Cell phone tower installed on Warner

Cingular Wireless installed a new cell phone tower on the roof of Warner Hall three weeks ago.

Telecom, a division of Carnegie Mellon’s Network Services Department, has worked on a project to increase cell phone reception across campus for the past decade, stated Chuck Bartel, the director of network services for the Division of Computing Services, in an e-mail.

Bell Atlantic Mobile placed the university’s first cell phone tower on top of Wean Hall in the mid-1990s and paid $1000 per month, according to Bartel.

The major cell phone carriers, which now include Cingular, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and T-Mobile, each pay monthly leases between $1000 and $2000 to place their towers on the roof of Warner Hall.

According to Bartel, that money is used to improve cellular reception all across campus by allowing the installation of “vendor neutral” systems in areas where coverage is poor, such as in the basement of the University Center.

“We recognized early on the potential needs for a mobile campus community,” Bartel stated.

Telecom is responsible for the voicemail system, cable TV, and long distance and local phone service on campus.
Telecom is working to improve campus television service for students by bringing new stations to dorm rooms, stated Kevin Deak, assistant manager of Telecom.

Citizens near campus areas also benefit from the towers, Bartel wrote, because any customers of the carriers now get better reception.

Network services and Telecom plan to spend all of the revenue from the tower leases to improve existing infrastructure on campus to get signals in places on campus where students, faculty, and staff still cannot make or receive calls. Bartel said there is no financial impact on students or the campus community.