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Apple says it takes 3 years to get a new cell tower in San Francisco

post #1 of 137
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Lingering reception issues in San Francisco, Calif., are exceptionally difficult to rectify because the local approval process for a new cellular tower takes an average of 3 years, Apple revealed Friday.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, at Friday's iPhone 4 press conference, discussed some of the difficulties cellular companies like AT&T, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the U.S., experience when trying to improve their coverage. San Francisco is one city where coverage is notoriously bad.

"It's one of the toughest spots to get approvals," Jobs said. "Sometimes I think they should enlist the support of all the iPhone users in the community."

He said that Apple is constantly asking about reception in San Francisco and the surrounding bay area, but that AT&T is caught up in the "long process" of trying to get new towers approved.

When AT&T wants to add a new cell tower in Texas, Jobs said, it takes about 3 weeks. But adding a new cell tower in San Francisco has an average turnaround time of 3 years.

"Not all of us want cell towers in our backyard, but we all want good reception," Jobs said. "(AT&T has) tried to make them look like banana trees, but still, it's a problem."
post #2 of 137
Apple 'says' all manner of things... One learns to discern what's most likely rubbish - Like This!
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #3 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Apple 'says' all manner of things... One learns to discern what's most likely rubbish - Like This!

DaHarder 'says' all manner of things... One learns to discern what's most likely rubbish - Like This!
Andrew
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Andrew
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post #4 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"(AT&T has) tried to make them look like banana trees, but still, it's a problem."

--SHEFFmachine out
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--SHEFFmachine out
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post #5 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrubhar View Post

DaHarder 'says' all manner of things... One learns to discern what's most likely rubbish - Like This!

Maybe if you (and your ilk) would removed those Apple-tinted goggles every once in a while you'd better see that no company is infallible... no matter how much you claim otherwise.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #6 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Apple 'says' all manner of things... One learns to discern what's most likely rubbish - Like This!

Meh, I can see it being true. I used to live in an area that had poor coverage from every major carrier (located in Minneapolis, MN), and plans for a tower shared by both AT&T and Verizon were pushed back for over 2 years (it never got put up while I lived there) because people continued to complain that they did not want a cell tower installed at a busy intersection. I can only imagine San Francisco is a million times worse than Minneapolis...didn't they just make some sort of cell phone radiation law? But then again...it's not like people from California are known for wanting their cake and eating it too...
post #7 of 137
Or alternately, instead of waiting for AT&T to install new towers, maybe Apple should be offering the iPhone on other networks that don't have "weak signal" spots as frequently as AT&T.
post #8 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Not all of us want cell towers in our backyard, but we all want good reception," Jobs said. "(AT&T has) tried to make them look like banana trees, but still, it's a problem."

Damn...those would be some HUGE banana trees!
post #9 of 137
The noisiest ATT customers are in SFO and NYC. In SFO get off your asses and tell your govt you don't want a landline. Stop bitching about ATT if you're too lazy to vote or write your rep.

In NYC ha! Manhattan is slot canyons. Too bad. Get three phones for insurance if you can afford Manhattan.

ATT handles more traffic than all the other carriers combined. That's frikkin heroic. Don't like it stop being a whiny brat and switch.
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post #10 of 137
I live near Chicago. Many cell phone providers collaborated and decided to share a new tower. It took over 2 years for the local politicians to agree to it and in order for it to get approved, the tower had to be seamlessly integrated into an existing church steeple. They literally had to build a giant, tall brick tower, fill it internally with antennas, and top it with a cross.

Amazing. Now I know why my cell phone bill is so high.
post #11 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Maybe if you (and your ilk) would removed those Apple-tinted goggles every once in a while you'd better see that no company is infallible... no matter how much you claim otherwise.

Don't you think Apple is smart enough not to make things up? The news would jump on that in a heartbeat and roast them.

