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AT&T LTE and Network Discussion

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1 hour ago, LordDonkey said:

Tillman Infrastructure built a new tower near me last October. A company finally came in to install the antennas and ground equipment on April 1st and 2nd. It's not completely finished yet and nobody has been back as far as I know since. The area shows AT&T 5G coverage by June 2020 according to the map on page 2 here: https://www.att.com/idpassets/sales/uf/assets/5g/ATT_5G_Maps_WV.pdf

This site is 2500 ft down the road from an existing AT&T B4/B12 site. It's in Western MD near the WV Line, right beside I-68. Kind of reminds me of the setup at the top of page 5.

New Cell site pics:

gW7rndl.jpg

 

it does look similar, but the ground cabinet is different than what they are using here for new sites. Could just be a different vendor or engineer. AT&T loves Commscope and uses all Ericsson equipment around here. This is what they've been using here:

v4l2j61l.jpg

Also, my home site is (finally) getting upgraded. Its about the last 2/12 only site left around here. Found some more AT&T work and some new T-Mobile work in Louisville Friday, they're certainly keeping the tower crews busy right now.

eNB0eT4.jpg

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I found a new type of AT&T small cell in Louisville Friday also. Its B2/B12 and looks very much like the typical Verizon small cells around here except for the large base cabinet. This just had RRUs and the antenna. Guess they needed the B12 for coverage vs the B46 LAA for capacity they usually install. They also used macro RRUs instead of the much smaller ones one the B2/B46 builds. SCP log shows this is the first B12 small cell I've connected to in Louisville for now. 

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ctpOnYLm.jpg

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And Verizon is garbage in this area too. This is by Jefferson Mall, they need small cells in the area badly. I'm surprised they haven't added mm-wave and CBRS to this area yet. 
 
CBRS auction isn't until July. Hard to add that one

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10 minutes ago, Tengen31 said:

CBRS auction isn't until July. Hard to add that one

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Several people have seen B48 active on Verizon already. Its just the licensed bit that gets auctioned off in July. The rest is like B46 LAA if I understand that correctly. Theres 3 priority levels, Government, license holder, then everyone else IIRC.

https://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1916611-Verizon-4G-LTE-Speed-Test-Results-Round-2/page6

(posts 81 & 89)

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7 hours ago, LordDonkey said:

Tillman Infrastructure built a new tower near me last October. A company finally came in to install the antennas and ground equipment on April 1st and 2nd. It's not completely finished yet and nobody has been back as far as I know since. The area shows AT&T 5G coverage by June 2020 according to the map on page 2 here: https://www.att.com/idpassets/sales/uf/assets/5g/ATT_5G_Maps_WV.pdf

This site is 2500 ft down the road from an existing AT&T B4/B12 site. It's in Western MD near the WV Line, right beside I-68. Kind of reminds me of the setup at the top of page 5.

New Cell site pics:

 

I assume you're referring to the tower on Webb Chapel Road?  As you indicate, it's very close to the US Cellular tower that also hosts Verizon and AT&T already.  However, it looks like it might be placed to shoot signal across I-68 right at the state line where the US Cellular tower appears to be shadowed by local terrain. 

- Trip

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1 hour ago, Trip said:

I assume you're referring to the tower on Webb Chapel Road?  As you indicate, it's very close to the US Cellular tower that also hosts Verizon and AT&T already.  However, it looks like it might be placed to shoot signal across I-68 right at the state line where the US Cellular tower appears to be shadowed by local terrain. 

- Trip

Yes sir, that's the one. It's not very far from me, I am just east of it. I can see both towers from my upper field.

I've been trying to identify the radio heads on it. I think I might have found one of them. ERICSSON RRUS 8843. It looks similar to the middle one in my picture picture, heat sinks looks the same, but I don't know about the actual hardware. I've been basing my search on other towers and the plans I've found for them. I can find project plans for other towers in other places online but none for this one. I guess WV doesn't do anything electronically like other states do. Something like this. I've searched almost every way I could think of and can't one.

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Connecticut is the only state that has any kind of state-wide cell tower siting thing.  Anything else is tied directly to the localities, and thus varies widely.  Many of the more rural localities don't have anything much online, while the more urban ones tend to have a lot of information online.

- Trip

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On 5/10/2020 at 5:38 AM, mdob07 said:

Several people have seen B48 active on Verizon already. Its just the licensed bit that gets auctioned off in July. The rest is like B46 LAA if I understand that correctly. Theres 3 priority levels, Government, license holder, then everyone else IIRC.

https://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1916611-Verizon-4G-LTE-Speed-Test-Results-Round-2/page6

(posts 81 & 89)

From what I understand, in January FCC allowed cellular commercialization while maintaining rules outlined in the tiered strategy.  So that puts all carriers into the General Authorized Access tier if they utilize CBRS now.  Through the auction scheduled in July, they have the opportunity to upgrade to the Priority Access tier thus securing dedicated interference free spectrum.

