Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hopefully the final article

Cell tower proposal for Tinton Falls withdrawn
Residents had opposed tower in residential area
Staff Writer

TINTON FALLS — The 100-plus concerned citizens who packed Borough Hall last year to oppose a proposal for a cell phone tower can now rest easy.

Tinton Falls Mayor Michael Skudera announced at the April 5 Borough Council meeting that the T-Mobile application for a cell tower in the borough has officially been withdrawn.

Skudera previously announced in February that the borough had reached a verbal agreement with the N.J. Turnpike Authority to change the site of the proposed T-Mobile tower from the grounds of the Church of Christ at 312 Hance Ave. to a site along the Garden State Parkway in Tinton Falls.

At that time, the application for the Hance Avenue site was not officially withdrawn from the borough’s Zoning Board of Adjustment agenda, but Skudera said last week that it finally is official.

“We have the letter from the attorney, so it’s official,” he said.

T-Mobile attorney James Pryor confirmed Monday that he did draft a letter withdrawing the application for Hance Avenue but would not comment further.

T-Mobile first appeared in front of the borough’s Zoning Board last July at a meeting that was attended by close to 100 residents, most of whom opposed the original location.

The main concern that has been raised in recent months about putting the cell tower in a residential neighborhood is that a proper safety study has not been done about the effects of cell tower-generated radiation.

Soon after the first hearing on the cell tower application, resident Nancy DeSimone formed a group named RACE (Residents Against Cell tower Exploitation) to oppose the proposed tower being located in her neighborhood.

Michael Laffey, attorney for RACE, said in an interview this week that his clients are relieved the fight is officially over.

“I’m glad for my clients’ peace of mind that the application has been withdrawn,” he said. “I don’t know the reasons why they withdrew it.

“I understood the mayor had some influence on it in that regard. Certainly my clients are very grateful to the mayor,” he added.

During the public portion of the meeting, resident Joseph Largey expressed cautious optimism until the Zoning Board officially approves the withdrawal.

“Back in February it looked like T-Mobile was withdrawing their application thanks to some good work from the borough,” he said. “I am just waiting until the Zoning Board meeting before I can celebrate.”

As of April 11, the Zoning Board had not officially accepted the withdrawal, and the next meeting is scheduled for April 21.

Largey went on to thank the borough for getting the application withdrawn.

“I want to thank everyone for their efforts on this,” he said. “That monstrosity would not have looked very nice on Hance Avenue for any of us.”

Skudera previously said that the council and borough administration endorsed the move to the parkway for the cell tower.

He also said that there are not a lot of other places in the borough that would work for both T-Mobile and the residents.

“It is something that gets the cell tower away from a residential zone and puts it in a better place — along the parkway — that is better suited for that,” Skudera said.

“This was an area that was best suited for a tower. The whole area where it is [proposed] now is residential; this was the closest suitable spot on the parkway, and it fits in very nicely.”

Skudera said the parkway spot probably isn’t ideal for T-Mobile, because the carrier would lose some coverage, but he estimated that the site would still allow for about 90 percent coverage.

The first hearing for the proposal started last July, and the Zoning Board heard a series of testimony on the proposal at several meetings since then.

T-Mobile was next scheduled to appear in front of the board in May, but that appearance has since been canceled.

A 2007 application by the Board of Education to build a cell tower at Mahala F. Atchison School also drew widespread opposition and was never built.

Contact Kenny Walter at

Friday, April 1, 2011

Withdrawal letter from T-Mobile Attorney (Looks like it's official!)

March 31, 2011

Doug Gottfredsen
Zoning Board of Adjustment
Tinton Falls Municipal Building
556 Tinton Ave.
Tinton Falls, NJ 07724

Re: T-Mobile; TFZB 2009-19; 312 Hance Ave.

Dear Mr. Gottfredsen:

I have been authorized by T-Mobile to advise you that the Applicant desires to withdraw this case, without prejudice. At the next board meeting, would you kindly have the Board accept our withdrawal without prejudice? I presume that our attendance would not be required, but please advise me if my attendance is requested for any reason. Obviously, this will render the May 5, 2011 hearing date moot.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

T-Mobile Cell Tower Application Withdrawn (article from Tinton Falls Patch)

The application to build a cell tower on Hance Avenue in Tinton Falls, which garnered significant opposition from residents, was withdrawn on Friday, according to Mayor Michael Skudera.

By Amy Byrnes | Email the author | April 1, 2011

Editor's Note: This article was updated to include comments from Tinton Falls resident Meg Rubinstein, who was active in opposing the cell tower application.

The application by T-Mobile to build a cell tower on Hance Avenue in Tinton Falls was withdrawn on Friday, according to Mayor Michael Skudera.

The wireless company filed plans to build the 120-foot tower on the property of the Monmouth Church of Christ on Hance Road in July.

Residents living near the proposed cell tower were very active protesting its approval, even picketing in front of the church on the weekends, posting signs in their yards and hiring an attorney, according to Dale Diamond whose home is a stone's thrown from the proposed site and who spoke to Patch about the issue in February.

"What a relief," said Tinton Falls resident Meg Rubinstein, who lives in the Greenbrier Falls development and was active in coordinating oppostition to the tower. "Residents, besides dreading the thought of having to look at such a monstrosity every day, were very concerned that property values would erode and theat there miay be negative health effects from the radiation emitted from the cell tower," she said in an e-mail.

