|Obviously there is a lot of forward planning in installing
a new base station. The network operator (or contractor working on their behalf) has to
choose a site, based on what is available, and on the computerised coverage predictions.
Whether it's going to be shared with an existing transmitter or at a new site, it has to
be cleared with the planners. The installation, as well as power supply and network
connection ("backhaul") all have to be considered.
So, once a site is chosen, the equipment has to be put in place. I'm following the development of four new sites, two of which are for BT Cellnet. One is being installed on an existing tower for Orange, and the other on the top of a building (on a car park's lift shaft). The third is a new Orange pole. The fourth, and most recent (2004) is a new greenfield Vodafone site.
ATTENTION: All of the GSM photos on this site were taken from outside fenced enclosures. Some of the photos have been taken using a zoom lens which look like they were taken from closer to the subject than is actually the case! Once again, a reminder that it is dangerous and illegal to enter transmitter enclosures. If you are in doubt about what this means then avoid antenna installations altogether.
New BT Cellnet install on car park building
Stage 1 - September 1998: Three poles are mounted on the walls of the lift shaft, awaiting transmission antenna. Safety railings, ladder, cable duct, and inlet for cables into building are all put in place.
Stage 2 - September 1998: Three directional antennae are put in place, cables are run along the cable duct, through the inlet, awaiting installation of transmission equipment inside.
Stage 3 - December 1998: Transmitter equipment installed and earth line in place.
Base station on air 20th January 1999 - no more pictures to
New BT Cellnet install on existing Orange mast
Stage 1 - August 1998: Attachments for two BT Cellnet directional antennae and one microwave dish (a smaller attachment) are fixed in place on the Orange mast.
Stage 2 - September 1998: A site is cleared for the new transmission equipment. A foundation is laid for the TX equipment and the mains cabinet. An underground duct leads between the two. Earth cabling is run through from the existing Orange installation. Transmission cable duct/guide is put in place between the site of the transmission equipment cabinet and onto the Orange mast, running up to where the antennae will be installed.
Stage 2a - Sept 98 - Site
cleared and foundation in place (31.0K)
Stage 3 - September 1998: New fencing has been put in place around the BT Cellnet equipment, and some removed from the surround of the Orange enclosure to form a new, single, larger, secure enclosure.
Stage 4 - October 1998: transmission equipment cabin now in place, awaiting cabling and antenna installation. Ground inside the enclosure has been cleared of debris and a stone/gravel surface laid. Mains cables have probably been run between the mains cabinet and the transmission equipment cabin.
Stage 4a - Oct 98 - equipment
cabin now in place (27K)
Stage 5 - October 1998: antennae and transmission cables now in place.
Stage 5 - Oct 98 - BT
Cellnet antennae and transmitter cables have been installed (23.3K)
Stage 6 - before May 1999: microwave dish in place and site is now live.
New Orange pole site in 1998 / Addition of Vodafone next door in 2004
Stage 1 - October 1998. Site cleared. Enclosure fencing in place and gravel laid. Pole installed and earth cabling in place. Warning notices put up.
Stage 2 - October 1998. Orange transmitter cabinets and generator installed.
Stage 3 - November 1998. Antennae, microwave dish and cables now installed.
Stage 4 - December 1998. Site on air sometime late 1998.
Permanent mains supply installed.
Stage 1 - December 2003
Stage 2 - January / February 2004
Stage 3,4,5,6,7,8 - March 2004
Mike Pratt, April 2005.