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6 minutes ago, red_dog007 said:

From what I understand, in January FCC allowed cellular commercialization while maintaining rules outlined in the tiered strategy.  So that puts all carriers into the General Authorized Access tier if they utilize CBRS now.  Through the auction scheduled in July, they have the opportunity to upgrade to the Priority Access tier thus securing dedicated interference free spectrum.

I wonder if AT&T plans to deploy it at some point. On my AT&T S20 Ultra B48 isn't enabled right now, though the phone does support it. It is enabled on my T-Mobile S20+. Its funny what they pick and choose to enable in their firmware, the only NR bands enabled right now are N5 and N260. I guess they'll enable more in future updates as they flip more spectrum to NR. 

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I wonder if AT&T plans to deploy it at some point. On my AT&T S20 Ultra B48 isn't enabled right now, though the phone does support it. It is enabled on my T-Mobile S20+. Its funny what they pick and choose to enable in their firmware, the only NR bands enabled right now are N5 and N260. I guess they'll enable more in future updates as they flip more spectrum to NR. 
Att will likely only buy it where they need it. It will not be Nationwide like it will be for Dish and VZW

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1 hour ago, mdob07 said:

I wonder if AT&T plans to deploy it at some point. On my AT&T S20 Ultra B48 isn't enabled right now, though the phone does support it. It is enabled on my T-Mobile S20+. Its funny what they pick and choose to enable in their firmware, the only NR bands enabled right now are N5 and N260. I guess they'll enable more in future updates as they flip more spectrum to NR. 

Might save a tee tiny bit of battery life as the phone isn't scanning through unused frequencies.

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Just now, red_dog007 said:

Might save a tee tiny bit of battery life as the phone isn't scanning through unused frequencies.

That's a good thought, I didn't think about it that way. 

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Might save a tee tiny bit of battery life as the phone isn't scanning through unused frequencies.

That only happens when the phone loses service completely. Once connected to the network, the network will tell the phone when to scan, and what to scan (sends a list of earfcns), and the signal strength and quality is reported back to the network. This happens pretty frequently, especially as your signal gets weaker. It's how the tower knows where to handoff your phone to, and when.

 

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Also, my home site is (finally) getting upgraded. Its about the last 2/12 only site left around here.
eNB0eT4.jpg

Looks like they finished it up either late Friday or early Saturday morning. I went back Saturday afternoon and their hoist ropes were gone and I haven't seen any activity again until last night. LTE went offline completely for about 6 hours overnight. When it came back up this morning it's still 2/12 only but I now have the 5G icon on both B2 and B12. Even on N5 sites B12 is still 5Ge or 4G LTE. Not sure why the flag is on for B12 here. Looking at some of the pictures I took it doesn't look to have all the current radios either, so I wonder it this was the first of multiple phases. Maybe they cutover new ground equipment last night to come back later and remove the legacy radios/antennas and add the rest of the new equipment. The big 8 port B2/B66 radio is very distinct and easy to spot with the large heat sink fins around it, and I don't see it on there. Plus the 2 new antennas they installed are skinnier than the 2 panel comscope setups they've been doing and don't look to have enough ports for everything it should have. My guess is they'll be back later to remove the old legacy equipment and put up the remaining new equipment then fire it all the way up. I don't usually get to watch a site progress, I usually only notice it when new bands go live and I catch it in SCP so I'm not sure if this is par for the course or not.
AT&T is dense enough here that even with LTE being down on that site I had usable LTE from neighboring sites even in my basement. HSPA stayed up on that site throughout and is still on.
2b19a4157e58c17a32d3e16ec52f9e70.jpg

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8 hours ago, mdob07 said:

The big 8 port B2/B66 radio is very distinct and easy to spot with the large heat sink fins around it, and I don't see it on there. Plus the 2 new antennas they installed are skinnier than the 2 panel comscope setups they've been doing and don't look to have enough ports for everything it should have.

Are the two new panels the two panels on the right?

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5 minutes ago, RAvirani said:

Are the two new panels the two panels on the right?

Yeah those are the new ones. 

Edited to add: those look like the skinnier 2 panel setups they were adding before where it was either the one large wide panel or the 2 skinnier ones mounted together, though in this case they are separated a bit. They did remove 1 old antenna per sector, might have been the old 1900 gsm/hspa gear since that was shut off 2 years ago. Once the site has a newer B2 radio running I should see the 3rd B2 carrier go live. We'll see if anything happens tonight. 

