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(Google)   Cell phone towers are about to go the way of the aqueduct and Baby on Board magnets   (google.com) divider line 55
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10396 clicks; posted to Geek » on 12 Feb 2011 at 7:20 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-02-12 07:27:48 AM
Name one thing the Romans have done for us. NOTHING!

Cellphone towers.

Well yes, of course the cellphone towers, that goes without saying. But apart from the cellphone towers what have they done for us? NOTHING!
 
2011-02-12 07:53:31 AM
I thought those Baby on Board "magnets" were suction-cup things.
 
2011-02-12 07:55:50 AM

Benucio: I thought those Baby on Board "magnets" were suction-cup things.


Shhh. No telling!
 
2011-02-12 07:56:22 AM
So basically, this will reduce the need for cellphone towers where they are least intrusive, namely in already-cluttered urban settings, and do nothing for the need for tall towers blighting rural areas to provide wide coverage? Brilliant.

The reality is that this is more about helping the networks fill in urban coverage without having to rent cell sites or navigate planning commissions.
 
2011-02-12 08:03:43 AM

czetie:
The reality is that this is more about helping the networks fill in urban coverage without having to rent cell sites or navigate planning commissions.


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^ ^^^^^^^^

Ding!
 
2011-02-12 08:22:01 AM
"If the technology overcomes some hurdles...."

Much like my desire for sex robots.
 
2011-02-12 08:26:17 AM
It's just a cellular antenna!

Oh no, it is a mean to summon us...
 
2011-02-12 08:28:12 AM

czetie: and do nothing for the need for tall towers blighting rural areas to provide wide coverage?


Are the tall towers REALLY that big of a deal?
 
2011-02-12 08:32:44 AM

Big Cheese Make Hair Go Boom: czetie: and do nothing for the need for tall towers blighting rural areas to provide wide coverage?

Are the tall towers REALLY that big of a deal?


Somebody inevitably doesn't want one within their view. Unfortunately, as was said earlier, this device can't replace a cell tower.
 
2011-02-12 08:57:41 AM

FTA:

Now the wireless industry is planning a future without them, or at least without many more of them. Instead, it's looking at much smaller antennas, some tiny enough to hold in a hand.


i855.photobucket.com

Well, what used to be your hand...

 
2011-02-12 09:07:43 AM

Benucio: I thought those Baby on Board "magnets" were suction-cup things.


knowyourmeme.com

/so that's how they farkin' work
 
2011-02-12 09:27:38 AM
We are now reporting two week old news
 
2011-02-12 10:18:32 AM

czetie: So basically, this will reduce the need for cellphone towers where they are least intrusive, namely in already-cluttered urban settings, and do nothing for the need for tall towers blighting rural areas to provide wide coverage? Brilliant.


They'll also be great for suburban office parks. I can't get a signal if I walk more than 5 feet inside the door.
 
2011-02-12 10:26:34 AM
Hmn. I bet this will make it easier on the companys to sneak 'em past the OMGcancer! government mind control project! NIMBYs.

A local blog here posted an article called What to Do if a Cell Tower is Proposed in Your Neighborhood. Most of the response was enthusiasm that their calls would no longer be dropped. Several offered up their backyards for a cell tower.
 
2011-02-12 10:37:32 AM
i190.photobucket.com
 
2011-02-12 10:56:35 AM

czetie: So basically, this will reduce the need for cellphone towers where they are least intrusive, namely in already-cluttered urban settings, and do nothing for the need for tall towers blighting rural areas to provide wide coverage?


FTFA: "In Alcatel-Lucent's vision, these little cubes could soon begin replacing conventional cell towers... The cube, Sweldens said, can make the notion of a conventional cell tower 'go away.'"

Should I be reading a different article? I've read two or three now and they all say this is the end of big towers. Have you read otherwise?
 
2011-02-12 11:24:12 AM
What the article is not telling you is that these things require a Wired connection. Yes, you can put a lot of them around as long as there is a wired connection and power at the spot that you place them. Like in a city. Out in the country, nothing is still going to beat the tower for coverage of large areas; there just is no infrastructure along that interstate or whatever to connect the cubes to.
 
2011-02-12 11:43:32 AM

The Dread Pirate Robertson: czetie: So basically, this will reduce the need for cellphone towers where they are least intrusive, namely in already-cluttered urban settings, and do nothing for the need for tall towers blighting rural areas to provide wide coverage?