If you spent 10 minutes fact checking, you'd realize they were right. Stop being so freaking paranoid.
Andrew
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post #12 of 137
I wonder why there are no reports for dropped calls on the Blackberry for AT&T. Can we get a hardware analysis please?
post #13 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post


hiding cell towers in church steeples is another favorite trick --
in frisco there's supposedly one in st. paul's in noe valley
(where sister act was filmed), but if so it's only helping us out only a little bit.
post #14 of 137
SF is the land of special interests and left-wing-looney-lobbyists. 3 years is probably optimistic. It is the most dysfunctional city I've ever seen in a developed nation. And, for what it is worth, I can confirm that there are most certainly dead spots all over, not just for ATT.
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post #15 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Not all of us want cell towers in our backyard, but we all want good reception," Jobs said. "(AT&T has) tried to make them look like banana trees, but still, it's a problem."

That's pretty damn funny actually
post #16 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Apple 'says' all manner of things... One learns to discern what's most likely rubbish - Like This!

In this case, it's true. Getting local governments to agree to cell tower placement is hit or miss, for a variety of reasons. I'd imagine that the San Francisco city government is concerned about the physiological effect of the additional cell towers, which would require lengthy studies to resolve. Jobs' comparison between Texas and San Francisco is well founded in reality.

As for the banana tree thing, that's true too. Carriers tend to pretty up or disguise their cell towers as part of an agreement to get the things deployed in the first place. There are plenty of photos on Google.
post #17 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Apple 'says' all manner of things... One learns to discern what's most likely rubbish - Like This!

how to spot a troll.
post #18 of 137
OMG. People are beginning to play nice with AT&T because Jobs spoketh. You realize this was information already available, yet largely ignored? I'm picturing a bunch of people being led around by their nose rings by Steveo. Yeesh!
post #19 of 137
"AT&T has tried to make them look like banana trees". How about Apple trees?
post #20 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Maybe if you (and your ilk) would removed those Apple-tinted goggles every once in a while you'd better see that no company is infallible... no matter how much you claim otherwise.

Oh come on! You are a known troll. I've even heard you refer to yourself that way on here. You live to say nasty things about Apple, prod forum users with insults, and engage in endless arguments.

For you to call "bias" or shenanigans on anyone else is pretty rich.
post #21 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by buckdutter View Post

Meh, I can see it being true. I used to live in an area that had poor coverage from every major carrier (located in Minneapolis, MN), and plans for a tower shared by both AT&T and Verizon were pushed back for over 2 years (it never got put up while I lived there) because people continued to complain that they did not want a cell tower installed at a busy intersection. I can only imagine San Francisco is a million times worse than Minneapolis...didn't they just make some sort of cell phone radiation law? But then again...it's not like people from California are known for wanting their cake and eating it too...

Yeah, it's kind of funny too given that the crazy idiots that are scared of cell phone radiation giving them cancer and denying the placement of cell towers are pretty much the same personality type that would still be thinking this is all some kind of coverup or conspiracy by Apple.

Some people just live to complain and see a conspiracy or a negative in everything.
post #22 of 137
Insert generic San Francisco bashing here ___________.

I see I am too late.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #23 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Insert generic San Francisco bashing here ___________.

I see I am too late.

This is the first time San Francisco has been known to not fully embrace a few rods!


i got nuthin :/
post #24 of 137
i live in san francisco. by all means, apple and at&t, please publish a list of the pending tower requests you have for the city of san francisco and i will contact my supervisor.
post #25 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"It's one of the toughest spots to get approvals," Jobs said. "Sometimes I think they should enlist the support of all the iPhone users in the community."

Just give everyone a micro-cell.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

i live in san francisco. by all means, apple and at&t, please publish a list of the pending tower requests you have for the city of san francisco and i will contact my supervisor.

Why? Who is your supervisor and what can he do?
post #26 of 137
It take four years to get a banana tree in SF!
post #27 of 137
Is he explaining the reason why apple is not going to other networks, or is he explaining the reason why apple IS GOING TO TO OTHER NETWORKS! If not.....
post #28 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

i live in san francisco. by all means, apple and at&t, please publish a list of the pending tower requests you have for the city of san francisco and i will contact my supervisor.

