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Network Vision/LTE - Colorado Market (Denver/Colo Springs/Fort Collins/Pueblo/Grand Jct)

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, lilotimz said:

Any and all 31/32/33 39/3A/3B endings are Nokia Mini Macros on Macros typically found on former Clearwire sites. Each mini macro is a stand alone BTS so will have unique GCI identifiers. 

Good to know!  

I actually was wondering what precisely was done with the towers I know were previously Clearwire.  Thing is, with exception to some old Nextel locations, Clearwire seemed to be colocated with Sprint on most standalone macro towers and many building tops. 

I was under the impression that the Clearwire stuff went away, and we were left with the Samsung equipment that would provide all B41 sectors. Clearly I've not been keeping up! 

This tower in question definitely was a Sprint/Clearwire tower for ages; you can check out Street View history: https://goo.gl/maps/tD4QUdgNZyE2 ; the 2011 view Clearly (heh) shows Clearwire, Sprint, and what appears to be Cricket colocated on this one tower (I don't see the small antennas anymore, and Cricket definitely had a fairly un-evolved CDMA/EVDO network and thus didn't really have money to add Diversity antennas for reception purposes.

2017 shows the Clear antennas in use with (my mistake as I originally typed) only 1 antenna worth of other equipment.  I wasn't aware they were doing combined cells with the old antennas.  2 towers that also had Clear equipment, now don't:

https://goo.gl/maps/YRHRET8Ui2z
https://goo.gl/maps/4JMPywuCae72

I wonder what I will get in the end for a coverage map of each of these MiniMacro sectors; The macro samsung cells seem to reach far enough, and I wonder about overlap/interference if the beamwidths aren't, for example, 60deg and instead are still 120deg. 

Would this perhaps be a case of 'samsung and 8t8r antenna for distance' and 'nokia minimacro for closer-in' ?

As I notice that my initial look at the tower seems to only have the PCS/800 panel, I will make a trek over there soon to verify just which antennas are actually on the tower, and take a more up to date photo.

Edited by mystica555
I looked at the 2017 image again, and didn't count 2 main panels. Only 1 main antenna, and 1 Clear antenna, per sector.

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2 hours ago, mystica555 said:

Good to know!  

I actually was wondering what precisely was done with the towers I know were previously Clearwire.  Thing is, with exception to some old Nextel locations, Clearwire seemed to be colocated with Sprint on most standalone macro towers and many building tops. 

A few things to cover here. 

Denver was one of the first places where Sprint/Clear began to turn on B41 using their old Clearwire equipment. However, the Huawei radios were only capable of broadcasting 1 B41 carrier. That combined with security concerns prompted (required) Sprint to pull the equipment. They did so as quick as possible, and used less expensive equipment to do so, going with Nokia mini-macro equipment to replace the Clear radios. The Nokia mini-macros are capable of 2 B41 carriers. 

There is at least one "high-capacity" mini-macro site near Mile high, there may be others in town. This site appears to have 4 sectors because of the extra mini-macro that is deployed to add capacity. 

The mini-macro equipment will over time be converted to Samsung 8T8R antennas (or some combination of tri-band). Sites that are co-located with Sprint are likely a little lower on the priority list. Stand alone Clear (now mini-macro) sites are more likely to see upgrades to full sprint sites, either with dual-band + 8T8R antennas, or 16 port tri-band antennas (B25 4x4, B26 4x4, B41 8x8).

A site will not have both a mini-macro and an 8T8R antenna on it. If 8T8R is added, the mini-macro will be turned off and eventually removed in the vast majority of cases.  

Finally, we do have maps of all Sprint sites in our sponsors section, and maps of all Clearwire locations in our premier section if you are curious. 

2 hours ago, mystica555 said:

This tower in question definitely was a Sprint/Clearwire tower for ages; you can check out Street View history: https://goo.gl/maps/tD4QUdgNZyE2 ; the 2011 view Clearly (heh) shows Clearwire, Sprint, and what appears to be Cricket colocated on this one tower (I don't see the small antennas anymore, and Cricket definitely had a fairly un-evolved CDMA/EVDO network and thus didn't really have money to add Diversity antennas for reception purposes.

2017 shows the Clear antennas in use with (my mistake as I originally typed) only 1 antenna worth of other equipment.  I wasn't aware they were doing combined cells with the old antennas. 