Rubinstein also mentioned the cell tower fire along the Parkway in February as a cause for concern for residents as well.

The borough was contacted in February by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority with a proposal to replace a temporary tower on the Garden State Parkway at mile 108.3 with the T-Mobile tower.

According to Skudera, T-Mobile is also considering a site near the Monmouth County Reclamation Center on Asbury Avenue in Tinton Falls.

The borough council voted unanimously in February to support the relocation of the tower.

"We all rely on cell phones," said Rubinstein. "However, we need better technical solutions ... to cover transmission system gaps."

"The last thing that any of us needs is monstrous fake trees towering over residential developments," said Rubinstein.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Article from the New York Times

Cellphone Radiation May Alter Your Brain. Let’s Talk.


Published: March 30, 2011

In a culture where people cradle their cellphones next to their heads with the same constancy and affection that toddlers hold their security blankets, it was unsettling last month when a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that doing so could alter brain activity.

The report said it was unclear whether the changes in the brain — an increase in glucose metabolism after using the phone for less than an hour — had any negative health or behavioral effects. But it has many people wondering what they can do to protect themselves short of (gasp) using a landline.

“Cellphones are fantastic and have done much to increase productivity,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, the lead investigator of the study and director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. “I’d never tell people to stop using them entirely.”

Yet, in light of her findings, she advises users to keep cellphones at a distance by putting them on speaker mode or using a wired headset whenever possible. The next best option is a wireless Bluetooth headset or earpiece, which emit radiation at far lower levels. If a headset isn’t feasible, holding your phone just slightly away from your ear can make a big difference; the intensity of radiation diminishes sharply with distance. “Every millimeter counts,” said Louis Slesin, editor of Microwave News, an online newsletter covering health and safety issues related to exposure to electromagnetic radiation.

So crushing your cellphone into your ear to hear better in a crowded bar is probably a bad idea. Go outside if you have to take or make a call. And you might not want to put your cellphone in your breast or pants pocket either, because that also puts it right up against your body. Carry it in a purse or briefcase or get a nonmetallic belt clip that orients it away from your body.

Some studies have suggested a link between cellphone use and cancer, lower bone density and infertility in men. But other studies show no effect at all. Given the mixed messages and continuing research, Robert Kenny, a Federal Communications Commission spokesman, said in an e-mail, “As always, we will continue to study this issue and coordinate with our federal partners.”

The phone used in Dr. Volkow’s study was a Samsung Knack, model SCH-U310, a flip phone that was in wide use when she began planning her experiments two and half years ago. But today’s ubiquitous smartphones emit even more radiation as they transmit more, and more complex, data.

You can get an idea of the relative amounts of radiation various cellphone models emit by looking at their SAR, or Specific Absorption Rate. This number indicates how much radiation is absorbed by the body when using the handset at maximum power. A cellphone cannot be sold in the United States unless an F.C.C.-approved laboratory says its SAR is below 1.6 watts per kilogram. In Europe, the maximum is 2 watts per kilogram.

The SAR number is not displayed when you compare cellphones at your local wireless store, and trying to find it in the fine print of your user manual is an exercise in frustration. The F.C.C. maintains that SAR values “do not provide sufficient information” to reliably compare cellphone radiation emissions because certain phones might rarely operate at maximum power. Still, the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization, has a comprehensive list of the SAR values for most cellphones available from major carriers on its Web site. (For instance, the Apple iPhone 4 is listed at 1.17 watts per kilogram, the Motorola Droid at 1.5 and the LG Quantum at 0.35.)

But more important than looking for a low-SAR phone is how you use it. Many cellphones emit the most radiation when they initially establish contact with the cell tower, making their “digital handshake.” To reduce exposure it’s best to wait until after your call has been connected to put your cellphone next to your ear.

During the ensuing conversation, it’s advisable to tilt the phone away from your ear when you are talking and only bring it in close to your ear when you are listening. That bit of teeter-totter works because the emission of radiation is “significantly less when a cellphone is receiving signals than when it is transmitting,” said Lin Zhong, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rice University in Houston.

Moreover, your cellphone emits less when you are stationary because when you are moving rapidly — say, in a car or train — it must repeatedly issue little bursts of radiation to make digital handshakes with different towers as it moves in and out of range. (More cause to hang up when you buckle up.)

Want another reason to complain about your carrier’s poor coverage? Any situation where your cellphone has a weak signal indicates it has to work harder and thus will emit more radiation. “Fewer bars means more radiation,” said Om Gandhi, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Inside buildings and elevators, in rural areas, the Grand Canyon — these are not good places to make a call if you’re trying to reduce your exposure to radiation.

Of course, parents using their iPhones to pacify cranky kids might want to reconsider rattles. Children’s developing brains and tissues are thought to be most vulnerable to cellphone radiation. Health authorities in Britain, France, Germany and Russia have all issued warnings against allowing small children to use cellphones for extended periods, if at all.

There are cellphone attachments that purport to shield users from radiation, and most are “hoaxes,” said Mr. Gandhi. Beware of pendants that sellers claim snatch radiation from the air. Pong Research offers a cellphone case for iPhones and BlackBerrys that it says has been shown by an F.C.C.-approved testing lab to redirect radiation from the phone’s antenna away from the head.

