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New Jersey tower tech’s monopole fall in Georgia is industry’s second fatality in 2019

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A 29-year-old tower technician, Devon Collins, died Thursday, March 21, 2019, in Norcross, Ga. when he fell from a Crown Castle monopole. He was reportedly transitioning from a crane’s man basket when he slipped and fell from the top of the tower at approximately 100 feet. His employer, Superior Broadband Towers LLC of Marietta, Ga. was reportedly hired to install a …

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Widening student cancer concerns appear to be based upon inaccurate cell site RF test results

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

When a fourth child was diagnosed with cancer at a San Joaquin County, Calif. elementary school earlier this year, parents championed the need to have a Sprint cell tower removed from the Weston Elementary school campus since it could be causing harm to students. The Ripon Unified School District (RUSD) sent out a letter to parents stating that the RF …

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Congressman Loebsack tours Crown Castle monopole site in Iowa

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA) today conducted a site visit to a communications tower located in Le Claire, Iowa. The tour was facilitated by representatives from the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), the Association’s Wireless Industry Network (WIN) and Crown Castle. The site visit was held at a Crown Castle-owned monopole cell tower site that is conveniently located in …

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NWSA announces 2019’s first Practical Examiner Accreditation workshop in Wisconsin

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) is encouraging industry employers, trainers and workers to register for the upcoming Telecommunications Tower Technician Practical Examiner Accreditation Program (PEAP) Workshop scheduled for April 23-25 in Mukwonago, Wisc. The workshop, the first offered by NWSA in 2019, will be hosted by ENSA North America. Registration is available here. NWSA-accredited Practical Examiners are NWSA-certified personnel …

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Christian radio station owner dies after fall from his Louisiana tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Sixty-two-year-old Barry McCall died Monday afternoon from injuries he received when he fell while working on his Christian radio station’s guyed tower in Lake Charles, La. McCall founded Eternal Life Broadcasting KELB 100.5 FM in 2013, according to FCC documents.  Their non-directional antenna structure for the non-commercial station is 89-feet above ground level. An electrician by trade, McCall would take …

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Texas tower designed for 90 mph wind speed toppled in a 54 mph gust

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

High winds early this morning caused the collapse of 300-foot self-supporting tower in northwest Abilene, Tex. Owned by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the structure is located at the Abilene District office at 45250 North Clack St. Crews discovered the downed tower this morning around 5 a.m, according to Cheryl Sawyers, spokeswoman for the TxDOT Abilene District. “We suspected …

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Three key leaders appointed to National Wireless Safety Alliance’s Board of Governors

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) has announced that Stephanie Brewer, Compliance Coordinator for MUTI-Sabre Industries Telecom Services, Neal Brown, Department Manager of Wireless Development at Pioneer Telephone Cooperative Inc. and Sonya Roshek, Vice President, Field Services for B+T Group have been appointed as new members of the Alliance’s Board of Governors. NWSA, headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, is a national …

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American Tower’s stock goes through the ceiling as Crown Castle and SBA reach record highs

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

American Tower Corp. (AMT) reached record high trades this morning of $187.80, shrugging off analyst Jim Cramer’s March 4 bearish outlook on the stock when it was $178.57. On March 11, ATC rewarded investors by hiking its dividend to 90 cents. Eight executives had planned stock sales on March 10 at a price of $181.61 per share, with the largest …

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T-Mobile’s filing disappears as FCC resets merger clock to review it

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: March 8, 2019 – The T-Mobile filing that caused the FCC to extend its time for the review of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger became publicly available again at approximately 3:00 p.m. today after visitors received a confusing ‘Access Denied” message for at least nine hours when clicking on news reports’ links as well as a link in a blog from T-Mobile CEO …

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Free Press: FCC broadband gains overstated leads Fast Forward Friday news

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Article Media Free Press: FCC broadband gains overstated B+C Huawei sues U.S. as ‘last resort’ to fight government ban UPI Was a cell tower illegally built in an Atlanta neighborhood AJC South Korea delays commercial 5G service over phone and carrier issues VB AT&T expects to hit second FirstNet buildout Milestone by year-end Missiona Critical Interoperability debate dominates carrier-selection panel …

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Tower tech suffering from hypothermia in Washington D.C. is rescued three hours later

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A tower tech was rescued in Washington D.C. off a 760-foot self-supporting tower by D.C. Fire personnel today after he contacted emergency services at 1:50 p.m., stating that he was hypothermic and couldn’t climb down from the 120’ level, which according to rescue videos was where a cell site sector was located. It took approximately three hours to rescue the …

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T-Mobile accusations rebutted as city leaders’ group joins anti-merger movement

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

T-Mobile has informed the FCC that the Rural Wireless Association (RWA) has been falsely accusing the carrier of falsifying its 4G coverage maps and is not following the procedures the FCC adopted for challenging areas ineligible for Mobility Fund Phase ll funding. In correspondence to the FCC, T-Mobile said that the RWA “did not follow the rules for submitting a challenge …

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Rescue crews still searching for victims following 23 tornado deaths

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Rescue crews are still searching this morning for victims underneath smashed homes, trees and other debris caused by a tornado that ripped through Alabama Sunday afternoon, overwhelming the Lee County coroner’s office. Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones says crews with dogs and drones have combed over the hardest-hit areas, but there are many other areas that they still have not …

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Blue sky wireless workforce shortage projections aren’t grounded with reliable data

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

No stranger to manlifts, climbing cell sites, and even ascending a 2,000-foot tower, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr joined a Vinculums crew on Wednesday to troubleshoot a cell site along a highway outside of San Jose, Calif. According to Carr, the problem turned out to be a bad connector on a sector’s transmission line. The Vinculums team, with Carr’s assistance, had it …

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Rime ice and 100-plus mph winds topple Franklin County Maine tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Winds in excess of 100 mph collapsed a 120-foot self-supporting tower on the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain in Franklin County, Maine Monday afternoon. Although the structure has survived similar or greater wind speeds on the 4,237-foot summit in the past, rime ice and possibly considerably higher winds toppled the structure. Although an anemometer identified that winds did peak at 100 …

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NATE to host inaugural member Congressional Fly-In event in the nation’s Capital

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today announced the key details associated with the inaugural NATE Member Congressional Fly-In Event in Washington, D.C. on May 14-15, 2019. The NATE Member Congressional Fly-In will be a time for representatives from NATE member companies across the country to converge in the Nation’s Capital. to conduct meetings with the congressional delegations and …

