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Crown Castle DAS Audit. Crown Castle contracted with ATECS to audit DAS sites for potential purchase. This audit includes Nodes and Hubs in two States; Florida and Michigan. The two objectives of the audit was to determine node and hub condition and expandability.

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crown castle das audit
Crown Castle DAS Audit
  • Crown Castle contracted with ATECS to audit DAS sites for potential purchase.
  • This audit includes Nodes and Hubs in two States; Florida and Michigan.
  • The two objectives of the audit was to determine node and hub condition and expandability.
    • While the general physical condition in both Michigan and Florida was good, the expandability was harder to determine due to the lack of access to the nodes and hubs.

General finding in Florida

All nodes have power meters.

Right of way agreements with:

Florida East Coast Railway, Bell South, City of Miami Beach, and Florida Light and Power.

Poles are either concrete or wood.

About 85% nodes serve two antenna in West Palm Beach, which means those nodes use two pair of fiber each. All the Miami Beach nodes are single mode.

99% of the sites where visited and photographed.

Most antennas are omni directional, a few are directional panels.

Fiber is black jacketed and in conduit.

Node conditions are good to excellent.

Expandability could not be verified.

General finding in Michigan

No Power meters at nodes. Power is part of the general agreement

Right of way agreements with:

Detroit PLD, MISS DIG, and SBC.

Poles in the suburbs are wooden power poles, in the city they are metal and wood.

In the suburbs the nodes are attached to the pole about 12 ft off the ground. In the city the node is at ground level attached to the sidewalk.

All the outdoor nodes serve one omni directional antenna.

9 downtown nodes, 12 Dearborn nodes, and 2 Farmington Hills nodes were inspected and photographed.

Both downtown hubs were visited, but there was no access.

Node conditions are good to excellent.

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Crown Castle DAS Audit

HUBS

The hubs in the downtown Detroit network are housed in two Detroit Power and Light buildings which denied me access. In Farmington hills the hub is in a Sprint facility.

The Hub in Miami Beach was not visited, but information in the Data room says that it is located on a city parking garage.

According to the data room, the West palm Beach Hub is located in a Sprint LD facility.

Hub expandability is based on the assumption that the spare pairs at the nodes could be used for other applications at the hub. Therefore the hubs offer the greatest opportunity for incremental business in these networks.

Node expandability in the Detroit network:

While I was inspecting nodes in Dearborn I ran into the maintenance contactor Sprint uses for this network. I was able to get more information form him about the design and expandability of the network. Slide five has pictures I had him take of an opened node.

He told me the following:

All the nodes are single mode, meaning they serve only one antenna.

80% of the nodes have an expansion slot for the fiber controller and the LPA. This enables them to expand to duel mode. (See side 5)

All nodes have 6-8 pair of fiber in them, with one in use.

Node expandability in the Florida networks:

Node enclosure size would indicate that the nodes in Florida have the same capacity as the ones in Detroit

65% of West palm Beach nodes are duel mode sites offering no expansion opportunities. All of the nodes in Miami Beach are single mode and would have the same opportunity to expand to duel mode as in Detroit.

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Crown Castle DAS Audit

Conclusions:

Node Condition

Node inspections reveled all the nodes to be in good to excellent shape. All of the cabinets are painted and well maintained. The antennas are secure. All inspected nodes were safely accessible. There are two nodes in Miami Beach where there is no conduit running up the pole. One of these locations is in a high traffic area and could be at risk for vandals. The nodes inspected in Michigan and Florida give me a 95% confidence that these nodes are representative of the whole.

Expandability

Hub fiber expansion is good due to the number of spares at the sites.

The schematics provided indicate the fiber size of the loop(s), which is where the real capacity equation is derived. Re-routing of physical fiber is unlikely, but T-off as distribution point is more likely.

Node expansion is limited to one slot in 35% of West Palm Beach and 100% in Miami Beach and 80% in Michigan.

Expansion of addition nodes would involve construction and equipment costs and agreement negotiations and/or notification.

Recommendation:

Node condition and accessibility come highly recommended.

Hub expansion looks good but the node expansion is very limited, and in 65% of West Palm Beach non existent.

If expandability of the nodes in your prime driver I would have to recommend against the purchase of these networks due to the incremental cost to expand nodes beyond one further tenant.*

* Based on current tenet budgetary cost norms

typical downtown detroit node porter 9002

Typical Downtown Detroit Node (Porter 9002)

Node electronic box

Node antenna

typical suburban detroit node de 3020
Typical Suburban Detroit Node (DE 3020)

Node electronic box

Node antenna

typical florida node
Typical Florida Node

Node antenna

Node electronic box