While the manufacturer says it reduces radiation more than 60 percent, some electrical engineering experts question whether the case may have the opposite effect at orientations where your head is in the way of the cell tower because your phone may have to increase its transmission strength somewhat to compensate for the redirected signal. The company disputes this. Nevertheless, the net effect of using the device throughout the course of the day may be a reduction in total exposure.

Texting, instead of talking, might be safer. “The whole trend toward texting instead of talking on cellphones is probably a good thing,” said Mr. Slesin at Microwave News.

That is, if you don’t rest your cellphone against your body while typing out your message.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

AT&T Buys T-Mobile

By the way, on AT&T's coverage map for our area, the coverage is rated as "Best," so now how could there be any need for this tower??

- - -

NEW YORK (AFP) – AT&T said Sunday it had agreed to buy T-Mobile USA from Germany's Deutsche Telekom in a $39-billion blockbuster deal enabling it to overtake Verizon as the biggest US wireless provider.

The cash-and-stock deal, which needs regulatory approval, will give AT&T 34 million new customers and lift its annual wireless revenues to around $80 billion from $58.5 billion in 2010.

It will add to AT&T earnings in the third year after the deal closes, the company said, and help it compete with market leader Verizon.

"This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation's future," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and chief executive.

"It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced... capabilities to more than 294 million people.

"Mobile broadband networks drive economic opportunity everywhere, and they enable the expanding high-tech ecosystem that includes device makers, cloud and content providers, app developers, customers, and more."

According to data from comScore, AT&T held a 26.6% market share of US mobile subscribers in December 2010, while T-Mobile accounted for 12.2% of the market. Verizon, meanwhile, accounted for 31.3%.

The deal will give AT&T a big boost in its rivalry with Verizon, which recently started selling the Apple iPhone with an end to the AT&T monopoly.

Analysts said the deal also helps AT&T in the so-called 4G sector offering more advanced wireless services.

"AT&T has been under attack for not being able to match the network capacity of larger rival Verizon," said MG Siegler of the technology blog TechCrunch.

"And when they won the majority of the bids for the open spectrum in 2008, Verizon also had a clear path to the future. Now AT&T is taking another path: buying T-Mobile."

Deutsche Telekom's flamboyant former boss Ron Sommer bought Voicestream more than a decade ago at the height of the dotcom boom, re-branding it T-Mobile, but leaving the German firm struggling under a mountain of debt.

For years it was Deutsche Telekom's main growth-driver but in recent years a string of poor results gave rise to speculation that it wanted to put an end to its US adventure.

"This is a very very valuable deal for Deutsche Telekom. This is a good day," chief executive Rene Obermann said. "The proceeds will give us the financial firepower to finance our expansion plans in Europe."

Deutsche Telekom will get $25 billion in cash and $14 billion worth of shares, making the German firm AT&T's biggest minority shareholder with an eight-percent stake and a seat on the board, based on the current share price.

AT&T has the right to increase the portion of the purchase price paid in cash by up to $4.2 billion with a corresponding reduction in the stock component, Deutsche Telekom said.

The cash portion of the purchase price will be financed with new debt and cash on AT&T's balance sheet. AT&T has an 18-month commitment of $20 billion underwritten by JP Morgan.

Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin said that the deal will mean that high-speed mobile broadband will improve in quality and coverage, including, in the long run, in rural communities.

"The bad news: the cost of that service won't come down nearly as fast as customers would like, since AT&T and Verizon Wireless combined would own nearly three out of every four wireless subscriptions in the US," he said.

"While clearly troublesome for Sprint and other smaller mobile competitors, it's also bad news for cable operators, whose incipient mobility products will suffer in comparison to what AT&T and Verizon can offer."

Info from Councilwoman Nancyanne Fama's Neighborhood Update e-mail

Unfortunately, since my last email it seems that the cell tower issue on Hance Avenue is not a dead issue. Although the Turnpike Authority advised the Administration that the application was being withdrawn, T-Mobile has yet to formally do so. We will continue to monitor this very disturbing turn of events and will look to rally as many people as possible should T-Mobile continue its application before the Zoning Board. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for May 5, 2011 at Boro Hall.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March 17th Meeting Cancelled

T-Mobile has cancelled the March 17th meeting. (Reason?? Who knows at this point)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

3/2/11 article from The Hub

Neighbors credit mayor for cell tower save
New site negotiated for cell tower along parkway

TINTON FALLS — The anxieties that surfaced at the borough’s Zoning Board meetings in recent months may soon subside since Mayor Michael Skudera has brokered a deal to move a controversial proposed cell tower.

Skudera announced last month that he reached a verbal agreement with the N.J. Turnpike Authority to change the site of the proposed T Mobile tower from the grounds of the Church of Christ at 312 Hance Ave. to a site along the Garden State Parkway in Tinton Falls.

“Basically, we’ve been working with the Turnpike Authority since last year talking about this,” Skudera said in an interview last week. “It is something that the Turnpike Authority is happy with, [and] my understanding is T-Mobile is happy with.”

Skudera said the spot that will be allocated for the tower already contains a temporary cell tower.

“It is going to relocate the tower from the church on Hance [avenue] over to an area on the parkway where there is a temporary tower that has been there for about 10 years,” he said. “They are going to make that the permanent location.”