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FAA obstruction lighting letter sheds light on requirement for sole source replacement parts

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE February 25, 2019 —  An ambiguous July 27, 2018 FAA letter from Khalil E. Kodsi, Manager, Airport Engineering Division, that could be construed to imply that tower obstruction lighting systems could only use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) replacement parts created confusion and industry-wide concern as reported by Wireless Estimator, below. Addressing the matter seven months later, in a letter …

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Sprint’s 5G service to launch in May starting in Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and Kansas City

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Today at MWC Barcelona, Sprint announced that standards-based 5G is now on-air, with commercial service expected to launch starting in May. Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and Kansas City are expected to be among the first cities to offer commercial 5G service; with Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington D.C. also slated to launch in the first half of 2019. At launch, Sprint said its customers can expect mobile 5G coverage ranging …

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3,511 broadcast stations added in the past decade as AM continues its decline

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

According to the FCC’s most current broadcast stations statistics, the nation saw an addition of 3,511 broadcast stations added to its ranks during the past 10 years, with the total number of commercially licensed UHF stations seeing a gain of 210 as VHF commercial stations saw a loss of 215. In addition, there are 167 fewer AM radio stations, but FM stations …

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Two deals add 1,100 towers to Phoenix Tower International’s portfolio

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Boca Raton, Fla.-based Phoenix Tower International (PTI) announced that it has reached an agreement with Uniti Group to acquire the ownership rights relating to over 500 wireless communication tower sites located across Mexico, Colombia and Nicaragua. Terms of the transaction remain confidential between the parties. The amount of the sale was approximately $100 million. Speaking about the transaction, PTI CEO, …

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Women of NATE leaders featured in the latest FCC podcast

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

With the broadcast repack in full swing and the race to 5G heating up, tower work is essential to getting those efforts across the finish line. Demand for tower crews is sky high—whether it’s working a 50-foot cell tower or a 2,000-foot broadcast tower. And it’s easy to take for granted when our cell phones and televisions work, but it’s …

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Some DBI-SALA self-rescue devices have issues, 3M is requesting visual inspection

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

3M Fall Protection has identified a manufacturing issue within a limited number of 3M™ DBISALA® Self-Rescue devices manufactured prior to December 2018. There have been no reports of injuries or accidents associated with this issue. The fall-arrest performance of the Self Rescue is not affected by this issue but it may impact the self-rescue function of the unit. The manufacturing …

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Former broadband advisory head and Quintillion CEO, pleads guilty to bilking investors of $250 million

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Elizabeth Ann Pierce, the former CEO of telecommunications company Quintillion based in Anchorage, Alaska, and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s pick to head the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, pled guilty Monday in Manhattan federal court to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme to use forged guaranteed revenue contracts fraudulently to induce investors to pony up more …

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As the nation’s robo cops, the FCC moves forward with plans to end spoofed calls

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC today released an extensive report on the robocall problem in America, a key concern of consumers. “No consumer wants to be bombarded by spoofed robocalls—they’re a waste of time at best and a scam at worst,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.  “As this report makes clear, we’re steadfastly focused on addressing this serious problem. “There’s no easy or single answer, …

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Three industry leaders appointed to Tower Family Foundation positions to assist continued growth

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

 The Tower Family Foundation announced today three appointments to the non-profit organization’s leadership structure, individuals who are committed to ensuring that the Foundation continues to expand its ability to serve wireless workers and their families when there is a work site injury or fatality. A recent Climber Connection video highlights how an injured tower technician and his wife were overwhelmed by the Foundation’s assistance. …

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American Broadband Initiative report identifies 24 million without access, 80% in rural communities

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Expanding America’s broadband connectivity is critical to the nation’s economy, and a top priority for President Trump and the Department of Commerce. Yesterday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) joined with their partners in government to announce the publication of the American Broadband Initiative (ABI), a comprehensive effort to stimulate increased private sector investment in broadband. “NTIA is proud to share …

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ExteNet sues Crown and NY DOT over shot clock violation, wants Crown’s contract revoked

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In a be careful what you wish for reality incident, a subsidiary of Crown Castle is being sued for violating an FCC’s shot clock deadline as set forth by Congress in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, an action that carriers, Crown Castle and other vertical realtors petitioned the FCC to adopt. ExteNet Systems, Inc. filed its complaint on Monday against …

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All-time record attendance at NATE UNITE 2019 announced as Association ramps up for Raleigh

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) announced today that last week’s NATE UNITE 2019 Conference in Grapevine, Tex. reached record-setting heights. The Association announced that 2,059 individuals registered to attend the conference. This total eclipses the organization’s all-time conference registered attendee total in its 24-year history, exceeding the previous attendance record of 1,856 from NATE UNITE 2018 in Nashville, …

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Payment terms and the development of large contractors were hot NATE UNITE 2019 topics

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Two of the hottest topics at NATE UNITE 2019 in Grapevine, Tex. last week were contractor payment terms and the possibility that an upsurge in the establishment of large contractors could be injurious to the industry mainstay of smaller companies. Wireless Estimator’s recently published results of an extensive contractor survey, was frequently discussed amongst NATE’s members and the Association’s directors …

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FCC admits to and fixes ASR flaw that allowed 40-plus illegal tower ownership changes

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC will enact a new procedure for reporting tower ownership changes in their Antenna Structure Registration System (ASR) on Feb. 14, 2019 to reduce the risk of unauthorized changes being made. The new process was propelled after the FCC found, as reported exclusively by Wireless Estimator, that in early 2016, a Wisconsin wireless contractor discovered a flaw in the ASR …

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Industry giants CommScope and Ericsson capture FCC Commissioner Carr’s attention during Texas tours

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Before Commissioner Brendan Carr provided his Monday evening keynote address at the National Association of Tower Erectors’ annual convention, NATE UNITE 2019, in Grapevine, Tex., CommScope gave him a Cook’s tour of their sprawling 10-acre manufacturing facility in Euless where he learned from engineers, product executives and other company officials of their ability to provide vertically integrated wireless products from …

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NATE pays homage to Coleman and Moore for their many years of dedicated service

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

O’Brien, Aero and Ruedlinger awarded Chairman’s Coin; Tracy and Miller recognized for years of service on the NATE Board of Directors NATE honored Jim Coleman, National Tower Safety Manager at AT&T in Birmingham, Alabama and Pat Moore, Operations Team at Stainless in Cedar Park, Texas during the Awards Luncheon at NATE UNITE 2019 in Grapevine, Texas on Wednesday. FCC Chairman …