What you see there is Clear as you say, and legacy Sprint antennas. Both tiers on the top there are Sprint. They just didn't put two antennas next to each other as you would have seen on many other sites in the area at the time. Currently, you can see the nokia mini-macro radio behind the old Clear antenna, with Sprint dual-band NV antennas and RRUs above. 

2 hours ago, mystica555 said:

2 towers that also had Clear equipment, now don't:

https://goo.gl/maps/YRHRET8Ui2z

This site never hosted Clear equipment. What you see there is Sprint dual-band NV antennas plus 8T8R B41. 

2 hours ago, mystica555 said:

This second site is not in our records as ever having Clearwire equipment. I can't identify the equipment that used to be on the second tier, but the top level was definitely Sprint, now hosting dual-band + 8T8R antennas.

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Inline quoting here.. Its method of action is rather unintuitive, but I may have it working... 

Quote

A few things to cover here. 

Denver was one of the first places where Sprint/Clear began to turn on B41 using their old Clearwire equipment. However, the Huawei radios were only capable of broadcasting 1 B41 carrier. That combined with security concerns prompted (required) Sprint to pull the equipment. They did so as quick as possible, and used less expensive equipment to do so, going with Nokia mini-macro equipment to replace the Clear radios. The Nokia mini-macros are capable of 2 B41 carriers. 

Very interesting!  I didn't know that they even had the Nokia mini-macros deployed anywhere in Denver.. Samsung market and all, and me not keeping up on the latest news for the past .. 5 years or more.. 

Quote

There is at least one "high-capacity" mini-macro site near Mile high, there may be others in town. This site appears to have 4 sectors because of the extra mini-macro that is deployed to add capacity. 

So 4 ENB/GCI IDs but still only 3 cardinal directions the antennas point? Or are there actually 4 cardinal directions everything points?  I'll have to look close to Mile High again. 

Quote

Stand alone Clear (now mini-macro) sites are more likely to see upgrades to full sprint sites, either with dual-band + 8T8R antennas, or 16 port tri-band antennas (B25 4x4, B26 4x4, B41 8x8).

I didn't even know there was a 16port tri-band antenna style. I imagine its amazingly expensive, as the beamforming is still there so it shouldn't diminish capacity... And cost being the reason they don't just deploy the single antennas everywhere.

Quote

A site will not have both a mini-macro and an 8T8R antenna on it. If 8T8R is added, the mini-macro will be turned off and eventually removed in the vast majority of cases.

Also interesting! 

Quote

Finally, we do have maps of all Sprint sites in our sponsors section, and maps of all Clearwire locations in our premier section if you are curious. 

As soon as I have a job again, I'll consider it.  Lots of interesting info here!

Quote

What you see there is Clear as you say, and legacy Sprint antennas. Both tiers on the top there are Sprint. They just didn't put two antennas next to each other as you would have seen on many other sites in the area at the time. Currently, you can see the nokia mini-macro radio behind the old Clear antenna, with Sprint dual-band NV antennas and RRUs above. 

This site never hosted Clear equipment. What you see there is Sprint dual-band NV antennas plus 8T8R B41. 

This second site is not in our records as ever having Clearwire equipment. I can't identify the equipment that used to be on the second tier, but the top level was definitely Sprint, now hosting dual-band + 8T8R antennas.

Hmm my guess is at that point in time, Sprint was doing WiMax on their own towers, of their own volition, without Clear's help, and Clear was overbuilding.  At some point, the networks joined WiMax forces.  I'm not sure if historically Clear devices could connect to Sprint's own WiMax network.. Nor am I sure of the reverse.. But, from what I remember, there were relatively few "entirely Clear" looking towers in my general vicinity..   

Sucks that these maps/lists of sites aren't public.  Makes me wonder how S4GRU obtained them.  Legally obtained filings with the FCC? Leaked from inside Sprint?  I would imagine not crowd-sourced.. FCC filings also aren't done, that I can see, for a majority of sites here, due to being on buildings and not stand-alone towers.  

I assume Sprint knows y'all have these? 

Finally, I'm heading over to the peoria/14th tower for some new pix. Hopefully twilight sun won't make them come out horrible. 

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2 hours ago, mystica555 said:

So 4 ENB/GCI IDs but still only 3 cardinal directions the antennas point? Or are there actually 4 cardinal directions everything points?  I'll have to look close to Mile High again. 

I am not certain if there are actually 4 sectors, or if the 4th radio is shared to multiple antennas. These are present in a few other markets, I think @lilotimz would have a better answer on that one. 