T-Mobile first appeared in front of the borough’s Zoning Board last July at a meeting that was attended by close to 100 residents, most of whom opposed the original location.

The main concern that has been raised in recent months about putting the cell tower in a residential neighborhood is that a proper safety study has not been done about the effects of cell tower radiation.

Soon after the first hearing on the cell tower application, resident Nancy DeSimone formed a group called RACE (Residents Against Cell tower Exploitation) to oppose the proposed tower from being located in her neighborhood.

DeSimone said in an interview last week that she is relieved that the struggle might soon be coming to an end.

“We are relieved and grateful to Mayor Skudera for stepping in,” she said.

DeSimone said that her group has mentioned in the past that the parkway would be a more appropriate place for the tower.

“That was what our fight was, that this cell phone tower did not belong in a residential neighborhood and still could be moved onto the parkway to cover the area,” she said.

“He [Skudera] stepped in and reached out to the commissioner of the Turnpike Authority to say we have a temporary tower in Tinton Falls right out on the parkway, why not raise it and make it permanent,” she added.

While Skudera reached a tentative verbal agreement with all parties, he said he would still meet with the stakeholders to try to iron out a formal agreement.

Michael Laffey, an attorney hired by RACE, said that he is optimistic a resolution will be coming in the near future.

“I do not doubt what the mayor is telling me, but I don’t have confirmation yet that they have dropped the application,” he said in an interview.

“My clients are very happy that the mayor is putting the matter to rest,” he added. “This was a surprise to us; we didn’t know that the mayor was working on it.”

DeSimone was also optimistic that the end of the fight against the tower is near.

“Our attorney did say we should sit tight, we are almost there,” she said. “We are not 100 percent there, we are 90 percent there.

“We just need to hear that T-Mobile has formally withdrawn their application,” she added. “We are anxiously awaiting that good news.”

As of last week, the T-Mobile application had not been withdrawn, according to the Zoning Board Office. Skudera said that T-Mobile wants to ensure that there will be no opposition to the new proposal.

“They want to know if they are going to withdraw from the application that they have with the Zoning Board, that this new location will be all right,” Skudera said. “T-Mobile didn’t want to move until we had an agreement that we are not going to dispute the parkway area.

“What T-Mobile didn’t want was a public fight on the parkway land,” he added. “They didn’twant to go through the same thing again; that was the issue with them.”

Skudera said the Borough Council and administration have endorsed the move.

He also said that there are not a lot of other places in the borough that would work for both T-Mobile and the residents.

“It is something that gets the cell tower away from a residential zone and puts it in a better place — along the parkway — that is better suited for that,” Skudera said.

“This was an area that was best suited for a tower/ The whole area where it is [proposed] now is residential; this was the closest suitable spot on the parkway, and it fits in very nicely.”

Skudera said the parkway spot probably isn’t ideal for T-Mobile, because the carrier will lose some coverage, but he estimated that the site would still allow for about 90 percent coverage.

DeSimone said she is thankful to those who helped her oppose the cell tower.

“We are extremely grateful to Mayor Skudera, the town council, especially [Councilwoman] Nancy Fama, who was a great support to this cause,” she said. “We had some nice contributions toward RACE, and we feel that the mayor saved our house for us,” she added.

Murray Hill-based Bell Labs develops 2-inch cube that could replace unsightly cell towers

Tod Sizer of Little Silver, head of wireless research at Bell Labs, holds a life-sized wooden mock-up of the light radio cube he designed in front of a cell tower near his home in Little Silver. The cube is described as the future of cellular technology and has the potential to replace the giant cell phone towers currently in use

The lightRadio cube is a small antenna and radio that has shrunk the regular workings of a conventional cell phone base station and antenna and could, as soon as mid-2012, replace those unsightly cell phone towers constructed throughout the state.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Article re 2/17/11 Borough Council meeting

T-Mobile cell tower might move out of Tinton Falls neighborhood and onto the Parkway

Mayor and council unanimously agree to support proposal by Turnpike Authority to relocate tower from Riverdale section to the Parkway.
By Amy Byrnes

Residents of Hance Avenue and Riverdale Avenue East in Tinton Falls received a glimmer of hope Tuesday night that the cell tower proposed by T-Mobile to go up in their neighborhood might be packing its bags and moving.

The borough was contacted earlier in the week by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority with a proposal to replace a temporary tower on the Garden State Parkway at mile 108.3 with the T-Mobile tower, according to Borough Administrator Gerald M. Turning.

The mayor and council voted unanimously Monday night to support that proposal and present the plan to T-Mobile at a meeting next week, said Turning.

“The idea is to get that tower out of a residential area,” he said, explaining that the informal vote was to ensure the proposal had the support of the town before discussing with T-Mobile.

The wireless company filed plans to build the 120-foot tower on the property of the Monmouth Church of Christ on Hance Road in July. A site-plan expert for T-Mobile was slated to present to the board earlier in the month, which was then rescheduled for March 17.

Meg Rubinstein, who lives in the Greenbrier Falls development and has been active in protesting the proposed tower, described it as a "pine tree on steroids." The tower was initially proposed behind her development on Apple Street near Sheila Drive, she said, about 40-feet from her townhouse.

The current plan requires multiple variances for approval including setbacks modified from 500-feet to 155-feet.