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FCC Chief champions the need for the industry to build out 5G, complete repack

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gave a keynote speech yesterday afternoon to a packed room of attendees at the National Association of Tower Erectors annual convention, NATE UNITE 2019 in Grapevine, Tex. The Chairman’s remarks were: It’s great to be with you this afternoon.  And it’s great to be at the massive Gaylord Hotel.  I guess you have to go big to …

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NATE TFF video tugs at the heart strings as Willie Robertson provides comic relief

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

NATE UNITE 2019’s Keynote luncheon yesterday in Grapevine, Tex. began with a heart-warming Climber Connection video, entitled “Tower Family Foundation: A Helping Hand” that highlighted the incredible impact the foundation plays in providing financial resources and scholarships to industry workers and families in the aftermath of a work-related accident or fatality. It presented the touching personal story of how the …

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Commissioner Carr ‘preaches to the choir’ at NATE UNITE 2019 keynote address

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

During his keynote address about 5G at NATE UNITE 2019, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said he felt like he was “preaching to the choir” since no group knows more about those topics than the National Association of Tower Erectors. “The work that tower crews do every day — from building new cell sites to maintaining 2,000 foot towers — is not easy. And that’s particularly true …

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NATE’s new Chairman has a vested interest in ensuring that women also succeed in contracting

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) Board of Directors today elected Jimmy Miller of MillerCo, Inc. in Gulfport, Miss. to lead the association as its Chairman. Also elected to leadership roles were Vice-Chairman, John Paul Jones of Tower & Turbine and  Secretary/Treasurer Kevin Dougherty, of Millennia Contracting, Inc. Miller has been active in NATE as a voting member for …

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Miller, Jones and Dougherty elected to lead NATE’s Board of Directors

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) announced today that Board of Directors’ members Jimmy Miller, John Paul (JP) Jones and Kevin Dougherty were elected to serve on the Association’s Executive Committee for the upcoming year. The Association made the announcement on the first day of the NATE UNITE 2019 Conference and Trade Show in Grapevine, Tex. Jimmy Miller, President and …

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Contractor survey uncovers some startling financial statistics that could trigger a 5G train wreck

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In their drive to lower capex as they roll out 5G, carriers have created a troubling national Achille’s heel – a contractor base that has many companies swimming in debt with serious cash flow problems, according to results of an extensive nationwide survey taken by Wireless Estimator. The wireless contractor survey that was completed last quarter by 263 vetted companies, clearly indicates that …

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Comments on contractor roadblocks set up by carriers that will derail America’s 5G race

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Deeply concerned about the unsustainable state of wireless contracting, company executives provided 328 optional comments in Wireless Estimator’s extensive survey that was unveiled today. Armed with anonymity, it’s not possible to verify the accuracy of their statements. But it’s clear that their comments, in most cases, were well-thought-out summaries of the difficulties they are facing as carrier capex cuts, extended …

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Carriers either ignore or are unaware of contractors’ higher than average truck roll expenses

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Wireless contractors can’t be profitable with the hourly rates set by carriers and turfing contractors in many markets or the rates that they have to use to successfully win a bid, according to company executives who registered their concerns in an extensive nation-wide survey taken by Wireless Estimator that will be released this week. “They treat us like we’re a …

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High climbing tower techs bear the brunt of Artic blasts

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A Georgia tower tech might be cursing the bone-chilling 26° temperature he’s working in this morning in Atlanta. At the same time, a Fargo, ND tower climber might be pleased with this morning’s  weather report of -19° for most of the day in an environment that can see extreme cold temperatures of -70° as it was earlier this morning in Grand Fork. …

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NWSA launches Tower Foreman and Antenna & Line Specialty certification programs

In Featured News, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

New nationwide portable certification programs provide career progression pathways for industry workers The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) announced today the official launch of the Telecommunications Tower Foreman and Antenna & Line Specialty Certification programs. These programs were developed by the NWSA’s Foreman and Antenna & Line Specialty Task Force that is comprised of subject matter experts from all aspects …

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Services set for Feb. 2, 2019 for American Tower founder Steven Dodge

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: January 28, 2019 – Services have been announced for American Tower founder Steven Dodge who passed away Jan. 17, 2019 following a bicycle accident. Dodge is survived by wife of 44 years Anne Dodge (Bonita Springs, FL), sons Tom Dodge (Manchester, MA), Ben Dodge (Cohasset, MA), daughter Kristen Dodge (Kinderhook, NY), five grandchildren, and brothers Lowell Dodge (Boulder, CO), …

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Night climbing requirements could be “putting profits ahead of tower technicians’ lives”

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

“It’s obvious, carriers are simply putting profits ahead of tower technicians’ lives,” said a Texas-based contractor’s safety manager last week, deploring requirements by some carriers to perform maintenance work during nighttime hours to keep subscriber service interruptions at a minimum. He was one of many company owners and safety professionals Wireless Estimator spoke with after there was a groundswell of concern following …

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AT&T lays out its strategy for 5G for America’s 15 million businesses

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Businesses are leading the 5G revolution, and AT&T is going to give its business customers a full 5G toolbox. They state that they are the first carrier to publicly lay out what they’re making available to help businesses get the most out of this technology. America’s 15 million businesses increasingly look to technology to drive outcomes, but their needs range drastically …

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Tower technician dies during a South Dakota nighttime climb

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: January 18, 2019 – According to two individuals that are familiar with Andrew Psomas’ fall from a tower on Jan. 10 that took his life, the three-man tower crew he was assigned to was performing tiger team warranty work for AT&T on the 190-foot self-supporting tower. Psomas was reportedly at the 150-foot level when he fell. It is not …

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FCC Chairman Pai and Commissioner Carr to deliver keynote addresses at NATE UNITE 2019

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) announced today that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr are confirmed to deliver keynote addresses at the NATE UNITE 2019 Conference in Grapevine, Tex. taking place Feb. 4-7, 2019 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center. The event is widely regarded as the premier and most comprehensive educational event and …

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‘Disruptive’ Vertical Bridge celebrates tremendous growth with 266,000 sites in just four years

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Vertical Bridge Holdings, LLC, the largest private owner and operator of communications infrastructure in the United States, today announced that it has grown its portfolio to 266,000 owned, master-leased and right-to-master sites. The company, which is entering its fifth year of operations, also announced that it has built more than 500 macro towers for U.S. telecommunications carriers to date, with …

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FCC given green light to start enforcing its new small cell regs on Monday

