The vast majority of University of Michigan faculty, staff and students use one or more cellular devices on campus. The demand for and use of mobile devices continues to increase.
Note that while U-M will assist cellular carriers in providing service by providing access to U-M property, ultimately the carriers provide the cellular service—not U-M. This web site provides information about cellular projects and products that may be of interest to U-M faculty, staff and students, as well as links to information provided by commercial carriers.
U-M continues to work with and actively encourage cellular carriers to invest in and improve coverage within U-M campus buildings as quickly as possible. The infrastructure required by each cellular carrier is unique and benefits that carrier. Each carrier has acquired and paid for unique licensed spectrum from the FCC. This spectrum works with their infrastructure and the cell phones they sell.
U-M is providing access to space in campus buildings for carrier equipment as well as access to the university's fiber network. U-M expects the cellular carriers to fund the balance of the infrastructure. Investments are being made by the carriers, but not at the preferred pace.
Carriers have demonstrated more interest in exterior antenna investments. Service has improved in the areas where exterior nodes/antennas have been constructed and put into operation. A cellular "node" is a device that is able to attach multiple nearby antennas. Verizon and AT&T are both using different designs.
Verizon has installed over 45 small cell Distributed Antenna System (DAS) nodes on campus.. These nodes have a relatively smaller coverage area but in aggregate provide relatively more capacity.
AT&T has installed one macrocell on the rooftop of University Hospital, as well as a macrocell at Michigan Stadium. A macrocell covers a relatively larger area. AT&T has also expressed interest in installing a macrocell on the EECS rooftop but there is no contract in place for it.
Verizon and AT&T have both provided upgrades to cellular coverage at Michigan Stadium, which have resulted in significant improvement to service at the stadium. Both carriers are expected to make further improvements in the future.