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Old 06-23-2004, 04:18 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
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Posts: 19,207
Do all mobile phone carriers use the same infrastructure

I dont know alot about this. It seems wasteful and it seems like something the FCC wouldn't stand for if each had their own towers and distributors. Do they use the same infrastructure the same way regular phone companies use the same phone lines or do they each have their own?
Old 06-23-2004, 04:29 PM
gazpacho gazpacho is offline
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Posts: 5,655
They all have their own radio equipment and radio spectrum. In some places they sometimes share towers. Some companies resell other companies service.
Virgin mobile uses sprint pcs infrastructure.
Old 06-23-2004, 04:32 PM
badmana badmana is offline
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,524
In Canada, for the most part, yes, we have our own towers.

What typically happens is that in the larger cities, each company (Bell, Rogers, Telus and Fido) all have their own towers (mostly because Rogers and Fido also use GSM where Bell and Telus use CDMA). Bell, with it's very extensive province-wide network "rents out" towers to Telus.

Bell Mobility recently expanded to the west coast and for a long time "rented" Telus network usage until Bell's own city-wide network was up and running. After that point, Bell would share "out of city" towers from Telus (in Alberta and BC).

I suspect the US is similar because some of your carriers use GSM, while others use CDMA. The major carriers would all have sharing agreements along with their own towers in the bigger cities (since it would probably be cheaper than renting).
Old 06-23-2004, 04:38 PM
World Eater World Eater is offline
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Happyland
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Here is a brief history of the standards.

Things are more standardized in Europe and Asia, but in a nutshell the US is still a mishmash of TDMA, CDMA & 3G, (depending on carrier) each using different infrastructure.

Hopefully someone will be along to explain it better, I just wanted to start the ball rolling.
Old 06-23-2004, 05:26 PM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is offline
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In Australia, theres 3 main vendors who all have their own towers (Telstra, Optus and Vodafone) however, the last two frequently resell their service to smaller outfits. It's quite obvious that this is so because people on different networks often have quite different levels of reception in places.
Old 06-23-2004, 05:59 PM
kunilou kunilou is online now
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Originally Posted by Wesley Clark
It seems wasteful and it seems like something the FCC wouldn't stand for if each had their own towers and distributors.
Far from it, the FCC wanted it that way. It considers it the natural consequence of a deregulated marketplace. Whether it's better than forcing a carrier to open up its facilities to competitors is a topic for Great Debates.
I'm not just a hack writer -- I'm a hack author


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