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

At the eleventh hour, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit yesterday denied a motion to stay the enforcement of the FCC’s September 27, 2018 Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order led by FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr. The new federal siting rules for small cells became effective Jan. 14, 2019, according to the order. A group of cities led by …

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Fraudulent PPE check scam is targeting the nation’s wireless construction workers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A tag-team of con artists representing that they are HR generalists from a Texas-based leading installation contractor, have been targeting job seekers for at least two months with a scam cloaked with a degree of believability because of their industry knowledge and their employment of a new twist as to why they’re willing to send the applicant a check for …

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World’s first 5G data call using 2.5 GHz and Massive MIMO made by Sprint in San Diego

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Sprint has announced it has reached a significant milestone on its path towards launching mobile 5G service beginning in the first half of this year. Together with Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, the companies this week completed the world’s first over-the-air 5G data transmission using 2.5 GHz and Massive MIMO on Sprint’s live commercial network, …

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AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint seek to make amends over location breach leads Fast Forward Friday

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Article Media AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint seek to make amends over location breach Fierce Wireless Telecom Tech Companies: Shutdown threatens 5G rollout B+C Construction of Verizon cell tower causing angst in Colorado Gunnison Country Times Crown Castle emails contradict former Palo Alto IT chief’s small cell involvement Daily Post Testing Times Square on its busiest night RCR Wireless News Pumping up …

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NATE announces free 2019 Advanced Rigging Principles Training dates and locations

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) has announded the dates and locations for the 2019 Advanced Rigging Principles Training sessions. Twelve (Advanced Rigging Principles Courses will be hosted nationwide in 2019 and will be offered free of charge to industry employees and employers due to a Susan Harwood Training Grant (SH-05018-SH8) from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. …

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FCC commish concerned about the possibility of Trump taking over the airwaves

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In a Tweet yesterday, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said it’s time to survey the nation’s laws and consider what happens with a declaration of a national emergency as President Trump has threatened to do to build his southern border wall which Rosenworcel’s fellow Democrats are blocking. She said in the War Powers of President code, it allows the President to …

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Broadband provider is suing the DOJ and FCC for foreclosure action from prison and wants $50+ million for slander

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC on Thursday reaffirmed its earlier decision that Hawaii-based Sandwich Isles Communications (SIC) knowingly defrauded the Universal Service Fund (USF) of more than $27 million for reimbursements it was not entitled to receive. In its order for reconsideration, the FCC said between 2002 and 2015, the USF provided nearly $250 million of funds to SIC to provide service to …

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Exclusive interview with FCC Commissioner Carr addresses industry issues and our 5G future

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Wireless Estimator Publisher Craig Lekutis and National Association of Tower Erectors Executive Director Todd Schlekeway recently conducted an exclusive interview with FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr in late December. In this extensive feature article, Commissioner Carr discusses the FCC’s role in paving the way for a 5G future, the nation’s networks’ resiliency, and restoration lessons learned, the importance of industry workforce development initiatives …

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Schlekeway and Nurnberg sign long-term extensions as NATE moves through 5G and beyond

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Todd Schlekeway, Executive Director and Paula Nurnberg, Chief Operating Officer of the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), have agreed to multi-year contract extensions that will keep them directing NATE, the nation’s leading grassroots communications infrastructure organization. “The wireless industry is extremely fortunate to have Todd and Paula directing the management of our organization,” said Jim Tracy, NATE Chairman and …

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FCC returns to full five members as the Senate confirms Carr and Starks

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Senate late yesterday evening in a voice vote confirmed Geoffrey Starks as an FCC Commissioner to the open seat left by former Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and Commissioner Brendan Carr for a full five-year term. Carr and Starks had been previously approved by the Senate Commerce Committee, and their swearing in is expected shortly. Both will be paid during the …

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Most of the FCC’s operations will be shuttered tomorrow if government shutdown drags on

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The partial government shutdown will hit the FCC on Thursday at mid-day when approximately 1,197 workers will be furloughed until further notice if the partial government shutdown isn’t resolved by today. President Trump is expected to meet with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders at the White House this afternoon to try to break the deadlock, but a successful outcome is …

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MTA skirts zoning rules, but after Tarrytown dressing down removes its 150-foot monopole

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A 150-foot monopole erected in September in Tarrytown, N.Y. enjoyed a scenic view of the eastern bank of the Hudson River, but was retired the weekend before Christmas to a flatbed truck in search of a new home. The tower was constructed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) because the Metro-North Police needed it to improved emergency communications. However, the …

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CenturyLink fixes outages, but not outrages from the FCC and state regulators

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Last Thursday CenturyLink, the nation’s third largest telecommunications company, announced that it was experiencing phone and internet services technical difficulties, and expected that the disruptions would be fixed in four hours. However, it wasn’t until Friday morning that most outages were resolved and the FCC, prompted by Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, has launched an investigation of CenturyLink to identify the problem …

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T-Mobile says they didn’t lie about their 4G LTE coverage, and possibly underestimated it

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

T-Mobile has emphatically denied an allegation by the Rural Wireless Association (RWA) in an FCC filing on Dec. 10, 2018 that it lied about the extent of its 4G LTE coverage. RWA said they were concerned about overstated coverage by Verizon and T-Mobile that have been borne out by challenge process data. “The vast majority of test points showed non-qualifying …

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Wireless contractor’s required Job Hazard Analysis is front and center with NATE’s newest informative video

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) has unveiled their newest video entitled “Job Hazard Analysis: Reducing Your Risk” that highlights the important elements of conducting a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) at a communications tower or any other infrastructure site. The Association is taking an active role in promoting the need for a JHA, an endeavor that Wireless Estimator has been assisting the industry with …

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AT&T issues its annual colo-pricing storm warning to the nation’s tower owners

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In 2016, Bill Hogg, AT&T’s president of technology operations, made the clarion call to towercos that they must lower their lease rates because their model is “not really sustainable”. Last November, Susan Johnson, SVP of Global Supply Chain, AT&T in announcing an agreement with Tillman Infrastructure to build affordable sites that could be shared by AT&T and Verizon to pressure …

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FCC Commissioner Carr and enforcement chief Starks’ limbo status could be decided within days

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: December 14, 2018 – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has put a hold on FCC nominee Brendan Carr’s confirmation to a five-year term. Last week, the FCC announced that they were indefinitely pausing the release of $4.5 billion through Mobility Fund Phase II. “If the Chairman feels he needs to put the brakes on this program at this stage …

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Deaths, cancer concerns attributed to AT&T cell site are unfounded leads Fast-Forward-Friday

