Site Planning T-Mobile

T-Mobile Proposes PCS Bell Tower at Florida Church

T-Mobile is proposing a stylish new stand-alone Bell Tower to hide a new cell site at the Duncan Road Baptist Church. 430 N.E. Duncan Rd, in Blue Springs, Florida.

The Examiner newpaper in Eastern Jackson County has a story on the proposed site, and an interesting elevation illustration (artist’s rendering) of the proposed bell tower. Click here to read the story and see the illustration.

It’s common practice for wireless carriers to construct attached or detached bell towers to camouflage cell sites. The CellularPCS Gallery has many examples you can see by clicking here.

General Site Planning

15-story Manatee (cell tower…that is)

The Heard Tribune in central Florida has a story about a 150 foot tall cellular flagpole proposed by Vertex Development LLC to be placed at a residential subdivision in East Manatee, Florida. Here’s a link to the story: Manatee facing a 15-story cell tower…masquerade.

While the story is nicely balanced, it omits an interesting point: The U.S. Flag Code requires that flags allowed to fly at night be illuminated. Since the proposed flag is to be 375 square feet, that’s going to take a heck of a lot of light. I’ll be interesting to see whether local private pilots show up to the hearing to complain about the lights that will have to shine to the sky.

There are many, many examples of cellular flags in the gallery here. To see some of them, CLICK HERE

DAS Legal NextG Networks

NextG Networks Sues Huntington Beach, California

NextG Networks of California, Inc, a provider of Distributed Antenna Site (DAS) wireless sites has sued the City of Huntington Beach. The suit, filed on December 27, 2007 in the Central District of California (Santa Ana district) bears case number SACV07-1471. The hearing is scheduled for February 7, 2008.

If you don’t have access to Pacer and would like a copy of the complaint, minus exhibits, please contact me using this form:

General RF Safety Site Planning

Wireless 101 Presentation to the City of Oceanside, California

On January 24, 2008 I had the pleasure of presenting my Wireless 101 lecture to the Planning Commission of the City of Oceanside, California. The lecture covers fundamentals of cell tower siting in a non-technical manner. I also use dozens of high-resolution photographs to illustrate the technology. No, I don’t shy away from dealing with the question of RF safety, and how local governments can review the issue within the boundaries established by Congress and the Federal Communications Commission.

Perhaps the best part of the lecture is a photographic review of “The Good; The Bad; and The Silly” of cell siting.

If you’d like to have me present the Wireless 101 lecture to your government agency meeting, please feel free to contact me.


Wireless Carterfone Policy Paper from New America Foundation

The New America Foundation has released an interesting policy paper regarding Carterfone-type competition in the wireless sector. The following is from the New America Foundation website:

Working Paper

Wireless Carterfone

A Long Overdue Policy Promoting Consumer Choice and Competition
Rob Frieden, Penn State University
New America Foundation | January 2008


Wireless carriers in the United States operate as regulated common carriers when providing basic telecommunications services, such as voice telephone service, text messaging and speed dialing to services and content. Remarkably, stakeholders debate whether this clear cut regulatory status requires wireless carriers to provide service to any compatible handset, subject to a certification process to ensure that such use will not harm carrier networks.

Thirty-nine years ago the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established its Carterfone policy establishing such a right for wireline subscribers. Consumers now take for granted the right to purchase their choice of telephones and other devices (e.g., computer modems, answering machines) and to attach them to wireline networks without carrier-imposed limitations. After announcing its Carterfone policy, the FCC identified ample consumer benefits and applied this fundamental right in several instances so that consumers can freely use their handsets to access services, applications and content. This fundamental right has accrued unquestionable benefits to consumers and the national economy.

Wireless operators have vigorously opposed efforts to convince the FCC that it should establish a wireless Carterfone policy. Opponents claim that Carterfone offered an industry-specific remedy to a monopoly environment where the Bell System controlled both the manufacture and distribution of telephones and telephone service. They assert that the lack of such vertical integration and the existence of robust competition in the wireless marketplace obviate the need for rules requiring carriers to unlock the handsets they sell and to open their networks for access by any compatible handset.

This paper explains why wireless Carterfone policy constitutes a long overdue policy response to carrier practices that often have nothing to do with protecting their networks from technical harm or other legitimate network management needs. For example, blocking the implementation of wireless Carterfone enables carriers to continue locking subscribers into two-year service contracts with substantial penalties for early termination. In exchange for the service commitment, consumers acquire a carrier-subsidized handset, but they also consent to carrier-imposed restrictions on the use of the handset they bought, including the ability to access telecommunications and content services of competitors even after the carrier has recouped its subsidy.

This analysis explains how wireless carriers benefit financially by avoiding Carterfone obligations and refutes the rationales and justifications for this behavior. The paper also demonstrates that the FCC has ample statutory authority to apply wireless Carterfone policy based on the largely ignored fact that when wireless cellular telephone companies provide telecommunications service, they remain subject to most common carrier regulations regardless of the fact that they also may offer less regulated information services. Finally, this report explains that wireless carriers must comply with public interest regulatory mandates even though they might conflict with carriers’ preferred business plans. The Commission has undertaken a number of analogous initiatives to protect consumers from mandatory bundling arrangements, such as its 2005 order mandating alternatives to cable set-top box leasing, which underscore the continued importance of Carterfone principles to protecting the public interest.

For the full working paper, please see the attached PDF below.

Wireless Carterfone Policy Paper from New America Foundation