Can you hear me now?
For residents atop Schooley's Mountain, the answer they've been waiting for may come by year's end.
That’s what workers from N.M.C.I. said this week as they installed a cellular monopole behind the Washington Township Police Department.
The Verizon Communications tower, which was approved in 2011, stands 150 feet tall and includes antennae from Sprint-Nextel.
An equipment shelter was put in place earlier this fall that will hold radio equipment and back-up generators to power the tower during an outage.
But don’t expect those oft-dropped calls on top of Schooley’s Mountain to stay connected just yet.
“(They’re) hoping by the end of the year,” said N.M.C.I. foreman Tim Merz during the antenna installation Tuesday. “There’s still a lot of work before that though. The (equipment shelter) still needs radios and other equipment installed.”
The monopole will enable a 4G network, and will have 500 gallons of diesel fuel back-up in the event of a sustained power outage.
The equipment shelter is 18-feet by 13-feet and 6 inches and is 14-feet tall.
The new antenna is also not expected to interfere with the equipment of Verizon or any other mobile service carrier. Perhaps even more important to the residents of Washington Township, however, is the fact that the antenna should not interfere with municipal communications equipment.
Mike Smith, a radiofrequency expert who worked on the project, said in May 2011 that while terrain features in the area will make any reliable mobile service difficult, he expects reliable coverage to expand to areas that currently do not have what Sprint-Nextel or Verizon considers to be “reliable.”
Do you think the new tower is needed? Are you ok with the spotty service on top of Schooley’s Mountain?