could the new band 41 from the dean ave tower have covered the grounds if the COW would not have been present, perhaps over powering the band 41?  I ask because i was at the Wisconsin state fair this year (last Saturday) and north end of the fair had strong usable band 41, but the rest of the fair was covered by unusable very strong band 25/26.  My first though was sprint had a COW present that drowned out the usable band 41 with unusable band 25/26... I dont know if that was the case or if its even possible for a COW to do that, but that was my first thought.  

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:wall:  :wall:  For years no cow or augmentation and basically unusable phones. Then they got cows in there the past three years but have never gotten it right for a few reasons.

 

They are paying contractors lots of money to include installing then removing the backhaul each year, seems like actual Sprint folks should hold some payments back for non compliance!    :wacko:   It's too bad as they are really deploying a great network around here and have been for sometime now and at a huge event like this where they could shine they sort of allow things to not be better seems so odd to me.

It frustrates me as well.... they have the assets (spectrum wise) they know when theses events occur, would love to see some super COW, with Band 25,26, and 4 or more Band 41 carriers with carrier aggregation... and a big sprint both with free mobile hot spot  access and a big sign "your carrier failing you??? try sprint LTE, make the switch today".  Wisconsin state fair is sponsored by US cellular they have a macro tower right in the heart of the fair (plus a COW, I think it was US cell it was half hidden behind a roller coaster) they also have a mobile store that is packed with people buying new phones and signing up for service.      

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question, did the COW hurt the performance at the fair this year? could the new band 41 from the dean ave tower have covered the grounds if the COW would not have been present, perhaps over powering the band 41?  I ask because i was at the Wisconsin state fair this year (last Saturday) and north end of the fair had strong usable band 41, but the rest of the fair was covered by unusable very strong band 25/26.  My first though was sprint had a COW present that drowned out the usable band 41 with unusable band 25/26... I dont know if that was the case or if its even possible for a COW to do that, but that was my first thought.  

 

the macro tower that has B41 that is near the fairgrounds actually does a horrible job covering the fairgrounds. from what i can tell its because of its height in relation to the fairgrounds along with the fairgrounds being on the edge of 2 sectors. so with that being said no i don't think the COW was overpowering B41 from that tower as i doubt i would have picked up B41 in any other places than i did. I would say overall the COW helped the surrounding macro network not get killed by the fair, but the fair was killing the COW.

 

last year the COW was doing nothing for the fair because they didn't configure it correctly so it had eCSFB issues and wouldn't let any tri-band phones connect to it. 

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the macro tower that has B41 that is near the fairgrounds actually does a horrible job covering the fairgrounds. from what i can tell its because of its height in relation to the fairgrounds along with the fairgrounds being on the edge of 2 sectors. so with that being said no i don't think the COW was overpowering B41 from that tower as i doubt i would have picked up B41 in any other places than i did. I would say overall the COW helped the surrounding macro network not get killed by the fair, but the fair was killing the COW.

 

last year the COW was doing nothing for the fair because they didn't configure it correctly so it had eCSFB issues and wouldn't let any tri-band phones connect to it. 

I see, its a shame the macro tower is not positioned better to cover the fair grounds, if your fair grounds are like the WI state fair grounds its used for large events all summer long (ours even has a large race track).  Perhaps next year they will place a Tri band COW.

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I see, its a shame the macro tower is not positioned better to cover the fair grounds, if your fair grounds are like the WI state fair grounds its used for large events all summer long (ours even has a large race track).  Perhaps next year they will place a Tri band COW.

 

It is used year around with huge events on many weekends much like State Fair Park. Their own internal systems show the issue that bmoses is talking about with the main area of the fairgrounds being in between two sectors and with the huge dirt filter (hill) between the site and the main part of the fairgrounds it just would be impossible. Some lower management levels in certain divisions are full aware but like any huge company it's hard to get a&b talking to c, d, e and f.  

 

Either way Sprint is doing a nice job around town with deployments over the past few years and are doing quite a bit of B41 so we can't loose sight of the good they have going and huge strides they've made. It's pretty amazing in some ways due to the rip and replace they had to face !

 

btw, I hope you had a few cream puffs and a brat from the leinie lodge  ;)  I have had a guinea grinder and pork chop on a stick so far and will have a corn dog on one of my next visits out here before it's over.

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It is used year around with huge events on many weekends much like State Fair Park. Their own internal systems show the issue that bmoses is talking about with the main area of the fairgrounds being in between two sectors and with the huge dirt filter (hill) between the site and the main part of the fairgrounds it just would be impossible. Some lower management levels in certain divisions are full aware but like any huge company it's hard to get a&b talking to c, d, e and f.

 

Either way Sprint is doing a nice job around town with deployments over the past few years and are doing quite a bit of B41 so we can't loose sight of the good they have going and huge strides they've made. It's pretty amazing in some ways due to the rip and replace they had to face !

 

btw, I hope you had a few cream puffs and a brat from the leinie lodge ;) I have had a guinea grinder and pork chop on a stick so far and will have a corn dog on one of my next visits out here before it's over.

Happy to hear they are aware of the issue, hope they can resolve it ... Soon... . As for the cream puffs yes and yes, giant cookies fried cookie dough, and even cheeses cake on a stick... Dipped in chocolate and covered in sprinkles how I don't weight 300 pounds I haven't a clue!!!! On a side note I contacted a mid level manager in customer advocate department, he had a "long talk with network management and engineering". At first glance the Wisconsin state fair appeared properly covered and that data was operating "as expected". But upon further inspection they agreed with me that data was unusable, I have an online appointment with a network engineer tomorrow to go over my data... So we will see

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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