They're available *someplace*, I just don't know where on http:www.sfgov.org .

Nothing like listening to a room full of parents at my daughters' elementary school pushing a petition for AT&T to be kept from installing a new antenna near the school. Of course, all of them have mobile phones. They even barked down a doctor who thought the antenna wasn't such a problem.

I'm sorry, but I won't say where AT&T finally put the antenna because that would identify which school it is and they'd lose even more enrollment than they have recently. They keep me out of the school probably because I am a watchdog on them... I wonder why my youngest still goes there, but my wife thinks all other schools will toss her out (No drugs, no weapons, just a personality for which many people flame us).
post #29 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by hansende View Post

"AT&T has tried to make them look like banana trees". How about Apple trees?

Because a 200-foot tall tree with everlasting fruit is a bit obvious.

Hmm, all what's needed is for someone to discover that some rare bug uses cell phone towers for its habitat. Boom, problem solved. SF would become a forest of cell towers.
post #30 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Apple 'says' all manner of things... One learns to discern what's most likely rubbish - Like This!

What do most people do with all the garbage you say? Like this?
post #31 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

i live in san francisco. by all means, apple and at&t, please publish a list of the pending tower requests you have for the city of san francisco and i will contact my supervisor.

It was just a couple of weeks ago in the Chronicle that I read an article about some NIMBY mom with her brood of three little rugrats who was fighting T-Mobile over their plans to install a cell tower inside a church steeple in the Mission District. These people aren't concerned about the aesthetics of the towers, they're concerned about the effects of the electromagnetic radiation they emit.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...BAT01E8QTQ.DTL

I think it's an excellent idea for AT&T to alert people to the planning meetings in San Francisco where new cell tower proposals are discussed. These NIMBYs should not get to spout their superstitious blather unopposed.
post #32 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

i live in san francisco. by all means, apple and at&t, please publish a list of the pending tower requests you have for the city of san francisco and i will contact my supervisor.

Dude, you do understand that Apple does not have any pending requests for cell towers? Anywhere, in any city in the world. You know why? Because they are not in the business of providing cell service. Call your supervisor and ask what towers are proposed for your neighborhood and what is the holdup.

And for the guy asking about a supervisor, in San Francisco, a supervisor is a member of the city council that represents the city neighborhoods.
post #33 of 137
The cell phone companies are taking the wrong approach. They need to push micro and pico-cell sites in buildings and on street lights that cover a radius of 100m or less. Traditional tower installations are a lost cause; there isn't the spectrum to heavily centralize the infrastructure.

For San Francisco, that would be a worst-case total of 4,000 pole-top towers... at a cost of less than $10k per tower. Triple that to cover the SF factor, but you are still coming out pretty far ahead. Ricochet was able to do it for higher power boxes twelve years ago...
post #34 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Apple 'says' all manner of things... One learns to discern what's most likely rubbish - Like This!

Nice trolling. Or to be more specific, saying any manner of things.
post #35 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post

Damn...those would be some HUGE banana trees!

I didn't find a banana tree, but here is an evergreen tree-style tower:

Tree tower

I think it was in a national park.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

The noisiest ATT customers are in SFO and NYC. In SFO get off your asses and tell your govt you don't want a landline. Stop bitching about ATT if you're too lazy to vote or write your rep.

This is necessary so some sanity can be put into the local political processes, because it's mostly nutcases that attend local meetings. As you can imagine with that scenario, commissioners can get inundated by a minority of cranks that rely on fear for their daily personal motivation.

Quote:
ATT handles more traffic than all the other carriers combined. That's frikkin heroic. Don't like it stop being a whiny brat and switch.