Turning said that cell towers can be spotted “every 15 miles or so” along the Parkway and while it’s probably not an “ideal” location for T-Mobile, it’s a fair compromise with the borough and the residents.

Rubinstein said, "That's where it belongs, it doesn't belong in a neighborhood."

Residents living near the proposed cell tower were very active protesting its approval, even picketing in front of the church on the weekends, posting signs in their yards and hiring an attorney, according to Dale Diamond whose home is a stone's thrown from the proposed site.

He said the audience at Tuesday night's meeting gave the mayor and council a standing ovation after the vote "for their work to keep an intrusive cell tower out of a residential area where children play outside."

“(The residents) had every right to complain,” Turning said.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's Over!!!!

Our thanks to Mayor Skudera. The Mayor has gotten T-Mobile to agree to put their tower on the Garden State Parkway. The Mayor and Council have agreed to a resolution supporting the tower on the Garden State Parkway, and in return T-Mobile has agreed to withdraw their application for the tower at Monmouth Church of Christ.

We want to thank everybody who has donated their time and their money to this fight, and express our gratitude to the Mayor and Council who stepped in on behalf of their residents.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another article on the new technology

Wireless advances could mean no more cell towers

The spread of cell phones has also meant the spread of big cell towers, an unpopular sight in many places. Now, the wireless industry is looking at boosting wireless coverage in a different way: by putting small antennas on lamp-posts, utility poles and buildings.

NEW YORK — As cell phones have spread, so have large cell towers — those unsightly stalks of steel topped by transmitters and other electronics that sprouted across the country over the last decade.

Now the wireless industry is planning a future without them, or at least without many more of them. Instead, it's looking at much smaller antennas, some tiny enough to hold in a hand. These could be placed on lampposts, utility poles and buildings — virtually anywhere with electrical and network connections.

If the technology overcomes some hurdles, it could upend the wireless industry and offer seamless service, with fewer dead spots and faster data speeds.

Some big names in the wireless world are set to demonstrate "small cell" technologies at the Mobile World Congress, the world's largest cell phone trade show, which starts Monday in Barcelona, Spain.

"We see more and more towers that become bigger and bigger, with more and bigger antennas that come to obstruct our view and clutter our landscape and are simply ugly," said Wim Sweldens, president of the wireless division of Alcatel-Lucent, the French-U.S. maker of telecommunications equipment.

"What we have realized is that we, as one of the major mobile equipment vendors, are partially if not mostly to blame for this."

Alcatel-Lucent will be at the show to demonstrate its "lightRadio cube," a cellular antenna about the size and shape of a Rubik's cube, vastly smaller than the ironing-board-sized antennas that now decorate cell towers. The cube was developed at the famous Bell Labs in New Jersey, birthplace of many other inventions when it was AT&T's research center.

In Alcatel-Lucent's vision, these little cubes could soon begin replacing conventional cell towers. Single cubes or clusters of them could be placed indoors or out and be easily hidden from view. All they need is electrical power and an optical fiber connecting them to the phone company's network.

The cube, Sweldens said, can make the notion of a conventional cell tower "go away." Alcatel-Lucent will start trials of the cube with carriers in September. The company hopes to make it commercially available next year.

For cell phone companies, the benefits of dividing their networks into smaller "cells," each one served by something like the cube antenna, go far beyond aesthetics. Smaller cells mean vastly higher capacity for calls and data traffic.

Instead of having all phones within a mile or two connect to the same cell tower, the traffic could be divided between several smaller cells, so there's less competition for the cell tower's attention.

"If it is what they claim, lightRadio could be a highly disruptive force within the wireless industry," said Dan Hays, who focuses on telecommunications at consulting firm PRTM.

Rasmus Hellberg, director of technical marketing at wireless technology developer Qualcomm Inc., said smaller cells can boost a network's capacity tenfold, far more than can be achieved by other upgrades to wireless technology that are also in the works.

That's sure to draw the interest of phone companies. They've already been deploying older generations of small-cell technology in areas where a lot of people gather, like airports, train stations and sports stadiums, but these are expensive and complicated to install.

In New York City, AT&T Inc. has started creating a network of outdoor Wi-Fi hotspots, starting in Times Square and now spreading through the midtown tourist and shopping districts. Its network has been hammered by an onslaught of data-hungry iPhone users, and this is one way of moving that traffic off the cellular network.

Smaller cells could do the same job, but for all phones, not just Wi-Fi enabled ones like the iPhone. They could also carry calls as well as data.

San Diego-based Qualcomm will be at the Barcelona show with a live demonstration of how "heterogeneous networks" — ones that mix big and small cells, can work. A key issue is minimizing radio interference between the two types of cells. Another hurdle is connecting the smaller cells to the bigger network through optical fiber or other high-capacity connections.

"That's an impediment that we're seeing many operators struggling with right now as data volumes have increased," Hays said.

LM Ericsson AB, the Swedish company that's the largest maker of wireless network equipment in the world, is also introducing a more compact antenna at the show, one it calls "the first stepping stone towards a heterogeneous network."

Small cellular base stations have already penetrated hundreds of thousands of U.S. homes. Phone companies like AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp. have for several years been selling "femtocells," which are about the size of a Wi-Fi router and connect to the phone company's network through a home broadband connection.

The cells project radio signals that cover a room or two, providing five bars of coverage where there might otherwise be none.

