More Cell Site Search Resources:

    This is a difficult site to navigate. Not all Cellular sites need to be licensed so only certain sites are listed, PCS sites are not listed. The best way to start your search is to click on Market Search, then choose Market Type: "CMA - Cellular Market Area", scroll to your market, then Radio Service Code: "CL - Cellular". Click "Search" and you'll be offered a list of cellular carriers. Click on a Call Sign, then the Locations tab. Another FCC resource is the Antenna Structure Registration which involves large databases and a Search that requires knowledge of the type of structure or licensee you're seeking.

    Where to find people who can  direct you to cell sites directly or to those who know.

    Mostly non-cellular sites but very easy to use and includes new cell sites that might go online. However, some sites are speculative.

    A basic list of cellular towers with very little specific information.

    A convenient presentation, although less-inclusive, of the FCC records, which are not a complete list.

    This forum is part of Wireless Advisor and is populated by cellular users who have tracked down cell sites in their areas and posted the results, some with maps and pictures. You can also throw out a question to the group for cell site finding assistance.

    A list of cell sites located within the boundaries of US National Parks and Federal areas.

    This application overlays FCC files with Google Earth to provide a visual locator for cellular and other RF sites. It's limited to locations that are on record with the FCC.

    Useful map with lots of cell sites.  The more you zoom in, the more detail is available. Not all sites are shown, but a large number are...based on your choice of carriers.

    Some jurisdictions have a list showing applications for building permits. Others have minutes of the Planning Commission, Board of Adjustment or City Council meetings that address applications for cell sites. Look for "CMRS", Commercial Mobile Radio Service, entries.

    Do a Search on your local newspaper's web site for stories about cell sites. A new site is a big story in a smaller paper. This also may shed light on local challenges in establishing new cell sites.

Technical Resources:

  • Your Phone:
    If you want something more useful than the "bars" that appear on your phone, try to enter into your phone's programming menu and look for the Signal Strength Readout or RSSI and see a bouncing number that indicates the strength of the signal arriving at your phone.  Far easier would be to download an app that shows nearby cell site information such as carrier, SID, location and signal strength.

    Keep in mind most signal indicators show strength measured below a certain base level.  A -100db level would be weak and a -70db level could be very strong.  Also, if you're looking for a cell site on a network other than your own, you'll need to use a phone that can access that other network.

People to Ask:

  • The Nearest Cellular Store:
    These employees are best approached in person. They should know nearby cell site locations, but often don't. If you visit a corporate-owned store, seek out the "geek", maybe the guy who fixes phones, and ask. Better are independent cellular stores who have a broader knowledge of each carrier's facilities.

  • Your City or County:
    These people can normally be reached by phone and there should be several people who should know site locations. The task is to find the right person. Virtually all cell sites require a building permit so the Building Department should know them all. However, these are busy people so you may need to ask around to find someone willing to help. Most cell sites need 'special consideration' so often a "Community Development" or "Facilities Coordinator" gets involved. Don't limit your search to public 'officials', normally the 'coordinator', clerk or even a secretary knows more than the boss.

  • Special Facilities and Districts:
    These are the semi-public organizations that have significant real estate, building or infrastructure holdings. Check your state department of highways, local housing authority, school board, park district and the like.
  • Building Managers:
    You may see or suspect a cell site located on the rooftop of a nearby building. Call the building's manager. Some buildings have a receptionist who may have spoken to the cellular installers and repair persons and know which carrier they are working with.

  • Utilities:
    Cell sites can be found on water towers, power poles and other infrastructure. These organizations are often large and it may be difficult to find the right person to help you. Being nice helps your cause.

  • Your Homeowners Association:
    Cellular carriers normally notify your HOA about nearby cell site installation and some actually rent space in your common areas. If you haven't contacted your HOA before, this is a great reason to look them up.

  • Wireless Construction Companies:
    They could be as close as your yellow pages. These could be very small and you might end up ringing the owner's cell phone. Make a friend here, though, and you'll be golden. A 6-pack (or flowers) might help the exchange of information.

  • Your Local Wireless Carrier:
    If you have a small, local cellular carrier nearby, not only might they know where their nearest cell site is, but they may also know the location of cell sites for the competing carriers.

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