Verizon’s cost to build a modern MTSO: $31M

While individual cell sites cost somewhere in the range of $250,000 to $400,000 to construct, it’s interesting to learn the cost of building a new Mobile Telephone Switching Office (MTS0).  Thanks to Verizon Wireless for helping to illuminate the answer.

Verizon Wireless Completes $31 Million Investment In New Omaha Network Facility


OMAHA, NE — Verizon Wireless announced today it has completed the company’s new Mobile Telephone Switching Office (MTSO) in Omaha. The MTSO, which represents a $31 million investment, processes all Verizon Wireless calls and data transmissions within eastern Nebraska and portions of western Iowa. Construction on the facility started in the fall of 2006, and full operation of the new switch will begin this month.

The switching center, which is housed in a 26,000-square-foot building, is a large digital computer center that controls all aspects of wireless calls and data applications. Currently the Omaha MTSO handles more than 4 million data connections and 2 million voice calls a month. The new facility has room to expand for projected increases in voice and data network capacity for the next 25 years.

Verizon Wireless’ network capacity requirements increase each year as the company grows its customer base and offers increasingly sophisticated wireless products and services such as navigation systems, multimedia services and Internet access.

“This new MTSO prepares our network for a substantial increase in usage by our existing and new customers,” said Brian Mecum, executive director of network – Great Plains region, Verizon Wireless. “This state-of-the-art facility also brings the latest wireless technology to Nebraska and western Iowa.”

Redundancy is built into the MTSO facility for reliability in the event of an unplanned event or power outage. Within 15 seconds of a power loss to the facility, the MTSO’s generator assumes the network power needs with no interruption to customers’ service.

The 1.5 megawatt diesel generator is stocked with 10,000 gallons of fuel that can provide days of uninterrupted service. The MTSO is also equipped with enough back-up battery power to keep the building operational for an additional eight hours, giving Verizon Wireless’ network team ample time to refuel and maintain the generator and continue providing customers with uninterrupted service. The MTSO also houses 262 tons of air conditioners needed to cool the entire system.

“As the backbone of our wireless network, this MTSO ensures that Verizon Wireless has the capacity to accommodate our customer needs — both in times of normalcy and in the event of an emergency or natural disaster,” Mecum said. “We are committed to delivering the most reliable wireless network, and the redundancy features that are built-in throughout our network system help us do just that.”

This new MTSO is part of Verizon Wireless’ continuous effort to augment the quality of its wireless voice and data network in Nebraska and across the country. Verizon Wireless has invested more than $45 billion since it was formed — more than $5.5 billion on average every year — to increase the coverage and capacity of its national network and to add new services. From January 2005 through September 2008, more than $95 million of this investment were spent in Nebraska on network improvements.


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