British femtocell maker Ubiquisys Ltd. will be in Barcelona to demonstrate the smallest cell yet. It's the size of a thumb and plugs into a computer's USB drive. According to Ubiquisys, the idea is that overseas travellers will plug it into their Internet-connected laptops to make calls as if they were on their home network, but there are potential problems with interference if used that way.

According to Rupert Baines, marketing head of Picochip Ltd., a more realistic application for a tiny plug-in cell is to make it work with cable boxes or Internet routers, to convert them into femtocells.

A key part of the "small cell" idea is to take femtocells outside the home, into larger buildings and even outdoors.

Picochip, a British company that's the dominant maker of chips for femtocells, will be in Barcelona to talk about its chips for "public-access" femtocells, designed to serve up to 64 phone calls at a time, with a range of more than a mile. They could be used not just to ease wireless congestion in urban areas, but to fill in dead spots on the map, Baines said.

For instance, a single femtocell could provide wireless service to a remote village, as long as there's some way to connect it to the wider network, perhaps via satellite.

Analyst Francis Sideco of research firm iSuppli pointed out a surprising consumer benefit of smaller cells: better battery life in phones.

When a lot of phones talk to the same tower, they all have to "shout" to make themselves heard, using more energy. With a smaller cell, phones can lower their "voices," much like group of people moving from a noisy ballroom to a smaller, quieter room.

"Ultimately, what you end up with is a cleaner signal, with less power," Sideco said.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mayor Skudera's comment

The bolded comment by Mayor Skudera from this article states "We don't want a 50-foot structure next to somebody's backyard." What about a 120-foot radiation-generating structure with a constant hum from equipment cabinets next to our backyards???

* * *

TINTON FALLS — Updated rules governing the construction of solar and wind power systems, and allowing the redeveloper of the former CECOM site to change the focus of the development are getting a lot of the Borough Council's attention.

The council discussed both issues at its Feb. 1 meeting.

An ordinance setting standards and regulations for the so-called green energy systems should be voted on in about a month, Mayor Michael Skudera said.

The council added "a lot of amendments" to a proposed ordinance at its last session, he said.

Planning Board attorney Dennis Collins and borough attorney Brian Nelson, along with council President Gary Baldwin, are working out the final details, Skudera said.

"We want to make more of a balance between the rights of applicants and any neighbors," he said. "We don't want a 50-foot structure next to somebody's backyard."

Although the borough currently has no applications for the systems, "the whole point is to set up guidelines before something happens," Skudera said. "If there is an application, there will be a process to follow and standards, right now, are kind of wide open."

The council also discussed an ordinance that would reclassify the CECOM redevelopment project off Tinton Avenue to allow for unrestricted age housing.

As it stands, the development is limited to people 55 and older.

A law signed in 2009 by former Gov. Jon S. Corzine allows some age-restricted developments to be converted, and the project's developer, PRC Group of West Long Branch, has applied to do so.

The plan under discussion would keep the number of single-family houses at 151, but would limit the number of bedrooms in each unit to two and would restrict the construction of patios and decks.

"Nothing has been resolved yet, but it's progressing," Skudera said.

Skudera said the project has been discussed for about the last six months.

"Hopefully, there will be something resolved in the not-too-distant future," he said.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New technology obviates need for giant cell towers and equipment cabinets

With this new technology by Alcatel-Lucent, an antenna could be attached to any light pole, any building, etc., in the area that needs coverage with this tiny box attached to it that replaces the entire equipment cabinet. I wonder what T-Mobile's excuse will be now as to why this solution won't work and why they will need to continue to try to ram this tower down our throats.

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February 7, 2011 07.43pm EST
Alcatel-Lucent Puts a Cell Tower in the Palm of Your Hand
By Mark Hachman

Alcatel-Lucent on Monday unveiled a technology to shrink a cell-phone tower down to about the size of a small handheld cube, plus an antenna.

Dubbed LightRadio, the technology places the diplexer, radio, amplifier and passive cooling into a cube that can fit inside the hand. Alcatel-Lucent will begin customer trials in the second half of 2011, including China Mobile.

The idea, according to the company, is both to cut the power required for a cellular basestation as well as eliminate some of the physical infrastructure that goes along with it. Alcatel-Lucent said it believes that both the power consumption and overall cost can be reduced by half, and that it could essentially replace a cell site with just the small component as well as the antenna. The company estimates that 150 billion euros were spent on mobile access stations in 2010.

"LightRadio is a smart solution to a tough set of problems: high energy costs, the explosion of video on mobile, and connecting the unconnected," said Ben Verwaayen, the chief executive of Alcatel-Lucent.

The technology also won a conditional endorsement from Verizon. "Verizon looks forward to learning more about the benefits of lightRadio technology and how they could be applied as we continue to expand and evolve our LTE network," Tom Sawanobori, vice president of technology planning for Verizon, said in a statement.

The new Alcatel-Lucent lightRadio product family is composed of the following components: a wideband active array antenna, multiband remote radio head, baseband unit, controller, and the 5620 SAM common management solution, the company said. The wideband active array antenna will be trialed later this year and have broad product availability in 2012. Additional product family members will be available over 2012, 2013 and 2014, Alcatel Lucent said.

