Project improves coverage for McCoy
cell phone users
|The inclusion of AT&T service on a permanent tower at
Fort McCoy is providing improved coverage for cell phone users.
Jon Prell, Telecommunications specialist for the Network Enterprise
Center at Fort McCoy, said the service equipment on the permanent tower
is higher than it was on the temporary tower it replaced, so the
coverage area should increase.
The AT&T addition also means the installation has presence on its
permanent towers for all the major cell phone carriers — US Cellular,
Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile.
“The services on these permanent towers meet the cellular phone
communication needs of Fort McCoy,” Prell said. “The increased cell
phone services give Soldiers, Fort McCoy personnel and contractors an
improved avenue to conduct official business as well as send and receive
calls from home and connect with their Families.”
Prell said the last service provider upgrade occurred in 2006-07, when
Nextel and Cingular cellular towers were installed. Companies have
upgraded their service equipment since then, but this is the first new,
permanent-service equipment added since that time, he added.
Fort McCoy relies on private companies to install service equipment on
the towers. Prell said the government leases the land for the towers and
related equipment to the companies. In return, the installation is given
space on the towers to support its communication’s needs. The
arrangement also saves the government the costs of constructing and
maintaining the towers.
Prell noted that although the new AT&T service equipment on the
permanent tower will improve the cell phone coverage area, Fort McCoy’s
service still will be subject to dead spots because of hills or valleys.
“Cell phone service is provided by line-of-sight towers and then
interconnected by landline service trunks and other cell towers.
Customers at Fort McCoy and those calling in still will be subject to
the same communication factors that anyone using cell phones faces,” he
said. “They may experience poor or non-existent service in some