FTFA: "In Alcatel-Lucent's vision, these little cubes could soon begin replacing conventional cell towers... The cube, Sweldens said, can make the notion of a conventional cell tower 'go away.'"

Should I be reading a different article? I've read two or three now and they all say this is the end of big towers. Have you read otherwise?


There are already Microcell devices in use that aren't very big. Easily placed on existing utility poles, buildings etc. In urban areas or areas without good line of sight (winding canyon roads for instance) they are used extensively. The big thing is getting them installed, connectivity to the Base station (the actual cell site) achieved and subsequently maintained. Not to mention protection from vandalism, theft. A standard cell site/ tower configuration makes all that much simpler/cheaper than a Microcell situation. This is a neat tool but it won't make towers obsolete.
 
2011-02-12 12:20:09 PM
It seems to me that if I can connect four or five computers and three cell phones to a single $100 antenna no bigger than the size of a paperback book, as well as share it -- knowingly or not -- with a half dozen neighbors, it seems like the multibillion dollar cell phone industry could figure out a way to create robust cell reception with something smaller than a radio tower littered with surfboard sized antennas.

Is there an electrical engineer in the house who could tell me what the power requirements are for these devices? Could they be repeaters rather than being wired? Could they be solar-charged and battery powered? If a cell phone can be a micro-cell/mobile hotspot, couldn't these be as well?
 
2011-02-12 12:20:34 PM
Part of a conspiracy to increase the location resolution of cell-signal tracking?
 
2011-02-12 12:32:57 PM

Garm: A standard cell site/ tower configuration makes all that much simpler/cheaper than a Microcell situation. This is a neat tool but it won't make towers obsolete.


So the towers would be "obsolete," but only in that they could be replaced but there's no compelling reason to do so.

What you're saying is that once this tech is established, the cell companies could easily go replace the huge towers, but it would be pretty much a goodwill gesture that they could in no way charge back to the consumer at an 8K% markup?

Nonsense.
 
2011-02-12 12:41:45 PM
I wanted to yell at some douche with a baby on board sign last night, actually.

While I'm at it, methinks there is a fifty-somethin mile aqueduct servicing NYC, and an even longer one for LA.
 
2011-02-12 12:42:31 PM
That's a stupid idea!

If we don't have aqueducts, we can't build the Hanging Gardens.
 
2011-02-12 12:52:39 PM
What's the big deal? They're barely noticeable.

lh5.googleusercontent.com
 
2011-02-12 12:58:17 PM

Syphilis_Smile: I wanted to yell at some douche with a baby on board sign last night, actually.



We all get unexplained urges sometimes, but I must say that one is surprisingly specific.
 
2011-02-12 01:00:05 PM

czetie: So basically, this will reduce the need for cellphone towers where they are least intrusive, namely in already-cluttered urban settings, and do nothing for the need for tall towers blighting rural areas to provide wide coverage? Brilliant.

The reality is that this is more about helping the networks fill in urban coverage without having to rent cell sites or navigate planning commissions.


Pretty much. Although it's less local planning commissions and more the FCC 620 form and the whole federal NEPA process required for installing a tower.

It's a HUGE pain in the ass and takes WAY too much time.
 
2011-02-12 01:06:11 PM
Can I buy one of these things, install it near my house and "donate" it to my local carrier?
 
2011-02-12 01:17:19 PM

spacely_sprocket: It seems to me that if I can connect four or five computers and three cell phones to a single $100 antenna no bigger than the size of a paperback book, as well as share it -- knowingly or not -- with a half dozen neighbors, it seems like the multibillion dollar cell phone industry could figure out a way to create robust cell reception with something smaller than a radio tower littered with surfboard sized antennas.

Is there an electrical engineer in the house who could tell me what the power requirements are for these devices? Could they be repeaters rather than being wired? Could they be solar-charged and battery powered? If a cell phone can be a micro-cell/mobile hotspot, couldn't these be as well?


The big difference between cell reception and wifi is that you're trying to go a few dozen feet with wifi, and with a cell phone you're trying to span miles. And the cell phone radiates a half watt before someone wraps their hand around the tiny antenna. The way you get around that is having big ass antennas and hang them very high in the air.

I have a ham radio that will easily go 20 miles, no towers needed. But the antenna is five feet long and is 10 feet in the air. And if I want to use it all day long I have to run it on a car battery. Not exactly practical for portable operation and I can't stick it in my pocket like a cell phone.

ps - You can get wifi to work across several miles. But you need big directional antennas and you have to hang them on towers.
 
