Cellcom Provides Lifesaving Communications With New Chambers Island Cell Tower

In Sept., Cellcom built its second alternative energy cell site located on Door County’s Chambers Island. Cellcom’s “green” cell site will provide increased cellular coverage, including EVDO Internet access and is currently enhancing radio coverage for the Door County fire radio system along the steep west coast.

Currently, the cliffs lining Door County’s rugged shoreline block the signals from mainland towers, leaving many area residents with limited cellular service and radio coverage for emergency personnel. By providing a signal at the same level, the green cell site will allow this area to have improved cellular reception and radio signal in case of an emergency.

“Due to the unique and challenging geography of Door County, the fire departments were faced with what seem to be an insurmountable challenge of providing dependable radio coverage to all areas of the county,” said Chris Hecht, chief of the Sister Bay & Liberty Grove Fire Department. “Fortunately, through a shared use agreement between the fire departments and Cellcom, as well as a lease on property owned by the Town of Gibraltar, a significant portion of previously uncovered areas will now be provided with reliable, potentially lifesaving communications.”

Cellcom has a long history of providing the emergency responders in Door County improved communications capabilities through the sharing of cellular infrastructure.

Because Chamber’s Island does not have electricity, alternative energies created and stored on site will power the site. The tower will run on batteries charged by solar panels at the base of the tower and a wind turbine installed on tower. A propane generator will be installed as a back-up source of power if there is inadequate wind or sun to charge the batteries. This tower mimics Cellcom’s first alternative-energy cell site near Antigo, Wis., which was activated on Earth Day 2008.

Hecht says the Door County fire radio system is now operational with noticeable coverage improvements. Cellcom’s cell site will be activated in 2009. The cell site will be EVDO- Rev. A (Evolution Data Optimized- Revolution A) equipped to ensure Cellcom customers receive information faster on their mobile phone devices or when using Cellcom’s broadband Internet on their home computers or laptops.

Cellcom’s renowned network is customized to meet the needs of rural markets and customers. Cellcom is a sister company of Nsight Telservices and a subsidiary of Nsight, a provider of communications services throughout Wisconsin and Michigan, with more than 80 retail and agent locations.

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