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Just now, mdob07 said:

Yeah those are the new ones. 

Those are both Commscope 6-port to 12-port antennas. That may be the setup they've chosen to go with on that site. 

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6 minutes ago, RAvirani said:

Those are both Commscope 6-port to 12-port antennas. That may be the setup they've chosen to go with on that site. 

Yeah, I'm just comparing it to other sites around here. And since I've noticed them returning and doing more work on previously upgraded sites I'm curious if this one will be handled in 1 phase or 2. They just completely rebuilt the Shepherdsville site and used dual 12 port panels there for everything. It had already received the First Net upgrades and had all current spectrum active, including B5 before it was shut down for N5. Must have been a modernization upgrade as it had 4 or 5 antenna panels per sector before. It has the 5G indicator but is not yet broadcasting N5. IIRC it was B2/B4/B12 before being upgraded in 2018. It was one of the first sites around here to get the First Net upgrades and it needed it badly for capacity. 

I also found another new site this week up the hill on hwy44 past Shepherdsville. Mapped and located it on CellMapper. There's still a large dead spot on the other side of the hill close to Dixie Hwy. Verizon has a site that covers that spot pretty good, I want to swing by it sometime soon and see if there's any signs of AT&T co-locating there also.

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Here's all 3 B2 carriers showing around me. EARFCN 1125 is the 3rd carrier I should see soon on my home site. Its the old B2 HSPA 5x5 block and it only goes live on LTE after a site has been upgraded.
Technically AWS has 3 carriers here also with the 2 AWS-1 carriers and J block AWS-3. fc6c5eda1e1039e5bac033b313b688c8.jpg

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They turned on the 10x10 AWS-1 carrier and B30 overnight last night, as well as N5. Now I can play around with N5 and N71 from my house. When I went by the tower on my way into the office this morning there was someone up on the rack working on something again. Ill try to do a comparison with just B2 and B2+N5 overnight sometime when there should be minimal load on the site to see how much N5 is contributing.
WRVKqYzl.jpg

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Here's all 3 B2 carriers showing around me. EARFCN 1125 is the 3rd carrier I should see soon on my home site. Its the old B2 HSPA 5x5 block and it only goes live on LTE after a site has been upgraded.

Technically AWS has 3 carriers here also with the 2 AWS-1 carriers and J block AWS-3. fc6c5eda1e1039e5bac033b313b688c8.jpg

 

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If you have 3 carriers for B2 hopefully your area gets a spectrum swap

 

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Just now, Tengen31 said:

If you have 3 carriers for B2 hopefully your area gets a spectrum swap

 

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Its mostly south of Louisville, there's a large chunk where Bluegrass Cellular (Verizon's LTEiRA partner) owns the upper 5MHz of A block. In Louisville its 20x20 (A+D) (plus the 5x5 C4 block for a 2nd carrier), but south of the Metro area that's split into 10x10 and 5x5, plus the additional 5x5 on C4 block. Not sure if Bluegrass would be open to any swaps, I guess they could swap the 5MHz chunk of A block for D block or C4 block so they'd at least have one 15x15 or 20x20 carrier, but if they haven't already done that I'm assuming there is a reason. In Bullitt county where I live AT&T has lower and middle A block, D block, and C4 block. T-Mobile now has B, E, F, and C3 blocks in PCS for a 30x30 chunk plus G block. Verizon only has C5 for 5x5 around here in PCS. AT&T also has 3 AWS carriers here with Blocks A, C, and J.

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I found something interesting while looking through some AT&T site plans I found online, this is from a site in Connecticut. Looks like they have a SiriusXM repeater on the B30 antenna. I'm guessing this helps to eliminate the interference B30 causes to Sirius receivers. I wonder if they'll eventually do this in all of the markets they had to shrink B30 down to 5x5, or at least in the urban areas. 

B2NnZNr.png

74bN5uQ.png

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Well... They haven't been back to finish the tower. It's still looks the same today as it does when I took those pictures. According to someone from Reddit, which I shall take with a grain of salt, the crew made various safety violations on that tower and that they were probably kicked out of the market. So maybe that's why it remains unfinished? It does seem weird that they just up and left leaving wires just hanging.

This is the photo I posted in /r/CellTowers

67uZRL8.jpg

 

Side note: I noticed Band 5 LTE going away in some areas. A tower in Bittinger, MD previously had Band 5 LTE and now it no longer does. It still has band 2 and 17 and no aggregation, at least not with my phone. I think it used CA with my ZTE MF288 modem. The Band 2 has 15 MHz bandwidth and hits 80 Mbps no problem.

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