Tech Talk: Cell Site Tour - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Tech Talk: Cell Site Tour

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We've come a long way from bag phones and desktop computers. And now, people are using cell phones more than ever before to connect to the world around them.

Thanks to advances in technology, accessing the internet is as easy as pressing a button on your phone. I visited a cell site location to find out how technology keeps us connected.

Mobile devices have changed the ways we interact with the world around us.

"Data has grown exponentially and is continuing to grow exponentially. And voice is starting to be on the decline. You figure text messaging, the social capabilities. People connect now socially through Facebook, Instagram and all the different avenues. You actually talk less, and it's more data centric," says Cory Draack the network communications manager for Northern Plains Market.

And that's why AT&T is using a dual-layered 4G approach. While the old 4G network handles calls, the new 4G LTE network is delivering faster data capabilities.

"The data is what's driving this growth. And the network platform with this tiered approach has coupled very well with what the users demand, because you want a reliable and fast speed," says Draack.

The dual approach allows both networks to work faster. It all starts with the antennas.
The signal travels down the lines into a shelter like this.

"The signal comes down the cables to the radio, which is the brains. It's like a computer, I guess. And that communicates back to our core network," says Joe Maniaci a RAN optimization engineer.

All of that information is sent out from computer systems as small as this and fiber optic wires as small as these. It's these little connections that keep us connected.

And while other wireless technologies have disappeared, it appears LTE will be around for years to come.

"Some of the stuff they're working on now in labs and research are very fast, and factors of 10 times faster than what we have now. So, it's got a lot of potential for growth," says Maniaci.

Growth that will continue to keep us locked in NAT to the world around us.

AT&T isn't the only wireless provider to offer LTE technology. Verizon Wireless has offered statewide LTE coverage since 2013.

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