Our church had a Verizon Cellular site until about 6 months ago when Verizon cancelled the lease. After they left we negotiated for them to leave the cabling between the cell site and the antenna located in the church steeple and the antenna itself in the steeple.

Anyone know of any uses for the cabling and the antenna or if it would be worth it to try to recover it and if it would be worth anything?

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    $\begingroup$ nice, Verizon will certainly not complain about not having to remove cabling (most of it won't be reused elsewhere, anyway). So, if you can make use of these antenna(s), then this is clearly an economical and ecological win! $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 27, 2019 at 10:34

1 Answer 1


Anyone know of any uses for the cabling

The cabling in cellular sites is usually relatively high-quality relatively high-power (for the microwave frequencies 4G uses).

If this is actually 4G, Verizon (I think) uses 1900 MHz, 1700 MHz and maybe 700 MHz; it's possible the antenna is multi-band and supports all three, and they'd definitely use cable that covers all that frequency range (climbing up a tower and exchanging an antenna if one wants to upgrade a cell site is financially less frightening than having to run cable through a building structure, again, just because you saved $100 on the first cable you installed; tore down cables are hard to re-sell or use somewhere else within a professional context).

So, first of all, you've got yourself a good quality of cabling to a tower – pretty much for anything above VHF frequency, likely, and in any case for any cellular frequency (700 MHz to 2.3 GHz). You'll want to find the cable, and take a photograph on the printings you'll find on it, and google (or ask here) to find out the type and frequency range of that!

If nothing else, you'd have the best TV antenna or sat dish cabling in the neighborhood if you decide to just use it for that.

and the antenna

The antennas themselves: as said, they are specific to the bands they are designed for. Maybe that's even printed on them – otherwise, same deal: Photos of antennas, and type labels, and google or us.

With a bit of luck, the antenna you've got there might be feasible for the 13 cm ham band, or the 33 cm ham band, in addition to the 4G bands used commercially in your country (you're not allowed to use these, for obvious reasons).

If that's the case, and with an appropriate amateur license, you could do cool things – like running your own amateur 4G network (laws apply, don't do this without asking someone who knows your local laws – I don't). The software exists, and the hardware necessary to set up a base station isn't that expensive!

Of course, you could do other things with the same antenna, too, but since the antenna defines the frequencies, and these define the path loss, it'd be "short reach" in amateur terms, since cellular antennas aren't "point-to-point link" directive antennas (i.e. little gain).

or if it would be worth it to try to recover it and if it would be worth anything?

Well, check ebay for prices of used "basestation antennas" for antennas of comparable size and shape.

It's possible this antenna can be sold to someone, but don't expect buyers to invest large sums of money for antennas that the seller can't characterize; maybe one of the reasons for Verizon's cancellation was that there was something wrong with the site, and the investigation/repair costs would have outweighed the revenue that this site was able to generate.

After all, the only way you can make money with such an antenna is by running a 4G network, and you need to buy a government license for that, and the companies who did that buy them by the thousands in new condition, only, because flying someone to Backcountry Somewhere, USA, to climb a tower and check an antenna simply isn't worth the savings of buying used.

Cabling: Since there's a general need for good coax cabling, you could have luck selling that to amateur radio enthusiast, after you've figured out the type, and made sure that the length you're selling doesn't have any visible defects.

  • $\begingroup$ If you decide to recover the cable, roll it up in a nice orderly manner. Any kinks or sharp bends could ruin it. $\endgroup$
    – mrog
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 20:21

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