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

  Article Media Deaths, cancer concerns attributed to AT&T cell site are unfounded Sonoma West Times FCC committtee proposes tax on websites to pay for rural broadband ARS Technica CWA, Dish, NTCA, part of new colaition opposing Sprint/T-Mobile Deal ECN AT&T: Ten predictions for the next 25 year WIA Verizon to buy out more than 10,000 employees, take a $4.6B …

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FCC green lights a 5G high-band millimeter wave spectrum auction for 2019

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC today took a significant step at its open meeting toward holding a major 5G spectrum auction in 2019 by adopting new rules that will promote the availability of high-band millimeter wave spectrum for the next generation of wireless connectivity. The airwaves in the combined Upper 37 GHz and 39 GHz bands are the largest amount of contiguous spectrum …

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‘Early warning signs’ point to tower crew shortages delaying next nine repack phases

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Since 2015, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has been informing the FCC that a shortage of qualified tower crews and other concerns will prevent many broadcasters from meeting the ambitious repack window. They were correct, according to Curtis LeGeyt, NAB Executive V.P. of Government Relations, who testified during a House Communications and Technology hearing yesterday. He said, “early warning signs …

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Carriers weigh in on using ‘fatally flawed’ coverage maps for dishing out universal service funds

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) has joined the chorus of concern as to the possibility that some wireless carriers falsely reported information about their coverage areas to the FCC, therefore violating mapping rules pertaining to the Mobility Fund Phase ll reverse auction, as reported by Wireless Estimator. CCA Sr. V.P. Tim Donovan testified during a House Communications and Technology hearing …

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Want to ban us from using Huawei or ZTE network equipment FCC, then pay our carriers: RWA

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The U.S., including its allies such as the U.K, New Zealand, Australia, and Japan, appear to be championing the need to shut out Chinese tech giant Huawei’s networks due to national security concerns. Also, based upon security issues, Japan is also considering banning ZTE network equipment for government offices and its military forces, according to numerous news reports. However, the …

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Drouin, Mallon and Young elected to serve on NATE Board for first time, Scott re-elected

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today released the official results of the 2019 Board of Directors election with Randy Scott, President of Texoma Contracting, Inc. in Muskogee, Okla. being re-elected, and Victor Drouin, President of Green Mountain Communications, Inc. in Pembroke, N.H.; Chris Mallon, President of Tower MRL, Inc. in Sun Prairie, Wisc.; and Michael Young, Chief Operating Officer at Sioux Falls …

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Motorola wins bid to send Hytera’s monopoly lawsuit to its backyard

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI) has won its bid to transfer from New Jersey to Illinois a federal antitrust lawsuit by Hytera Communications Corp. alleging the company of unlawfully monopolizing the land- mobile-radio market, with a U.S. District Court New Jersey judge finding that the claims would be better-served being tried in the Prairie State. MSI had asked the court to …

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FCC investigating whether there were any Pinocchio presentations in carrier coverage maps

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC has opened an investigation into whether some wireless carriers falsely reported information about the coverage areas to the agency, therefore violating mapping rules pertaining to the Mobility Fund Phase ll reverse auction. In halting the $5.4 billion program, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, said in a statement, “My top priority is bridging the digital divide and ensuring that Americans …

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Bush 41 hit a communications tower and ‘hit the silk’, helping to save other lives during WWll

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

As the nation pays tribute to the 2,335 non-combatant servicemen killed during the Pearl Harbor attack 77 years ago today, it continues to grieve over the death of former President George H.W. Bush who was buried yesterday in Texas after a 70-mile train ride to his presidential library and museum. Bush, who leaves a kinder, gentler political legacy, also leaves …

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The first ‘real world’ 5G test was a dud leads 19 Fast-Forward Friday articles

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Fast-Forward Friday is Wireless Estimator’s latest news offering that provides an overview of relevant industry news stories presented during the week by other media that were not covered by our staff, along with a link to the article to go upstream and read it in its entirety. After all, the articles’ authors did all the heavy lifting, and capsuling their content and …

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Towerco stocks on a roller coaster as Canada arrests Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou for extradiction to U.S.

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

News of the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada sent the Dow plummeting as much as 785 points today before the index staged a huge comeback and was just down 78 points at closing. However, some analysts believe it was also fueled by a looming trade war with China. Meng faces extradition to the United States. Towerco stocks tanked …

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Execs inform the FCC of women’s key roles in wireless infrastructure’s success, opportunities

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Women of NATE (WON) representatives recently met with FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr and FCC Policy Advisor Evan Swartztrauber at the FCC Headquarters in Washington, DC to exchange views on key industry topics. Commissioner Carr visited with members of WON, Andy Lee, Vice President of Operations, Lee Antenna & Line Service, Inc.;  Miranda Allen, CEO, Radiofrequency Safety International; Shama Ray, CEO …

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FirstNet hits one-third completion mark, AT&T’s network capacity to grow by 50% in 2019

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

According to AT&T CEO Randolph Stephenson at a UBS Communications Conference yesterday, the carrier is six months ahead of its contracted FirstNet deployment schedule, and the public-safety initiative will result in increasing the capacity of its network by 50% by the end of 2019. “We made a full-court press to pursue the FirstNet bid and win it. And there were …

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Mayor and FCC commish could be rumbling if Ninth Circuit gets broadband rule petition

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The City of San Jose, Calif. joined by cities and municipalities within the state as well as in Washington state, Nevada, Oregon and Arizona, have filed a petition in the Tenth Circuit to move their petition to review court case over the FCC’s September ruling to deregulate small cell deployment, from Denver to San Francisco’s Ninth Circuit known for interpreting …

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A dozen tall towers come with Nexstar Media’s acquisition of Tribune Media for $6.4 billion

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

  Nexstar Media Group, Inc. and Tribune Media Company announced today that they have entered into a merger agreement whereby Nexstar will acquire all outstanding shares of Tribune Media for $46.50 per share in a cash transaction that is valued at $6.4 billion including the assumption of Tribune Media’s outstanding debt. The proposed transaction will combine two leading local media …

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CTI Towers’ employees give generously to support tower workers in need

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Tower Family Foundation was the recipient today of a $13,000 donation raised by the employees of CTI Towers. October was designated as “Charity Month” at CTI, where employees were able to donate personal funds to the Cary, N.C. company’s designated charity for 2018. “We are always amazed at the kindness of our employees to assist those in need. They …

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Shocking tower collapse video shows an erector just two seconds away from death

