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.

* * *

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??????????