One way in which the company has cut costs is in virtualizing some of the processing platforms, which Alcatel-Lucent has partnered with Hewlett-Packard to do. The company also designed a chip with Freescale Semiconductor to replace passive components with digital ones.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February 3rd meeting adjourned

The February 3rd meeting has been adjourned. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for March 17th. There has been no meeting since December 3rd. How much longer can this go on??????????

Friday, January 28, 2011

Another loss and a tongue-lashing for T-Mobile

Neighbors win T-Mobile tower fight
'Cavalier attitude' toward Northridge residents cited.
By Tony Castro, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/27/2011 09:48:45 PM PST
Updated: 01/27/2011 09:50:12 PM PST

VAN NUYS - City officials Thursday dealt a death blow to a controversial cellular phone tower in Northridge and gave T-Mobile representatives a tongue-lashing over how the company treats residents.

The South Valley Area Planning Commission unanimously denied an appeal by T-Mobile of an earlier city zoning administrator's decision to block the tower.

Officials said they were swayed not only by the merits of the case against the tower, but also by what one commissioner said was T-Mobile representatives' "cavalier attitude."

Residents opposing the tower complained that T-Mobile's representatives had failed to faithfully work with them on finding an alternative site - a directive made by the commission to both sides at a Dec. 9 hearing.

Commission Vice President Gordon Murley said he did not accept a litany of excuses given by T-Mobile as to why other alternative sites were not viable and that the company could only build the tower at the originally proposed location.

"I would just say to any cellular that comes in here: Do your homework so we can support you," Murley said. "Don't come in and tell us you have a right to do it and that it's needed there without the proof presented."

Commissioners also chided T-Mobile representatives for trying to circumvent the residents' input by withholding an alternative design proposal until the hearing itself.

Residents complained that they were caught off-guard by the company's last-minute submission.

Hannah Lee, an assistant planning deputy for Councilman Greig Smith, whose district covers the affected neighborhood, told the hearing her office was opposing the T-Mobile appeal because it did not believe the company had seriously tried to work with the residents.

"(Smith) is not convinced (T-Mobile) tried to make a good faith effort," Lee said.

Commissioners said they would not take into consideration T-Mobile's last-minute design change submission because of its surprise nature.

The commission voted 4-0 to deny the appeal. One commissioner recused herself because she had been on maternity leave during the Dec. 9 hearing on the issue.

T-Mobile's only option for overturning the commission's decision is a lawsuit in the courts.

Two representatives for the T-Mobile contractor Synergy Development Services stormed out of the hearing and would not comment on the decision nor on the company's tactics.

Clark Harris, a T-Mobile spokesman who was reached by phone after the meeting, said the company would look for alternative sites in the area.

But residents were elated over the decision.

"This shows what can happen when you organize," said Irene Boyd, a board member of the Northridge South Neighborhood Council, which fought the application. "When you organize, you can win."

Clifton J. Burwell, the 82-year-old resident who spearheaded the opposition, called the decision a victory for the neighborhood in which he and wife Ginette have lived for 60 years.

"It's been worth what it took to win," he said.

Only last fall, these residents were celebrating what appeared to be a clear-cut defeat of T-Mobile's efforts to erect the tower in their neighborhood.

But they were caught off-guard when T-Mobile appealed the zoning administrator's denial of the application - something T-Mobile officials originally said they would not do.

Company officials said they changed their minds because they are obligated to improve service to San Fernando Valley customers.

"It is T-Mobile's standard practice to identify a site that both meets our coverage needs and follows all local ordinances and guidelines - this site accomplishes both," said T-Mobile spokesman Jarryd Gonzales.

"The residents of Northridge will benefit greatly from the improved wireless coverage provided by this new wireless facility."

T-Mobile had proposed building the cell tower on top of an existing commercial structure at the intersection of Saticoy Street and Louise Avenue.

Residents complained that erecting a 10-foot high tower on the roof of a second story building at the intersection would create an eyesore, destroy property values and pose a health threat from radiation emitted from the powerful signals.

At the hearing, several residents raised concern for the safety of children in a preschool nearby.

State and local governments are prevented by the 1996 Telecommunications Act from considering health concerns in locating wireless facilities. But Commissioner Lydia Drew Mather said it was a concern for the preschool children that was her uppermost reason for denying the T-Mobile appeal.

In denying the T-Mobile building request last October, city Zoning Administrator Maya E. Zaitzevsky cited - among other determining factors - that the company's proposed location "will not be desirable to the public convenience or welfare."

In her denial of T-Mobile's application, the zoning administrator listed other reasons for her decision including:

The location is not proper in relation to adjacent uses or the development of the community.

The use will be materially detrimental to the character of the development in the immediate neighborhood.

The proposed location will not be in harmony with the various elements and objective of the General Plan.

The project is inconsistent with the general requirements of the Wireless Telecommunications Facilities Standards set forth in Section 12.21-A.20 of the Municipal Code.

According to the city zoning administrator's report denying the T-Mobile request, no fewer than 224 such towers presently exist within a four-mile radius of the Saticoy and Louis location with applications pending for eight others.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

T-Mobile pushing to sell all their cell towers

Is the Tinton Falls tower really about improving voice coverage or is it part of T-Mobile's now publicly disclosed plans to sell their cell towers to generate revenue?? Read on...