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Missouri State University (MSU) has released surveillance videos of the horrific 1,891-foot-tall guyed tower collapse that occurred in Fordland, Mo. on April 19, 2018 that killed a 56-year-old owner of a Washington state tall tower erection company. OSHA’s report, stating that both the managing consultant and the tower contractor were both at fault for the collapse, is available here. The …

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Contractor and consultant share blame in deadly 1,891-foot tower collapse: OSHA

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a report detailing that an April 2018 tower collapse that killed Steve Lemay, 56, resulted due to design and construction failings by the managing consultant, Tower Consultants, Inc. (TCI) and the contractor, Steven Lemay LLC. The 1891-foot-tall guyed tower in Fordland, Mo. is owned by Missouri State University (MSU) and was …

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Fewer contractors entering wireless construction as requirements increase and profits head south

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A Wireless Estimator survey recently completed by 263 wireless infrastructure contractors has provided a wealth of information regarding carrier payment terms and other industry concerns that will be detailed in additional reports next month. However, the first evident troubling or possibly beneficial data unveiled is that new contractors are not entering the business as they did four years ago when …

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Turn this T-Day into a Happy V-Day

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

For more than 14 years, Wireless Estimator has been privileged to reach your computer screen or smartphone every day. For that, we are thankful. More importantly, we are thankful to those men and women who don’t look for thanks – our country’s volunteers, the spirited folks that genuinely make this industry great. Unfortunately, trying to recognize every one of them and …

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FCC wants the public to hit them with Hurricane Michael feedback, Rosenworcel wants action

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC is requesting public participation on Hurricane Michael preparation and recovery efforts by Dec. 17, 2018 it announced in a public notice. The review has been opened by the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau that “now seeks public comment to better inform its understanding and awareness of stakeholders’ readiness preparation, and response with respect to Hurricane Michael.” A …

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U.S. patent application pushes credibility of Swiss Army knife cell tower drones

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Commentary – Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are assisting the wireless infrastructure industry with great tower mapping, 3D modeling, close-out documentation and other capabilities that have proven in some cases to be more accurate and safer for the workforce. However, a recent patent application for a UAV is so technologically advanced that the applicant’s inventors will inevitably displace tower techs that …

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County to sue FCC over RF emission standards for small cell antennas

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Fast-Forward Friday is Wireless Estimator’s latest news offering that provides an overview of relevant industry news stories presented during the week by other media that were not covered by our staff, along with a link to the article to go upstream and read it in its entirety. After all, the articles’ authors did all the heavy lifting, and capsuling their content and …

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Mobile infrastructure industry pioneers honored at WIA Hall of Fame ceremony

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Five titans of technology were honored last night in Washington by the Wireless Infrastructure Association during its inaugural Mobile Infrastructure Industry Hall of Fame ceremony. The ceremony honored trailblazers who have shaped the wireless infrastructure landscape. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai delivered opening remarks. The five inductees were Neville R. Ray, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of T-Mobile; Steven E. Bernstein, founder …

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T-Mobile asking for ruling as to the legality of an additional insured certificate

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In a Nov. 9, 2018 filing, the Ninth Circuit has asked Washington state’s Supreme Court to consider whether an insurer must cover a carrier’s costs in a lawsuit alleging its subcontractor’s rooftop antenna installation caused damage to an apartment building in the Bronx, N.Y., stating that Washington state law is uncertain on a critical issue in the case. The Ninth …

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Despite sky-high expectations, wireless capex shows signs of sluggishness

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Fast-Forward Friday is Wireless Estimator’s latest news offering that provides an overview of relevant industry news stories presented during the week by other media that were not covered by our staff, along with a link to the article to go upstream and read it in its entirety. After all, the articles’ authors did all the heavy lifting, and capsuling their content and …

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Split House and Senate bodes well for NATE’s wireless industry lobbying efforts

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Wall Street’s bulls were cheering midterm election results yesterday that saw Democrats on Tuesday take control of the House and Republicans hold control of the Senate, delivering a split Congress and prospects for legislative gridlock over the remaining two years of President Trump’s term. Today, enthusiasm was a little subdued and the market remained flat, although the communications sector was …

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OSHA construction chief and friend of the industry Dean McKenzie passes at age 62

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

OSHA Directorate of Construction Dean A. McKenzie,62, passed away Nov. 4, 2018, in Maryland after a year-long battle with cancer. McKenzie, who assisted the wireless construction industry in many of its efforts, including federal safety workshops, was instrumental in seeing if there could be an industry balance with the possibility of a new wireless construction regulation that would encompass current …

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Mount failure being investigated in accident that killed a New Mexico tower technician

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A 28-year-old tower technician was killed Friday afternoon in an industry accident that occurred off of NM 14 northeast of Albuquerque, N.M. According to sources knowledgeable of the incident, David Fernandez of Las Cruces, N.M., employed by Enertech of New Braunfels, Tex., was performing a Sprint antenna change-out on a water tower in an all-terrain man lift when he fell …

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Concrete seen as a culprit in Corning’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium DAS design failure in IBM lawsuit

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Successfully teaming with Corning Optical Communications Wireless, Inc. to build a strong fiber-based WiFi and DAS network for Texas A&M’s Kyle Field in 2015, IBM again partnered with Corning to provide a DAS and WiFi system in the new 71,000-seat Atlanta Falcons Mercedes-Benz Stadium that opened Aug. 26, 2017. But the short-lived relationship began to unravel following the inking of a …

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T-Mobile/Sprint merger would cause substantial harm to nation’s workforce: CWA

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has again reached out to the FCC, blasting the proposed $26 billion acquisition of Sprint by T-Mobile, alleging that the carriers’ claims that the merger would provide “robust competition to the 5G era” is a red herring and it will likely result in pink slips for 30,000 jobs across the nation. Last August, the …

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Tata exits 30,000 American Tower leases for a payment of $320 million

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Tata Teleservices is settling with American Tower for $320 million following its early exit from 30,000 tower leases in India after it sold its mobility business to Bharti Airtel. The sale paves the way for the Tata group to close its agreement with Bharti Airtel which required that the conglomerate would need to clear all liabilities from earlier agreements. The telco entered …

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Fed’s findings could stymie new OSHA tower rule and lead to adoption of A10.48 Standard

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

An extensive 266-page report from The Small Business Advocacy Review Panel (SBAR) regarding a possible new OSHA standard that would apply to all work activities performed on cell, broadcast and all other communications towers was released this week with 10 key recommendations (below) for OSHA to consider if they’re going to introduce a new industry safety rule. OSHA is required …

