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About Finding Cell Sites:

Our objective is to share methods of determining the locations of cell sites by legal and appropriate methods. Information here is a mixture of publicly available information and material specifically directed to the wireless industry. Our background is in RF (Radio Frequency) technology with Radio Direction Finding as a specialty. Please support our work by visiting our advertisers and giving them consideration for your online purchases. We ask you to respect the property rights of others, both online and physical property. We make no warrantees to the information here or that contained in any related links. This site is affiliated with the Mountain Wireless Cellular Networks.

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Cell Site FAQ:

  • Q: What is a cell site and how does it work?
  • A: A wireless network operates on a grid that’s divided into geographic areas or cells. Within each geographic cell is a wireless facility or cell site that contains low-powered radio equipment required to send and receive calls. A cell site uses transmitters and receivers, connected to antennas, to provide service within its coverage area. Ideally, the areas covered by each cell site overlap, so calls pass seamlessly from one cell site to another as a caller moves around.

    When you make a call, your mobile phone sends your voice or information via radio signals to the cell site serving your area. Your call then goes to a central facility, called a switch, that identifies the destination for your call and forwards it via the public telephone network, the same infrastructure landline calls use. Your call will go directly to a landline phone or if it’s headed to another mobile phone, it will travel to another switch, a cell site, and then be delivered via radio signal.

  • Q: How do carriers determine the location of a new cell site?
  • A: Once they determine that a new cell site is needed in a specific area to provide reliable coverage and handle call volume, a technical team visits the area to identify possible locations. Potential sites are evaluated from several perspectives:

    -Technical analysis: Engineers identify which location offers the best technical solution to address coverage gaps and service needs.
    -Zoning and permitting: Zoning specialists ensure that all local zoning, permitting, and building codes, plus all state and federal regulations, can be met at a location.
    -Real estate: Site acquisition specialists look for viable leasing arrangements, such as an amenable landlord and round-the-clock site access for technicians.
    -Construction: Construction managers ensure that the proposed site can be constructed safely and will meet all municipal building codes and safety standards.

    Once the location that best meets all the above criteria is selected, the carrier works with local officials to obtain all required permits and negotiates a lease with the property owner. Once permits have been issued by all local, state, and federal agencies, the facility is built, staying in close contact with the landlord and local building department through the construction process.

  • Q: How long does it take to build a cell site?
  • A: There can be a huge variation in the amount of time it takes from when the location for a cell site is chosen to when it becomes operational. If a site has few objections or physical difficulties, it can be constructed in as few as 3 months. Other sites can run into community objections, infrastructure problems or difficult government circumstances. These delays can add as much as 1 to 5 years to the process, and some proposed sites never get built.

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  • Copyrights & Trade Marks:
    All copyrighted material used on this site is either used by permission from primary or secondary sources, from authorized agents of the copyright holders, or used as an authorized affiliate of the rights holders, and are used solely to identify their products. All service marks, copyrights and trade names remain the property of the associated rights holders.

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