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Cellular Back Door

Locating Cell Sites
Here are online resources to help you find cellular sites. The sites can be obvious or they can be well hidden. The objective is to narrow down the location to a specific structure. You may never see the antennas. Many carriers do not own their cell sites.

Search Without Leaving Home
People and Equipment to Help Your Search
What Cell Sites Look Like

Online Cell Site Resources:

These web sites help you narrow down locations of nearby cell sites. Some are not intended for "cell site detectives", so please tread lightly.

WIRELESS CARRIERS:

TOWER AND SITE COMPANIES:
  • AMERICAN TOWER
    They just own towers. You can't tell who is on it, if anybody.


  • CROWN CASTLE
    Thousands of sites, requires registration and data may not include which carrier is on which tower.

  • CTI TOWERS
    This is the new tower division of Comcast cable. They have a large number of actual towers across the US that are being made available to various wireless services, especially broadband. Unfortunately, we can't get their web site to work properly and the only information we can find is the location of the towers they own, if it doesn't crash your computer.

  • KGI WIRELESS
    This is an easy site to navigate. They show existing sites as well has some, including buildings, that are available for new installations. They usually list the carrier that uses the site.

  • NSIGHT TOWER
    A list of wireless sites in WI. They have no identification of any cellular carriers.

  • SBA TOWERS
    More towers for rent. Yes, many with nothing on them.

  • SKYWAY TOWERS
    Their maps let you click all over the country, but their sites are located in only a few states. There's no information of what is located on their towers.

  • TOWERCO
    They have over 3000 sites in 47 states and multiple ways of looking up their locations. You can't tell what is located on each tower, however, you might if can qualify for an account.

  • VERTICAL BRIDGE
    Many sites searchable by different criteria. They describe the site but do not share which carrier is located there. Most recently purchased hundreds of US Cellular towers and all CIG Wireless sites.

MORE CELL SITE LOCATION RESOURCES:
  • THE FCC
    This is a difficult site to navigate. Not all Cellular sites need to be licensed so only certain sites are listed, PCS sites are not listed. The best way to start your search is to click on Market Search, then choose Market Type: "CMA - Cellular Market Area", scroll to your market, then Radio Service Code: "CL - Cellular". Click "Search" and you'll be offered a list of cellular carriers. Click on a Call Sign, then the Locations tab. Another FCC resource is the Antenna Structure Registration which involves large databases and a Search that requires knowledge of the type of structure or licensee you're seeking.

  • ANTENNA SEARCH
    Mostly non-cellular sites but very easy to use and includes new cell sites that might go online. However, some sites are speculative.


  • CELL-PHONE-IN
    A basic list of cellular towers with very little specific information.

  • CELLRECEPTION.COM
    A convenient presentation, although less-inclusive, of the FCC records, which are not a complete list.


  • CELL SITE HUNTING CLUB
    This forum is part of Wireless Advisor and is populated by cellular users who have tracked down cell sites in their areas and posted the results, some with maps and pictures. You can also throw out a question to the group for cell site finding assistance.

  • CELL SITES IN NATIONAL PARKS
    A list of cell sites located within the boundaries of US National Parks and Federal areas.

  • CELLUMAP.COM
    A nice map presentation of cell sites and information about each site. Until you figure it out, the web site is difficult to use and yields information about a limited number of cell sites.

  • GOOGLE EARTH/FCCINFO.COM
    This application overlays FCC files with Google Earth to provide a visual locator for cellular and other RF sites. It's limited to locations that are on record with the FCC.

  • YOUR LOCAL CITY OR COUNTY WEB SITE
    Some jurisdictions have a list showing applications for building permits. Others have minutes of the Planning Commission, Board of Adjustment or City Council meetings that address applications for cell sites. Look for "CMRS", Commercial Mobile Radio Service, entries.

  • YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER
    Do a Search on your local newspaper's web site for stories about cell sites. A new site is a big story in a smaller paper. This also may shed light on local challenges in establishing new cell sites.

  • PEOPLE WHO CAN HELP YOU
    Who and What to Ask

  • CELL SITE PICTURES
    What They Look Like.

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