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Cumulus DC cluster evacuated over suspicious package leads Fast-Forward Friday articles

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Fast-Forward Friday is Wireless Estimator’s latest news offering that provides an overview of relevant industry news stories presented during the week by other media that were not covered by our staff, along with a link to the article to go upstream and read it in its entirety. After all, the articles’ authors did all the heavy lifting, and capsuling their content and …

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Carriers’ fuzzy Hurricane Michael outage math doesn’t add up

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai last week chided carriers for their slow progress in restoring wireless service in areas close to where Hurricane Michael made landfall. He called it “completely unacceptable.” Yesterday, he complimented broadcasters for their stellar job. “Another familiar aspect is local radio and TV broadcasters were unsung heroes in their first informer roles and in the aftermath,” Pai …

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FCC wants input on tower and other costs to be incurred by repacking

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC released their “catalog of potential expenses and estimated costs” yesterday for LPTV stations and TV translator facilities, and for FM radio stations, expected to be incurred as a result of broadcaster repacking, and is asking for public comments. “While we believe the catalog is relatively comprehensive, it does not cover every possible expense for every situation, nor is it …

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NATE UNITE 2019’s keynote luncheon address will feature Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) announced today that Willie Robertson will deliver the keynote address at the NATE UNITE 2019 Conference in Grapevine, Texas. The event will take place February 4-7, 2019 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center. NATE UNITE is widely regarded as the premier and most comprehensive education event in the wireless and broadcast …

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‘Hallelujah’ heard from Mexico Beach Mayor as Verizon service is restored on his phone

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Hard-hit by Hurricane Michael’s devastating winds and cut fiber lines, Bay County, Fla. saw little improvement yesterday in the number of cell sites that were down, going from 216 the day before to just 214, but this afternoon there was a marked improvement in service as the dominant carrier in Panama City and Mexico Beach, Verizon, brought service back to …

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Florida’s Governor calls out Verizon and AT&T’s poor service in hard-hit Bay County, Florida

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Florida Governor Rick Scott at a press conference yesterday regarding Hurricane Michael restoration efforts said, “One of the most frustrating problems is telecommunications.” “Now, after clearing the roads, communications are the first priority, and power. We have an unbelievable problem in Bay County — Verizon is down and AT&T is up, but the county services are on Verizon. In other …

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Hurricane Michael mauls cell service in three states after cutting through Georgia

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

When Hurricane Florence slammed into North Carolina on Sept. 17, it kayoed 718 cell sites, according to the FCC’s Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) which listed the counties that could suffer service interruption in four states. Hurricane Michael, the third-most powerful storm on record to hit the U.S., and the worst in 50 years, has almost doubled the number of …

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Motorola’s Florida half-billion dollar payday approval leads Fast-Forward Friday articles

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Fast-Forward Friday is Wireless Estimator’s latest news offering that provides an overview of relevant industry news stories presented during the week by other media that were not covered by our staff, along with a link to the article to go upstream and read it in its entirety. After all, the articles’ authors did all the heavy lifting, and capsuling their content and …

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Wireless infrastructure failed his city’s first responders: Panama City Beach Mayor

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Panama City Beach saw some catastrophic damage, and localized flooding and power outages, but faired considerably better than its sister community 15 miles east, Panama City, which also took a severe hit, and many locations look like a wasteland after Hurricane Michael, the third-most powerful storm on record to hit the U.S., and the worst in 50 years, devastated Florida …

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Whether Dish Network builds 50,000 towers or collocates, contractors will benefit

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Although media headlines state that Dish Network is considering building 50,000 towers throughout the nation at a cost of $10 billion to launch a new 5G network, it’s doubtful that they will, but collocations are a strong possibility for towercos. FierceWireless broke the story that Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen said at an investor’s conference that the company could spend up …

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Some site acqs might have to confront ‘colo in a can’

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In the past, site acquisition professionals had to debunk the belief that cell sites were going to be so small in the future that communities would be left with an abundance of unnecessary rusted, teetering macro sites. The newest hurdle they might face is that Drexel’s College of Engineering has published research that they have found a method for spraying invisibly …

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NATE hosts UAS operations showcase event in D.C. Beltway at Crown Castle site

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Key stakeholders from federal government agencies, industry and media participated in the inaugural NATE Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Operations “Field Day Showcase” yesterday. This dynamic drone experience was held at a Crown Castle tower site located in Gainesville, Va., in close proximity to the Washington, D.C. beltway. At the event, attendees were provided an opportunity to witness live flight demonstrations …

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FirstNet’s 72-dedicated deployable network assets ready for Hurricane Michael

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Public safety agencies subscribing to FirstNet now have access to the full fleet of 72 dedicated deployable network assets.  And many of them might be needed later this week if Tropical Storm Michael reaches hurricane status and comes ashore in Florida. AT&T said it is ready for Hurricane Michael and has “an arsenal of disaster response equipment and personnel on standby.” Florida Gov. Rick …

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Industry’s first-ever influential contractor survey’s deadline is October 10

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Make your company’s concerns count As wireless contractors are acutely aware, contractor firms in the industry have experienced trends that have seen payment terms go from 30 days to 60 days, and now are settling in at 90 to 120 days, placing an undue financial burden on contractor companies. It’s not whether these terms could potentially compromise safety and  hinder …

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Repack cuts commercial UHF broadcast stations to below 1,000

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

According to newly released statistics by the FCC, the nation saw an addition of 110 broadcast stations added to its ranks during the third quarter, with the total number of commercially licensed UHF stations dipping below 1,000. In addition, there are fewer AM radio stations and far more FM translators and boosters. (VIEW BROADCAST CATEGORY COUNTS BELOW) Translator stations are primarily not new stations, …

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Maintaining top tower talent, NWSA, and small cells best practices at NATE WIN Florida conference

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The NATE Wireless Industry Network (WIN) will be hosting its Southeast Regional Conference on Oct. 29, 2018 at the Hilton Garden Inn Pensacola/Medical Center in Pensacola, Fla. The conference will focus on key industry safety initiatives as well as other educational presentations, and offer tremendous networking and professional development opportunities for attendees, according to WIN Director Scott Krouse. The conference …

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Fund set up for MasTec construction manager’s family after he died in weekend tower collapse

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

On Saturday morning, Ken Mitchell Waddell, 30, of Crossville, Tenn. kissed his wife, Cadie, and their five children goodbye and drove 45 minutes to Cookeville to help erect a 70-foot guyed tower for a ham radio operator on private property. Late in the afternoon, expecting him to be home shortly for dinner with their five children, she  received  the horrific news that her …