2 hours ago, mystica555 said:

I didn't even know there was a 16port tri-band antenna style. I imagine its amazingly expensive, as the beamforming is still there so it shouldn't diminish capacity... And cost being the reason they don't just deploy the single antennas everywhere.

It was only recently designed and released for use. Tim did a wall article on the antenna when we found out it was being put into use.

There is also a 10-port dual-band antennas designed to add 4x4 B26 and 8T8R B41 to towers that currently only have the original, single dual-band B25/B26 antenna. 

 

2 hours ago, mystica555 said:

Hmm my guess is at that point in time, Sprint was doing WiMax on their own towers, of their own volition, without Clear's help, and Clear was overbuilding.  At some point, the networks joined WiMax forces.  I'm not sure if historically Clear devices could connect to Sprint's own WiMax network.. Nor am I sure of the reverse.. But, from what I remember, there were relatively few "entirely Clear" looking towers in my general vicinity..   

Sprint never built out WiMax of their own. They relied entirely on Clearwire for the WiMax network. Clear and Sprint did collaborate on locations as much as they could. However, in the vast majority of cases, they did not lease the same location on the tower. They pulled individual leases, meaning they would be on different level, and treated as independent companies by the tower owners. This is why the Clear equipment was not just simply moved to the Sprint level when Huawei equipment was replaced with Nokia mini-macros.

2 hours ago, mystica555 said:

Sucks that these maps/lists of sites aren't public.  Makes me wonder how S4GRU obtained them.  Legally obtained filings with the FCC? Leaked from inside Sprint?  I would imagine not crowd-sourced.. FCC filings also aren't done, that I can see, for a majority of sites here, due to being on buildings and not stand-alone towers.  

I assume Sprint knows y'all have these? 

Yes, Sprint is aware of this site. The maps cannot be public because of the nature of the information contained. If the maps were made public, Sprint would likely have this site taken down. The data was acquired through various sources. 

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Posted (edited)

Lots of interesting stuff in the post above, and I don't feel like quoting it like I did before - can you perhaps let me know what steps you take to get the multiple "person said X time ago" thing ?  My multiple quotes simply said "quote:" before : - ( 

I've gone and taken a few more photos of the tower, and twilight seems to work but I know there could be a better photo.. Maybe sometime. :)

IMG_20180613_203511_HDR.jpgIMG_20180613_203726_HDR.jpg

In looking at the tower very closely, I see a relatively low-gain e-band or perhaps even 60ghz backhaul dish, pointing due north.   

This seems to fit with me seeing 3 more MiniMacro eNB IDs north of that tower, which seems to concur with one of the apartment buildings north of this tower, 3 of which have 'rooftop additions' for cellular equipment, and both visible and shrouded antennas.  More shrouded though than visible. 

view_from_slightly_northwest.jpg

And definitely only 2x2 MIMO on the 2.5GHz panels, and the MiniMacro itself :)

tower1_edited_again2.jpg

 

Quite interesting stuff.  Knowing the MiniMacro eNB ranges now, I am more aware of what to look for, and the usual distances involved with 2.6GHz also help triangulation :)

 

Edited by mystica555
Edited / added photos for closeup detail.
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1 hour ago, mystica555 said:

Lots of interesting stuff in the post above, and I don't feel like quoting it like I did before - can you perhaps let me know what steps you take to get the multiple "person said X time ago" thing ?  My multiple quotes simply said "quote:" before : - ( 

I just hit the quote button and then delete everything except what I am replying to at the moment ha. Are you using a phone perhaps?

vZsgjH9.png

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Just now, Dkoellerwx said:

I just hit the quote button and then delete everything except what I am replying to at the moment ha. Are you using a phone perhaps?

No, Chrome 66 desktop browser. I think the problem is my expectations of how a reply should be able to work. 

Often (most times) in a forum, if I highlight a piece of text, and then hit quote, it'll copy only that bit of text into the reply, vs the whole message.  Or, if I have the full message to work with, I can then edit indents, etc. 

Hitting the full quote multiple times, then deleting the irrelevant bits in each section seems moderately unintuitive, but is still easier than my first attempt at using the " button and copying/pasting text manually, reorganizing the quote sections, and inserting multiple lines of placeholder text to then be able to reorganize the quote section above or below to then type (I like bulk processes; quote everything first, reply to each inline second). 

Thanks for the info!

