07 May 2012

pervasive connectivity through add-on antenna

Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Philadelphia, with two white cellular antenna in the upper right corner of the image.
The Crowne Plaza Hotel at 1800 Market Street in downtown Philadelphia has two cellular antenna wedged on the edge of their parking garage above the hotel's entrance. Providing cellular connectivity in dense urban areas can often entail this sort of creativity of placement for cellular network equipment. Maybe hotel guests were complaining as they parked their automobiles that their mobile calls were being dropped. This situation represents an addition of a cellular site to the built environment, plugged in as an opportunity to further develop the pervasive connectivity users have grown to expect, without any direct modification of the building's architecture itself. I expect sightings of equipment plug-ins like this will continue as more established rooftop locations are exhausted. Urban responses to network culture's needs for always-on connectivity have impacted the built environment very little compared to the urbanism of earlier eras. In the twentieth century, tall office buildings were enabled in part by telephone systems connecting the different floors;  will wireless, mobile communication lead to the development of new types of buildings, or just more creative re-use of existing structures, as evidenced by what the Crowne Plaza Hotel has done on their parking garage? 

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