UPDATE:T-Mobile Mulls Selling Tower Assets Valued At $2 Billion Source

By Roger Cheng


NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- T-Mobile USA is exploring the sale of its network of cellular towers, which could fetch around $2 billion and possibly more, according to a person familiar with the situation.

T-Mobile USA, a unit of German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom AG ( DTEGY, DTE.XE), is taking a "measured approach" to the process, and hasn't fully committed to selling its roughly 7,000 towers, according to a spokesman.

"It's not a foregone conclusion," he said.

Earlier reports placed a $2 billion value on the assets, and called for the sales process to begin early in the second quarter.

The details shed more light on Deutsche Telekom Chief Executive Rene Obermann's comments from T-Mobile USA's investor day on Thursday. He said the company would consider selling these assets to raise funds for projects or the acquisition of wireless spectrum.

Obermann said on Thursday that T-Mobile USA has more towers than its U.S. rivals, as many of the other carriers have shed their own assets to focus on their core businesses. At the time, he said there was no rush to pursue a deal.

American Tower Corp. (AMT) and Crown Castle International Corp. (CCI) are seen by analysts as the most likely acquirers, although interest may also come from private investors.

"There's little doubt that these assets would see interest in the market," said Jonathan Atkin, an analyst at RBC Capital.

Spokesmen for American Tower and Crown Castle weren't immediately available for comment.

The other public tower company, SBA Communications Corp. (SBAC), is likely too small to make such a deal, analysts said.

Still, the public tower companies may not necessarily jump on the assets, said Jonathan Schildkraut, an analyst at Evercore Partners. He noted that Crown Castle has implied it doesn't need to expand further, while American Tower has more recently looked toward overseas expansion.

With a historical sales price of roughly $500,000 per tower, T-Mobile's assets could be worth as much as $3.5 billion, he said, adding that the price could change depending on demand.

T-Mobile USA tried to sell the assets previously, according to Atkin, and got bids at roughly the same price. He expects a higher bid this time around because it runs more towers than before.

T-Mobile USA started thinking about the tower sale option again this summer, Atkin said.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cell tower fire at GSP Exit 100 from 1/22/11

Once again, T-Mobile's site engineer testified he never heard of a fire at a cell tower or a cell tower collapsing. Here's some local pictures from 1/22/11. What caused the antennas to just start burning? Is this really safe to put 120 feet from residential homes?? Check out the video at:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

T-Mobile's plans

Here's an article confirming the real reason for T-Mobile inundating residential areas with cell towers, not for inadequate voice cellular service, as they claim, but for the expansion of their 4G network to compete with Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. There is no provision in the 1996 Telecommunications Act for this.

Also, another interesting item from this article says they are looking into selling their U.S. cellular towers to raise money. So I guess they are just trying to build this tower in Tinton Falls to turn around and sell it at a profit. Here's the article:

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T-Mobile, with No iPhone, Eyes Tower Sales

Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile, America's fourth-largest carrier after Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint, is gearing up to more effectively compete against its larger rivals. Without an Apple iPhone to help it, the carrier's game plan includes eventually upgrading to an LTE (Long-Term Evolution)-based 4G network, offering more exciting Android-running smartphones and selling its broadcast cellular towers.

The first U.S. carrier to offer an Android smartphone, the T-Mobile G1, T-Mobile saw customer growth slow from more than 40 percent to 10 percent between 2002 and 2008, Bloomberg reported Jan. 20. Its anticipated changes, then, are toward the dual goals of adding new customers and boosting sales and profits.

"T-Mobile is now ready to turn the business around," T-Mobile USA CEO Philipp Humm said during a presentation in New York Jan. 20, according to Bloomberg. Humm added that T-Mobile plans to offer the "best" data plan and fourth-generation network.

In November, jumping out ahead of Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile launched a campaign reintroducing itself as "America's largest 4G network" and launching a 4G-enabled smartphone, the HTC-made myTouch 4G. The network is based on HSPA+ technology, which the carrier had previously nicknamed "3.5G." However, during the launch, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray was quick to point out that the network was providing speeds comparable or faster than some WiMax and LTE-based networks.

At the Jan. 20 presentation, Ray said the network is scheduled to get faster still, climbing to 42M bps later this year, up from 21M bps.

A challenge to building out the network for LTE—which executives said will happen in a "a few years," once devices are readily available and on par with its HSPA+ offerings—will be acquiring additional spectrum. One means of doing so could include "partnering with other companies," an unnamed executive told Bloomberg, declining to cite the name of potential partners.

Another way to acquire the necessary assets could include the sale of its portfolio of U.S. cellular towers. A trend among operators, according to Reuters, is to sell their wireless towers to dedicated tower operators and then rent space in them. T-Mobile considered selling its towers in 2007, but decided the timing and financials weren't right. Again, it will only sell them if "the financials work out," Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann told reporters, adding, "We're definitely not in a rush."

T-Mobile has also considered expanding its wireless airwaves access by partnering with companies such as Clearwire, which offers WiMax-based 4G, or LightSquared, the LTE provider that's financially backed by Philip Falcone's Harbinger Capital Partners.

The financially strapped Clearwire is in the process of auctioning off a portion of its considerable spectrum holdings, which has attracted the attention of Deutsche Telekom, as well as AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and cable operators Time Warner and Cablevision.

According to the Jan. 20 Reuters report, T-Mobile USA is the "main bidder left" in the spectrum auction.