UCI Cellular Services

Cell phone

Cell phones are a significant component of work life at UCI, whether for reaching people away from the office, connecting to the Web and email with a smartphone, or receiving critical notifications (zotAlert) in the event of a campus emergency.

OIT works with many cellular providers to continuously improve coverage at UCI, as well as to make discounted services available to employees. A summary of providers with a presence at UCI (AT&T, Nextel, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless) as well as cell site locations can be found online.  Recently, for example, a new AT&T site was installed on Engineering Tower, significantly improving coverage for AT&T subscribers.

OIT is also researching new technologies in the field of cellular telephony.  One promising new technology is the “Distributed Antenna System” (DAS) whereby numerous small, easily-installed antennas communicate through fiber optic cable to a coordination site which connects to the cellular carriers.  This makes cellular coverage more like Wireless Internet (WiFi) in its flexibility and capacity.

We are always happy to hear from cell users on campus about their experiences so that we can prioritize proposals from cellular carriers for improving coverage at UCI.

Improved Cellular Service

In 2001, the campus formed a committee to review the issue of cellular telephone sites on the UCI campus. These sites are required to support cell phone services — a given vendor must have a local installation to provide their users service. UCI had only a single Cingular site on campus at the time, and users of other vendors such as Verizon and Nextel experienced limited service availability.

The committee recognized the need for additional sites, and recommended that they be allowed within certain aesthetic and campus impact constraints. The Administration approved the recommendations in the summer of 2001 and NACS was assigned the role of cell site coordination.

A second Cingular site has been installed and was operational as of August 1, 2002. A cell site for Verizon is under construction, and a site for Nextel is currently in the final steps of the approval process. Both of these sites should be operational within the next six months. Having cell sites for multiple vendors on campus will be beneficial for every day use as well as for emergency use.

For information on cell site safety, please visit www.nacs.uci.edu/communication/celsitesafety.html

Pacific Bell Wireless cell site installed at UCI

Pacific Bell Wireless, in cooperation with NACS’ Electronic Communications Services group, Campus Asset Management, and Facilities Management, has installed a digital cellular telephone cell site on the roof of Engineering Tower at UCI. The installation was completed during December. The new site affects users of Personal Communication Services (PCS) digital telephone service provided by Pacific Bell Wireless. With the new cell site, Pacific Bell PCS service is significantly improved on campus and in the surrounding service area. If you would like to sign up for Pacific Bell Wireless, you may contact Shelly Toole of NACS-ECS at x4311. We are also in touch with other cellular service vendors about possible additional cell sites on campus.

Digital Cellular Telephone Service

NACS is pleased to announce a new digital cellular telephone service from Pacific Bell Mobile Services (PBMS). PBMS was recently awarded the California state contract for cellular service, with good service and pricing. NACS has established a relationship with Pacific Bell to provide convenient cellular service to the UCI community. PBMS’s digital Personal Communication Service (PCS) features good coverage throughout California, and has no roaming charges in California or Nevada. The service includes voicemail and numeric paging along with many other features. Several service plans and many equipment options are available for both UCI-paid (billed through NACS Electronic Communication Services) and employee-paid (personal) service.

For more information, see:

http://www.nacs.uci.edu/communication/cellular.html

CELLULAR SAVINGS

NACS recently renegotiated Government Service Contracts (GSAs) with LA Cellular and AirTouch Cellular to provide additional savings and benefits for UCI employees. The UCI Employee Program now includes free activation, free phone with sign-up, lower monthly fees and a variety of other pricing incentives. All cellular services currently billed through NACS-Electronic Communication Services will automatically be changed to the new program.

For more information please call 824-5123.