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10 minutes ago, mystica555 said:

Often (most times) in a forum, if I highlight a piece of text, and then hit quote, it'll copy only that bit of text into the reply, vs the whole message.  Or, if I have the full message to work with, I can then edit indents, etc. 

I'd never tried that before... but I just did it and it worked. That is quite a bit easier! 

cafn04p.png

I am using Chrome... looks like 67.

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2 minutes ago, Dkoellerwx said:

I'd never tried that before... but I just did it and it worked. That is quite a bit easier! 

Well I'll be. This made me re-try the highlight and quote.. And I seem to have totally missed the popup button that shows up right at the selection, and instead tried hitting the big "Quote" link and "+" button under the whole reply! 

Now we both have a faster way to quote! :D 

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2 hours ago, mystica555 said:

And definitely only 2x2 MIMO on the 2.5GHz panels, and the MiniMacro itself :)

tower1_edited_again2.jpg

This is probably going to be a good candidate for the new 16 port antennas. It would seem the site doesn't support more than one antenna per sector, and that would be a good solution to get B41 up to 8T8R, and supporting more than 2 B41 carriers. 

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Firstly, I'll start by saying "Bloody ImageBB" and I forget what photos those were to repost them elsewhere. 

Secondly, it would appear around June 20 different Samsung 8x8 sites went from displaying 2.6GHz as a separate eNB from the legacy 1900/860 eNB, to combining all frequencies on the same number. 

Any ideas why? Just to make things less confusing? 

https://www.cellmapper.net/map?MCC=310&MNC=120&type=LTE&latitude=39.72439320486837&longitude=-104.86670570076001&zoom=17&showTowers=true&clusterEnabled=true&tilesEnabled=true&heatMapEnabled=false&showOrphans=false&showNoFrequencyOnly=false&showFrequencyOnly=false&showBandwidthOnly=false&DateFilterType=Last&showHex=false&showVerifiedOnly=false&showUnverifiedOnly=false&showLTECAOnly=false&showBand=0&mapType=custom_map&showSectorColours=true 

The tower at 6th and Havana I've not yet deleted the now-legacy eNB ID of 546330 but can definitely see the same sectors now populated in eNB ID 541130.  

And one where I have removed the old eNB: 

https://www.cellmapper.net/map?MCC=310&MNC=120&type=LTE&latitude=39.74153015313759&longitude=-104.87450556457532&zoom=17&showTowers=true&clusterEnabled=true&tilesEnabled=true&heatMapEnabled=false&showOrphans=false&showNoFrequencyOnly=false&showFrequencyOnly=false&showBandwidthOnly=false&DateFilterType=Last&showHex=false&showVerifiedOnly=false&showUnverifiedOnly=false&showLTECAOnly=false&showBand=0&mapType=custom_map&showSectorColours=true

Other sites in the vicinity have 'last seen' dates of around June-August, and the new 2.6Ghz sectors have all appeared between June-now comparatively. 

Just sort of curious on this one :)

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Secondly, it would appear around June 20 different Samsung 8x8 sites went from displaying 2.6GHz as a separate eNB from the legacy 1900/860 eNB, to combining all frequencies on the same number. 
Any ideas why? Just to make things less confusing? 



It's hypothesized to be a basestation upgrade/hardware replacement in Samsung markets. Started happening in April in the SF market and spread quickly to other markets. It's needed to enable 256 QAM and 4x4 I believe, and maybe VoLTE prep. It's definitely required for FDD-TDD CA, since CA requires all carriers to be on the same eNB (ie GCI).

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

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6 hours ago, ingenium said:

It's hypothesized to be a basestation upgrade/hardware replacement in Samsung markets. Started happening in April in the SF market and spread quickly to other markets. It's needed to enable 256 QAM and 4x4 I believe, and maybe VoLTE prep. It's definitely required for FDD-TDD CA, since CA requires all carriers to be on the same eNB (ie GCI).

Interesting.  I thought that CoMP allowed different GCIs to CA.

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2015/0359028.html seems Nokia made a patent on this. 

https://csit.am/2017/Proceedings/TN/TNp1.pdf

Perhaps Nokia's inter-eNB CA is required because of the inability to coordinate every frequency/sector within a single eNB in Nokia equipment.

Ooh, just found a Samsung patent on similar: https://patents.google.com/patent/WO2014098520A1/en

 

Edited by mystica555
added Samsung patent for similar technique to Nokia patent/marketing doc
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