Where do you get traffic figures? I haven't seen any cellular data traffic figures, aggregated or otherwise, except articles saying that most "mobile" web traffic comes from iOS devices. I don't think that translates to AT&T having more traffic than all other traffic combined, because that web traffic information doesn't distinguish traffic from cellular and traffic from WiFi, and I also don't think iPhones are the majority of the AT&T devices in use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

The cell phone companies are taking the wrong approach. They need to push micro and pico-cell sites in buildings and on street lights that cover a radius of 100m or less. Traditional tower installations are a lost cause; there isn't the spectrum to heavily centralize the infrastructure.

For San Francisco, that would be a worst-case total of 4,000 pole-top towers... at a cost of less than $10k per tower. Triple that to cover the SF factor, but you are still coming out pretty far ahead. Ricochet was able to do it for higher power boxes twelve years ago...

I agree, this may be they way to go, if you divide the spectrum to smaller radii, then you'll have a lot more potential capacity. And I suspect you would have a lot fewer problems with dead spots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

i live in san francisco. by all means, apple and at&t, please publish a list of the pending tower requests you have for the city of san francisco and i will contact my supervisor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donarb View Post

Dude, you do understand that Apple does not have any pending requests for cell towers? Anywhere, in any city in the world. You know why? Because they are not in the business of providing cell service.

Even though Apple isn't involved in the actual service, was your nitpicking really necessary? The problem does affect Apple unfortunately, which is why the question came up at an Apple press event, and it does sound like they're keeping tabs on the situation and might actually have that information.

You seem to have ignored the part where AT&T was in the comment too.
post #36 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

The cell phone companies are taking the wrong approach. They need to push micro and pico-cell sites in buildings and on street lights that cover a radius of 100m or less. Traditional tower installations are a lost cause; there isn't the spectrum to heavily centralize the infrastructure.

For San Francisco, that would be a worst-case total of 4,000 pole-top towers... at a cost of less than $10k per tower. Triple that to cover the SF factor, but you are still coming out pretty far ahead. Ricochet was able to do it for higher power boxes twelve years ago...

I worked at Metricom and that failure made it virtually impossible to do those kind of installations again. Many cities were burned by that model. That being said, the push is for DAS networks. Look up Distributed Antenna Systems. But even then, the City does not want them. They are very anti-cellular technology, despite what asshole DaHarder thinks.

Speaking as one who works in the industry, SJ is right. And not just in SF either. There are many many cities that want their cell phones but don't want the towers.
post #37 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

The cell phone companies are taking the wrong approach. They need to push micro and pico-cell sites in buildings and on street lights that cover a radius of 100m or less. Traditional tower installations are a lost cause; there isn't the spectrum to heavily centralize the infrastructure.

For San Francisco, that would be a worst-case total of 4,000 pole-top towers... at a cost of less than $10k per tower. Triple that to cover the SF factor, but you are still coming out pretty far ahead. Ricochet was able to do it for higher power boxes twelve years ago...

IDK if they are called micro-cell towers, but the providers have been placing small cell antennas on buildings in urban areas for a long time. You still have to find suitable buildings to put them on.
Please don't be insane.
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post #38 of 137
Are banana trees native to Northern California? Or, for that matter, California? Or, for that matter, the USA?

That might be your problem right there.
post #39 of 137
What's the prob? It takes half that long to get an iPhone 4
post #40 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

IDK if they are called micro-cell towers, but the providers have been placing small cell antennas on buildings in urban areas for a long time. You still have to find suitable buildings to put them on.

Yep... A town where I once lived was very anti tower and for most of the 90s we went without any coverage at all.... Then the cell providers made deals with many of the large churches in town to ingeniously locate antennas inside the large/tall steeples... Then the town once again stepped in and put the kibosh on the deals... Why? The town was going to take away the churches tax exempt status since profits on the agreements weren't looked at too favorably by the town leadership.

So... Another few years went by and we finally got a tower on the side of our local highway that looks exactly like that silly tree tower linked to above. The picture doesn't do it justice since 3 qtrs of the 'tree' is just brown steel and then near the very to are these silly tree branches. It looks so silly.

So just a heads up that SF isn't the only tower troublemakers.. They have at least one sister city back east...
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