By Our Friends at Wake Forest Fiber
Work began at the Flaherty Park cellular tower last Wednesday, March 5th with the installation of 3 large cellular antennas, each antenna consisting of 2x 1900mhz, and 1 850mhz transmitters.
Work was carried out by Costrottathe most professional and hardest working tower crew this editor has seen to date, that crew was from CCM (Costrotta Construction Management) out of Durham, NC.
Work was delayed due to poor weather last week in Wake Forest, but continued prompty Saturday with foreman Jefferson Davis and crew constructing an uncommon tower radio transmitter, consisting of 2x 1900mhz radio’s and 1 850mhz radio, which was paired to each antenna, putting the total number of radios of the top of the tower at *9*. The configuration of the dual radio’s I was told will be combined to put out a more robust signal into town, namely, west, and north of Flaherty, and south to cover the new construction areas of Traditions.
Due to the sparse amount of tower upgrades, I took advantage of the situation and launched SkyFiber7, Wake Forest Fiber’s new aerial photography platform. Still’s and Video were both shot, but with a fair amount of wind from the west, and a lack of a steady, motorized camera gimbal, we have all but abandoned the shaky video from the shoot. As we looked to the skies to watch real life spider-men, we grabbed some photos to share with you, shown below:
As of 3/11/2014, 5:00pm, we have confirmed a solid 2 bar’s of Sprint LTE service at Wake Forest Fiber HQ on Wait Ave. To be fair, testing took place in a brick house, which seems to cripple any 1900mhz provider.
Tests so far have been in the 4mbps to 11mbps on the download side, with an average of 7. Upload tests have not been as successful, with an average falling below 1mbps. We assume this is because the 2 new LTE towers in Wake Forest have not been properly tuned yet. While this concludes a majority of work for Sprint in Wake Forest, there are still a few more opportunities for more robust service. Most immediately will be in the form of a 5×5 850mhz spectrum activation, which will not only push the signal out a little farther, but will penetrate walls a little better, getting the service further indoors.
The 2nd opportunity will be via new LTE antennas and radios to replace the former clearwire equipment at the Wake Forest water tower, and the cell tower next to Walmart on Main St. There is even speculation of the Flaherty Park tower to also get this upgrade, which will be called Band 41 LTE operating on the 2.6ghz spectrum. Paired with Band 25, and Band 26 that are now installed in town, this will make up a new service called “Sprint Spark” which the company says will eventually bond 2 or 3 of these bands together, and allow bandwidth up to 2gbps over wireless. Sprint are taking baby steps right now, and launching 50mbps service to select cities with compatible handsets.
We at Wake Forest Fiber hope to catch up with the CCM crew again for future projects, but for now, we will grip our Sprint phones a little tighter, and look to the future.
A history of the progress Sprint has made in Wake Forest, over the past year.
- April 30th 2013 – We reported that the water tower received a fiber optic upgrade from Centurylink [Read Here]
- June 4th 2013 – We reported that Nextel were shutting down it’s towers to transfer 800Mhz spectrum to Sprint [Read Here]
- June 17th 2013 – We reported that Sprint officially launched LTE in the general Raleigh, NC area [Read Here]
- October 2nd 2013 – We reported that Erricson were spotted at the Wake Forest water tower upgrading it’s base station [Read Here]
- October 30th 2013 – We reported that Sprint are launching a service soon called Sprint Spark (LTE) capable of 50-60Mbps [Read Here]
- January 7th 2014 – LTE antennas being prepped for install at water tower [Read Here]
- January 9th 2014 – [Update] 1900 and 800mhz LTE/CDMA antennas installed [Read Here]
- February 27th 2014 – Sprint officially turns on LTE at the Wake Forest water tower [Read Here]
- March 11th 2014 – We reported that Sprint has installed LTE equipment at Flaherty Park, and activated. [Read Here]