2011-02-12 01:22:35 PM
Wait, what? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Aqueduct
 
2011-02-12 01:28:58 PM

paygun: I have a ham radio that will easily go 20 miles, no towers needed. But the antenna is five feet long and is 10 feet in the air. And if I want to use it all day long I have to run it on a car battery.


They don't use household A/C?
 
2011-02-12 01:30:54 PM

cryinoutloud: What's the big deal? They're barely noticeable.


I've seen cell phone antennas installed on street lights, coffee shops, and even church bell towers. When done properly, they're practically invisible except to a telecom professional.

KarmicDisaster: What the article is not telling you is that these things require a Wired connection. Yes, you can put a lot of them around as long as there is a wired connection and power at the spot that you place them. Like in a city. Out in the country, nothing is still going to beat the tower for coverage of large areas; there just is no infrastructure along that interstate or whatever to connect the cubes to.


Aren't most big towers connected to a fiber optic backhaul anyway? It's not that big of a shift to imagine smaller fibers radiating from a big tower to each of the smaller cells.

Or if you're lucky enough to have line-of-sight to a big tower, perhaps you could have the small cell link up to it using a second directional antenna. Conceptually, it wouldn't be that different from how the long-distance telephone network used microwave dishes before optical fiber crisscrossed the continental U.S.
 
2011-02-12 01:37:15 PM
I don't know about elsewhere, but around these parts all of the tallest/highest-situated buildings are already festooned with cellular antennas. They hang them off the side to make them less obvious. Take a look in your neighborhood and you'll probably notice the same thing.

i56.tinypic.com
 
2011-02-12 01:39:39 PM
Bullshiat. If you don't have an Aqueduct, you can't build a Hospital.

/unless you're building adjacent to fresh water
 
2011-02-12 01:50:01 PM
"Well, I WAS gonna ram you, but since you have a baby on board, I'll try to hold back." - "Weird Al" Yankovic
 
2011-02-12 01:52:09 PM

The Dread Pirate Robertson: paygun: I have a ham radio that will easily go 20 miles, no towers needed. But the antenna is five feet long and is 10 feet in the air. And if I want to use it all day long I have to run it on a car battery.

They don't use household A/C?


All modern radios are built to run on ~12 volts DC, but nearly everyone uses a DC power supply that plugs in the wall. The reason why I mentioned running on battery power is that a cell phone is portable and runs off a battery. Running the ham radio from a battery was my attempt to draw some kind of apples to apples comparison.

A typical ham handheld (walkie talkie type) will run on battery of course and with the right conditions and appropriate antenna will work across a few miles. But you don't get nearly the battery life you get from a cell phone. The handheld radio is putting out 5 watts though, a lot less than the 1/2 watt max that a cell phone will put out. So even though the ham radio has a huge battery compared to the cell phone, it's using a lot more power.
 
2011-02-12 01:59:13 PM

czetie: The reality is that this is more about helping the networks fill in urban coverage without having to rent cell sites or navigate planning commissions.


Eh, they'll still have to contract with the cities to use the lamp-posts, building ledges, etc. So they're replacing one set of red tape with another, there (though I feel them on dodging urban planning commissions and neighborhood associations, I'd be afraid al that stupid would rub off and lower my IQ 50 points or so).

More about lower power bills, would be my guess. The big towers eat a crazy amount of electricity to broadcast for half a mile two ways.
 
2011-02-12 02:26:07 PM

UNC_Samurai: Bullshiat. If you don't have an Aqueduct, you can't build a Hospital.

/unless you're building adjacent to fresh water


cdn2.holytaco.com

/ Well done, sir
 
2011-02-12 02:27:05 PM

paygun: All modern radios are built to run on ~12 volts DC, but nearly everyone uses a DC power supply that plugs in the wall. The reason why I mentioned running on battery power is that a cell phone is portable and runs off a battery. Running the ham radio from a battery was my attempt to draw some kind of apples to apples comparison.


matchstic.com

Thanks, sir.
 
2011-02-12 03:19:51 PM

anfrind: Aren't most big towers connected to a fiber optic backhaul anyway?


Many if not most aren't. But the push is to get fiber to all cell sites now.

anfrind: Conceptually, it wouldn't be that different from how the long-distance telephone network used microwave dishes before optical fiber crisscrossed the continental U.S.


