In 2006, Comporium received a call from the project manager of 3D Systems asking to improve the wireless signal at the newly constructed facility located at the intersection of Dave Lyle Boulevard and Waterford Parkway. 3D Systems was scheduled to move into the facility within 4 weeks and it was imperative to their business operation for the area to have adequate wireless coverage.
During this time, Comporium was in the process of building out the wireless network. This Waterford Park area of Rock Hill had little to no coverage regardless of the wireless carrier. Typically, it takes 6 to 18 months to launch a wireless cell site, however, 3D needed coverage within 4 weeks. Engineering, Wireless Planning & Development (WP&D), and Rock Hill Plant collaborated to formulate a plan that needed to be executed almost perfectly. Engineering started the process to have a Cell on Wheels (COW) designed and constructed in a remote location and shipped to Rock Hill. This process took two weeks which left only two weeks for construction, implementation and launch of the cell site. When the COW arrived in Rock Hill so did the rain, but Rock Hill Plant personnel worked in muddy conditions to clear a 100’ road in the middle of thick brush and woods. After using a backhoe to pull the COW through the newly cleared and muddy terrain, the team was able to anchor the COW at the top of a 50’ hill. Crews worked tirelessly to lay cable underneath Waterford Parkway road and eventually terminated it at the top of the 50’ hill. While Engineering was working on the provisioning to launch the site, the wireless techs were hard at work installing the radio equipment, antennas and cables on the COW in preparation for the on-air date. These steps alone usually take a few months to complete. Within one day of the deadline, the team was able to launch the wireless site. The activation timeline for this site was much faster than any other site in Comporium Wireless’ history.
As we reflect on memories within the past 125 years, we remember the Wireless Techs: Eddie Hinson, Scott Norville and Bruce Winn; Rock Hill Plant: Jeremy Beard, Tim Bennett, John Collins, Charles McMullen and Bob Phillips; Engineering: Rodger Culbreath and Judson Davis and those in management: Mike Deller, Joe McDaniel, Roger Parker and Stephen Morris for making a task that seemed impossible a reality. The amount of teamwork and determination displayed during this project is one for the ages.