Regarding Verizon’s proposal to site a tall cell tower in Belmont on Rte. 2 (http://www.wickedlocal.com/belmont/features/x1520846849/Residents-object-to-Verizon-cell-tower-proposal), are there feasible solutions that would improve our cell coverage but which would use less visible antennae? What are the trade-offs?
Many feel that there are alternatives — other sites and smaller distributed towers. And some Verizon users perceive no gap in their service in the vicinity of the tower.
However, the issue is not only service for present phones, but enhanced data service. It is hard for anyone without technical knowledge and access to Verizon expansion plans and service quality details to evaluate.
The principal problem with the tower proposal is the lack of public process in choosing the site. The 2006 hearings prior to the initial leasing were not noticed to abutters.
All “enhanced data service” means is a lot of phone channels. For instance, a data stream might occupy 100 phone channels. At any rate the equipment for the cell site is pretty generic. The tower and antennas are no different for voice or data.
The key to good cell phone and data service is line of sight to the antenna. This means the antenna needs to be high up, like the one on rt. 2. In our case no one (except me) wants to see an ugly antenna tower. Fortunately an adequate tower exists nearby. It is called Wellington hill. A very modest installation on Wellington Hill could provide high quality line of sight service for MILES in every direction. The phone company, being so grateful for such a prime location, might even cough up a campaign donation !!
There are some companies that make cleverly disguised antennas. I have seen some that look like bricks and others that look like palm trees. Contrary to contemporary fearmongering, cell phone towers present no danger from “radiation”
I would be more than happy to review any technical data or attend any forum on the matter. I work as an engineer in the Radio Design Group at Draper so I can offer a qualified perspective.
I dont want to sound grumpy, but I really, really want to get phone calls without it sounding like the other end is under water
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