Negatory. Some did use microwave (Sprint or MCI...can't recall) but the Bell system used inter office copper lines mainly for long distance. Microwave communications were available but were for special design. Some were used due to natural barriers that prevented a cable from being easily placed. IIRC.

Jim_Callahan: Eh, they'll still have to contract with the cities to use the lamp-posts, building ledges, etc. So they're replacing one set of red tape with another, there (though I feel them on dodging urban planning commissions and neighborhood associations, I'd be afraid al that stupid would rub off and lower my IQ 50 points or so).

More about lower power bills, would be my guess. The big towers eat a crazy amount of electricity to broadcast for half a mile two ways.


From what I understand, it's not the transmitter that eats the power but the system that connects to the transmitter and handles the backhaul.
 
2011-02-12 03:27:54 PM
Having worked for Lucent in the past, I bet my life they will find a way to fark this up.
 
2011-02-12 04:54:58 PM
The only thing I can think of this replacing is a DAS(Distributed Antenna System) node. Mainly meant for where you do not have the room to install a full BTS cabinet. In those set ups, you have a small radio/antenna mounted inside light poles, with typically fiber backhaul to a hub location nearby which has the actual BTS cabinets. Then that HUB backhauls to wherever the MSC actually resides.

I have only ever seen DAS nodes installed to historic districts where a committee would obviously refuse any cell towers or visible rooftop antenna's.
 
2011-02-12 05:19:44 PM

Big Cheese Make Hair Go Boom: czetie: and do nothing for the need for tall towers blighting rural areas to provide wide coverage?

Are the tall towers REALLY that big of a deal?


That's what I wonder. It's part of our modern world, like utility poles. I've never understood the "ZOMG! UGLY TOWERS!" thingee.

Arkanaut: I can't get a signal if I walk more than 5 feet inside the door.


Link (new window)

I live out in the (semi-)country and I have one, works great.
 
2011-02-12 07:25:15 PM
May the cube be with you!

/And you father, too!
 
2011-02-12 08:29:36 PM
What is interesting is the article fails to note one huge feature this will provide for all phones, much more battery life.
Since the cell sites are so much closer together a lot less power is required from the cell phone to transmit to the cell tower. This directly translates to much greater battery life.
 
2011-02-12 09:11:15 PM
I represent today's grumpy consumer. I need a "cell tower" that will make cell phones useless within a block of the library and the liquor store. I can't parse weird corporate "names" like "Ubiquisys" and "iSuppli." What is that, like Air Supply? furthermore, I'm not ready to accept that "femtocells" really were born that way as opposed to needing the right man to change them. When will the market respond to MY needs?

and. . . Aren't there aqueducts still carrying water in like Northern Greece or sumpin'?
 
2011-02-12 10:22:58 PM

naveline: I represent today's grumpy consumer. I need a "cell tower" that will make cell phones useless within a block of the library and the liquor store. I can't parse weird corporate "names" like "Ubiquisys" and "iSuppli." What is that, like Air Supply? furthermore, I'm not ready to accept that "femtocells" really were born that way as opposed to needing the right man to change them. When will the market respond to MY needs?

and. . . Aren't there aqueducts still carrying water in like Northern Greece or sumpin'?


And most of Scandinavia and The Netherlands.

Subby is a blithering idiot.
 
2011-02-13 12:03:27 AM

St_Francis_P: czetie:
The reality is that this is more about helping the networks fill in urban coverage without having to rent cell sites or navigate planning commissions.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^ ^^^^^^^^

Ding!


And this isnt even feasible for probably another 15-25 years or so.

Kinan: What is interesting is the article fails to note one huge feature this will provide for all phones, much more battery life.
Since the cell sites are so much closer together a lot less power is required from the cell phone to transmit to the cell tower. This directly translates to much greater battery life.


What, whut? Did you really type that or am I that drunk?
 
2011-02-13 12:35:49 AM
I'm drunk. I read 3 other articles yesterday about this and even sent to some colleagues and none of the articles mentioned this. Of course this one did. Fail.
 
2011-02-13 01:30:48 AM
Pfft. Ugly cell phone towers? I just moved to Phoenix. They dress them shiats up like palm trees.
 
2011-02-13 07:08:43 AM
That will make the CDMA carriers that much more awesome -- CDMA's handoff system actually works properly, and usually quite well.
 
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