reply to DonLibes
Re: how close can a cell tower be to a house? I can assure you that NextG is not deploying their very expensive equipment unless there is carrier demand. Carrier demand stems from customer demand, and in 2012, good cell phone coverage is expected by pretty much everyone. I'd rather have a DAS in my back yard than a typical multicarrier cell site.
said by PSWired:Thanks for that insight. Note these installations are going in front yards, not back yards, and this community is moderately obsessive about front yard appearance. For example, covenants require a particular type of mailbox, no fencing in front yards, etc.
I can assure you that NextG is not deploying their very expensive equipment unless there is carrier demand. Carrier demand stems from customer demand, ...
My home is not within the area covered by these covenants so this doesn't personally affect me but I can understand that the residents must feel that on aesthetics alone, this new pole/antenna feels like a finger in the eye.
said by PSWired:That raises an interesting point. There already is good coverage in the neighborhood from two providers (one of whom is NextG - I only point this out since you mentioned earlier that NextG is the new guy on the block but that's not true. The new DAS is for AT&T.) Does every provider get to put up their own antennas? Is there a limit to the number of providers that must be allowed before "good cell phone coverage is expected" is met? Can't cell phones share networks? Isn't the resistance to sharing merely an issue of profit? Reminds me of the old days when telephone poles carried many wires. Now they're carrying many antennas.
... and in 2012, good cell phone coverage is expected by pretty much everyone.
said by PSWired:Companies would not get permission in residential neighborhoods in this area for a traditional cell site so you're not offering a real choice.
I'd rather have a DAS in my back yard than a typical multicarrier cell site.
I am only moderately familiar with Montgomery County's transmission site ordinances, but I have been through the PG county approval process (from the carrier side as a small business owner). In PG there are certainly requirements that antennas are colocated on existing structures before new structures can be built. But there are also a few exemptions for antenna size and power output. The antennas you pictured might fall within those limits if Montgomery County has a similar clause in their zoning code, and then wouldn't be subject to scrutiny by the tower committee. 250W EIRP would not fall within the exclusion limits in PG last I checked.
I don't know the specifics of this particular DAS, but generally there are provisions for sharing since the antenna system doesn't have any carrier-specific technology in it. If AT&T is trying to deploy in a frequency band that an existing DAS doesn't support, though, then that could explain their new equipment.
A few other notes:
Sure, given the right set of circumstances, all cell phones could share networks. But that's similar to the prospect of "just burying all the electric lines" to solve aesthetic and reliability issues. It's not cost effective or practical.
There is a lot of demand for higher speed mobile data, and consumer pricing pressure is strong. All of those new iPads being sold today need this infrastructure, and consumers aren't willing to pay the costs associated with concealing all of the equipment.
reply to PSWired
Wireless Carrier demand does not always equate customer demand. The more antenna's a carrier says it has in an area, the more they attract future customers.
Next G, Crown Castle and other DAS providers build systems when requested by Wireless Carriers.