WAM | Wireless Asset Management

ANTENNAS & TOWERS

ANTENNAS

The goal of rooftop colocation antennas is to offer a myriad of solutions and options for both the property owner and telecommunications provider. Depending on the structure or fascade design of a building, a rooftop colocation antenna can be constructed in such a manner as to be visually indescript, meaning most rooftop antennas go completely unnoticed. In many instances, an antenna can be structured such that it is completely hidden from view, which is the case with antennas built into church steeples and flag poles. Antennas designed for rooftop applications do not have to be particularly large, so they can be hung on building fascades - perhaps near other architectual design elements - thereby blending into fascade or window patterns. All in all, rooftop-style antennas often allow telecommunication service providers excellent oppurnities to effectively fill coverage gaps in high density urban areas without the cost and visual impact challanges associated with towers.

Several examples of rooftop colocation antennas are shown below:






Monopole TowerMONOPOLE TOWERS

These tube style, narrow galvanized structures offer carriers and owners numerous savings opportunities. Smaller lease areas, smaller price tags and reduced construction time offer speed to market as well as savings. These structures are manufactured in steel, concrete and fiberglass and are most often freighted on a single truck, providing additional savings. Tapered steel or slip joint poles have become the most common, with step tapered or pipe section poles as the second selection. Poles can be multi-sided or smooth.

The structures are aesthetically pleasing and blend well into the environment while requiring minimum space for installation. Interior placement of transmission lines means that the coaxial cable is not exposed to wear and tear or wind-induced loads. Typically, climbing accessories and antennas are the only visible additions. Platforms and antenna arrays can be rotated to any azimuth.

The fastest on air times are offered by monopoles since most types can be erected in one day. Employing a minimum amount of time for foundations, a site can move quickly from "permit ready" to producing revenues. Monopoles can also be purchased with future elevation needs. Several manufacturers assemble each pole with a top flange that will accommodate growth as a standard procedure. If the rad centers of co-location tenants are known, it's advisable to provide for multiple entry ports when ordering the structure; having to cut them in later can be an expensive proposition.

If the tower structure's elevation is over 200 feet Tower Obstruction Lighting will be required to have obstruction lighting. Some structures close to an airport will require lighting no matter what height the structure is.


Self-supporting TowersSELF-SUPPORTING TOWERS

From lightweight roof mounted assemblies to structures exceeding 500', the self-supporting tower is the most versatile structure for accommodating everything from Wi-Fi and other unlicensed services to cellular, meteorological, microwave and other applications.

Self-supporting towers are generally more expensive than guyed towers of the same height. They are often chosen where property values are high or construction space is extremely limited. Although there are towers designed with four legs, a triangular three-leg hot-dip galvanized structure is the most common tower manufactured in the Americas. Self Support Tower 2 Design styles are angular, tubular or solid leg steel in knockdown or fabricated sections.

The base section face width, the distance between the centers of two legs, becomes larger as the structure's height increases. However, most tower manufacturers can custom engineer the tower to accommodate the height, antenna loading and wind load requirements while maintaining a reduced or desired base size dimension. However, this approach this will typically increase the tower steel cost as well as the associated foundations due to increased base reactions.

Standardized modular designs by some manufacturers will expedite the fabrication process and significantly shorten the delivery time. With current computer automation, permit design drawings, whether standard or custom, are being delivered in quicker timeframes.

Some manufacturers have the ability to provide a factory applied finish coat, if required.

There are multiple manufactured designs, each one having benefits, from tubular, solid and truss-style solid legs to back-to-back angles.

If the tower structure's elevation is over 200 feet it will be required to have obstruction lighting. Some structures close to an airport will require lighting no matter what height the structure is.


Guyed TowersGUYED TOWERS

Guyed towers are utilized to achieve the maximum in elevation and loading at an economical cost. The addition of heavier braced sections and torque arm guy points allow a tower to be engineered custom to its loading specifications.

The face width is the measurement of each side of the triangular structure that sits upon a tapered bottom section that is anchored to the foundation base by a pivot pin. The tower is supported by galvanized steel guy cables of varying sizes.

Many tower manufacturers' models end in two numbers that indicate the face width size in inches. However, the same model has various loading capabilities based upon the thickness and size of steel pipe or angle members used for vertical support and horizontal and diagonal bracing.

The height and economies of design will dictate whether the structure has three or six anchor points at 120 degrees. Standard Guyed Tower 2 design is for the outer anchor to be at a distance between 70% to 80% of the height of the structure. Therefore, a 400' tower might have the anchor placed at 320' from the center of the guyed tower. If property constraints will not allow an 80% radius, you can order the tower to be designed with a shorter guying distance as low as 40%. You can also specify that you would like single anchor points for many heights. However, be prepared to increase your budget considerably since the beefed up structure will cost more and the downward pulling force of the guy wires will result in a more expensive guy and foundation anchor system. As manufacturers will often say, almost any design is possible if your budget can afford it.

Manufacturers provide multiple designs from tubular or round solidIncandescent Lighting 1 to angle iron legs; either knock down or all welded sections are fabricated.

If the tower structure's elevation is over 200 feet it will be required to have obstruction lighting. Some structures close to an airport will require lighting no matter what height the structure is.


CONCEALMENT TOWERS / STRUCTURES CONCEALMENT

Concealment TowersIn order to satisfy some suburban sanctions, tower owners are being required to blend their technology into the surrounding environment by constructing towers that imitate nature or towers that imitate man-made structures.

Although imitation is the greatest form of flattery, early industry tree attempts never gained the admiration of their natural pine tree cousins or the community at large. One lone cellular tree was gingerly tucked next to a maternity store in a strip mall. With its obtrusive UV-faded bristles, shoppers would stand and gape, perhaps wondering if it was a grand monument to cleaner baby bottles everywhere.

New composite RF technology coupled with realistic weather resistant faux bark, branches and fronds have created a greater acceptance of trees by community boards. At a distance, they are aesthetically pleasing and can conceal up to six carriers. A desirous six-tenant corridor location would provide an annual income to the owner of more than $100,000.00. The high structure and installation cost is a non-issue if it facilitates municipal approval and carriers are ready to ink a lease. However, single tenant tree structures can cost as much as three times more or greater than a traditional self-supporting tower or monopole, the most commonly installed structures, providing a limited or negative return on investment.

Concealing antenna systems in freestanding man-made structures can cost even more than trees, depending upon the application. Concealment Towers covering monopole platforms are relatively easy to install and are the most cost effective zoning solutions. For rooftop concealment, panel facades are the ideal choice for screening applications.

Conventional concealment structures can be designed for every conceivable application so that even the most critical eye cannot tell that antenna systems are stealthed behind low loss RF transparent facades. From clock towers to church spires, signage and flagpoles, architectural concealment is only limited to the designer's imagination and the owner's site budget. A popular system in the Middle East, UK, America and other countries is a minaret tower linked to a mosque, allowing the faithful to call home after they have been called to prayers. Grain silo structures on many farm landscapes keeps rural areas in touch.

 

WIRELESS ASSET MANAGEMENT, LLC
900 West San Mateo, Suite 100
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505