PHOTOS - 5G cell towers at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort

Feb 11, 2021 in "Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa"

5G cell towers at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort
Posted: Thursday February 11, 2021 11:55am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Walt Disney World's cellular infrastructure is being updated with the addition of high-speed 5G cellular towers throughout the property.

We previously looked at EPCOT resort area hotels where there are currently three towers along the promenade outside the Yacht and Beach Club. At the Grand Floridian, there is a tower by each pool, and one near to the quick service outdoor patio.

5G service typically requires more of a line of sight from device to a tower, which is why we are seeing lots of towers in a relatively small area. Unlike more traditional towers, these are much smaller at around 25ft tall.

It isn't clear yet which carriers will be delivering 5G service at Walt Disney World. Disney has previously partnered with AT&T and Verizon for cellular services, so it would seem likely it would be at least one of those providers.

5G service aims to deliver significantly higher data transfer speeds compared to existing 4G LTE, and in many cases higher performance than many home broadband connections.

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GimpYancIentFeb 17, 2021

Wonderful, very interesting, excellent detail, but, one small thing. The consumers that spend a lot of time and money on and with their personal electronic devices just want them to work. If there are issues, hey!, that's where knowledgeable people (such as your self) get contacted to solve the issues.

BrianFeb 17, 2021

That's what they want you to think.

MagicWDIFeb 16, 2021

We need to keep in mind 5G NR (new radio) is not a frequency or limited to any one frequency. 5G NR is the next generation technology language which is used to send higher amounts of data and creating much more bandwidth along the same frequencies already being broadcast, as well as new frequencies. So rather than adding more lanes to the freeway, just make the cars much much smaller. Now you can fit many more cars on the road. This of course is an overly simplified analogy. 5G NR can be used on any frequency band, just like 4G LTE. the interesting things about these new towers going up is that they are broadcasting millimeter wave (mmWave) frequencies. The higher the frequency, the faster the data. Super fast! However with every pro comes a con. Higher frequencies are subject to more interference. In this case mmWave signals have a hard time passing through many objects, including glass and even your own hand can slow the signal down. It pretty much needs line of sight. Higher frequencies also do not travel very far, hence the need for many of these towers. MmWave 5G NR will be best used in highly congested areas where large amounts of people gather, such as festivals or sporting events, or in this case theme parks. But once you go inside a building you may lose the mmWave signal and have to revert back to a lower frequency signal which don't have as quick speeds (which will still be much faster than 4G LTE). Real world speeds on mmWave can reach well over 1Gbps. This is super fact and pretty much pointless to the average person, unless you want to download a movie to your phone or a Spotify playlist in a few seconds. However, this will be very beneficial for capacity reasons. Slow everyone down to lower than 200Mbps and you can have everyone feel the need for speed all together, still faster than most public wifi hotspots! The days of having full bars but still very slow speeds may be over with 5G mmWave (if it's working properly). 5G NR is also being broadcast on mid and lower band frequencies across the nation. Lower frequencies have the advantage of being able to travel long distances from the tower and have higher building penetration capabilities. However, with that pro comes the con of not being as fast. Mid-band frequencies have a nice balance of both worlds. Most 4G LTE bands are mid-band and are what we are most using now for our day-to-day. Mid-band 5G NR speeds are still fast, pushing well over 500Mbps on decent days, and 5G NR on lower bands can bobble on the lower end, feeling more like good 4G LTE on mid-bands.

plutofan15Feb 15, 2021

Which company do you work for? I spent 17 years as a performance engineer before getting laid off/retired. Amazing the amount of incorrect rumors out there. Feel free to message me if you don't want to mention your employer on a public forum. Stay safe.

MisterPenguinFeb 14, 2021

GringrinngghostFeb 14, 2021

I would tell you what the wavelength of pink does to me, but alas it's not an actual wavelength.

maxairmikeFeb 14, 2021

Do you also have a blue house, a blue Corvette, and everything is blue...'cause you ain't got nobody to listen?

Bullseye1967Feb 14, 2021

There is also conflicting stories all over the internet on whether the world is flat, or if we really landed on the moon. Just because someone posts some really out there view or ten people post it does not make it a fact or true.

MisterPenguinFeb 14, 2021

I know I definitely am affected by EM waves in the 470 nanometer range. They make me feel blue.

GimpYancIentFeb 14, 2021

The public cares if their personal electronic devices work, period. 4G, 5G, Russians, Chinese etc. none of it is on the mind of the consumer (guest) or CM at WDW so long as their devices work. The towers / antennas or what term is used can be painted / camouflaged so as not to be readily visible and distracting. There is so much conflicting data and information out there about health issues with transmitters, antennas and devices that it has just become meaningless noise to most people.

OrlandoRisingFeb 14, 2021

Yikes. This board really has a problem with health misinformation in the past year. Since addressing that is my day job, I'll jump in. The International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), an independent watchdog group that assesses the safety of technology like cell phone networks, found in a March 2020 report that there is no evidence of health risks with 5G. While 5G can operate at slightly higher frequencies on the radio wave spectrum than 4G cell phones, they're still well within existing safety standards that have governed cell phone tech for decades. Notice how your video relies on reporting from the TV station RT? That station is owned by the Russian government and controlled by Vladimir Putin. RT's negative reporting on 5G -- and spreading false claims about fictional health hazards -- are part of a Russian disinformation campaign to discredit 5G because the country is behind China and the U.S. in 5G tech.

lazyboy97oFeb 11, 2021

But like so many other outside parties with visible stuff at Walt Disney World, Disney could have held them to aesthetic standards. Even Shades of Green has to get Disney’s approval for exterior changes.

SpectroMagicianFeb 11, 2021

They normally put them on lamp posts in cities. Weird they are not trying to make them blend in more in Disney. The owners (likely Crown Castle or American Tower) wanted to be able to service it easily without needing to work with Disney would be my guess.

donsullivanFeb 11, 2021

Makes sense given they are pretty much the biggest player in that space. Not everyone realizes that in most cases the carriers don’t own the towers any more. Most of them got out of that business many years ago. They are owned by large companies like Crown Castle who build and managed them, and then lease capacity/space on them to the carriers.