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Sprint paints a terribly bleak survival picture for the FCC if merger is nixed

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Earlier this month the FCC, which is reviewing the planned merger of T-Mobile and Sprint Corp, said it had paused its 180-day review clock to give the agency time to analyze a large, complex submission on benefits that the proposed merger would create. On Wednesday, Sprint took a different path to grease approval by the agency – providing a presentation …

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ATC’s frustrated with two-towercos restriction leads Fast -Forward Friday articles

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Fast-Forward Friday is Wireless Estimator’s latest news offering that provides an overview of relevant industry news stories presented during the week by other media that were not covered by our staff, along with a link to the article to go upstream and read it in its entirety. After all, the articles’ authors did all the heavy lifting, and capsuling their content and …

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FCC’s rules passage will serve to put the U.S. as a leader in the race to 5G

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

As expected, the FCC voted this morning to approve rules, available here, designed to speed up the deployment of small cells and other 5G network equipment by regulating in part the fees and timelines cities and states can impose on wireless network operators and other wireless players. Although Democrat FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel voted for the rules, she dissented in …

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NATE debuts “Be Your Brother’s Keeper” tower rescue video

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors today unveiled a video entitled “Be Your Brother’s Keeper” that focuses on the importance of the planning, procedures, equipment and training necessary to perform a successful tower rescue. The video includes an interview with an experienced industry safety instructor walking through a rescue scenario and discussing the measures that must be planned for and implemented …

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Techs’ irrational Wyoming bar shooting might have been racially motivated

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Two tower techs were arrested early Saturday morning after they allegedly shot a man outside of Mingles Lounge, a popular night spot off of South Douglas Highway in Gilbert, Wyo. According to a police affidavit, D’Marco Lee Jones, 23, of Detroit, Mich., has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and felony destruction of property in the case. His co-worker, Andreas …

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Tower techs shouldn’t be the Rodney Dangerfields of field services professionals

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Carriers frequently extol the skills of their purported in-house talent pool required to build out 5G or manage restoration efforts following hurricanes, but in most cases, those workers are from industry infrastructure contractors. Last month, Wireless Estimator pointed out that in a Sprint promotional video CEO Michel Combes said that Sprint was going to be successful because of “Our people that you …

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Thanks to nation’s unsung tower techs, Florence’s NC cell site outages are down 77%

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

When Hurricane Florence’s full tally of cell site outages was identified in North Carolina on Sept. 15, tower crew restoration companies had already been servicing many of them, and the 1,063 outages were reduced dramatically to 787 the following day. Restoration efforts in North Carolina have brought the total of sites out of service to just 245, a 77% improvement …

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Cell site outages in North Carolina cut by one-third in one day as networks rebound

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Hurricane Florence restoration efforts in North Carolina have brought the total of sites out of service to 8%, a 32% improvement over yesterday’s outages, according to the FCC’s Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) report for Sept. 18, 2018. However, Columbus County, hard-hit in the past couple of days by massive flooding, saw a 78 % increase in new sites out …

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Carriers’ post-hurricane snow job promos beginning to flood the media

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Carriers are trying to outdo each other in presenting how well their network faired following Hurricane Florence’s slow destructive dance across the Carolinas. Now a tropical depression, Florence is still a life-threatening storm as widespread flooding continues to destroy homes and cut off communities from resources and cell service. Yesterday, in a press release, Verizon said their “network continues to withstand …

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Cell site outages aren’t always aligned with commercial power outages

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Assessing the correlation between commercial power outages and the ability for cell sites to keep operating with a backup power supply will be a work in progress for months to come as carriers and FCC analysts review data obtained through Hurricane Florence research. An initial question might be why Pamlico County which currently has the Pamlico River flooding New Bern and …

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North Carolina’s cell sites on the mend, but Onslow County gets hammered

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Hurricane Florence restoration efforts in North Carolina in the past 24 hours brought the total of sites out of service to 11.8%, a 13% improvement over yesterday’s outages, according to the FCC’s Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) report for Sept. 17, 2018. However, Onslow County saw a 31 % increase in new sites out of service, raising the county’s total …

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Some N.C. counties’ cell site outages continue to increase as Florence’s flood levels rise

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

According to the FCC’s Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) report for Sept. 16, 2018, 13.6% of North Carolina’s cell sites are out of service as a result of Hurricane Florence, down from Saturday’s 18.4%, but rising flood waters are seeing some counties’ outages rising. Although the agency’s out of service cell site numbers are the best information available, they don’t …

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FirstNet delivers for agencies responding to Hurricane Florence

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Hurricane Florence put FirstNet to the test. And the public safety network has been standing up to the challenge, according to AT&T. The carrier said they have been working across national, state and local agencies to keep emergency responders connected to the critical information they need to communicate and coordinate their storm response. Here are a few highlights of how …

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First known communications casualty from Florence is National Weather Service’s four transmitters

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Hurricane Florence has brought widespread flooding, torrential rains and devastating winds to North Carolina and South Carolina, and has taken out a communications network designed to warn residents of its scale and progress. At 9:47 a.m. this morning, NOAA’s National Weather Service announced that all NOAA weather radio transmitters in Eastern North Carolina supported by the National Weather Service in …

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A ‘super cell tower’ in the stratosphere leads Fast-Forward Friday’s news stories

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Fast-Forward Friday is Wireless Estimator’s latest news offering that provides an overview of relevant industry news stories presented during the week by other media that were not covered by our staff, along with a link to the article to go upstream and read it in its entirety. After all, the articles’ authors did all the heavy lifting, and capsuling their content and …

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Hurricane Florence’s ‘ground zero’ cell tower starts to be battered by storm’s outer rain bands

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

There was no collective sigh of relief from wireless infrastructure technicians and management as Hurricane Florence was downgraded from a Category 4 to a Category 2 storm early this morning. Instead, news that the storm has widened and may stay over the coast of the Carolinas for a longer period of time, causing extensive flooding and cell site fuel resupply …

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New Hampshire tour has FCC Chairman Pai educated by the state’s largest wireless contractor

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai today visited the headquarters of Green Mountain Communications during a trip through the state of New Hampshire. Chairman Pai heard from the executives and employees from Green Mountain Communications about the opportunities and the concerns facing the company – and the industry in general – for the 5G deployment in providing services for the building, maintaining …

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Former NATE Chairwoman Pat Cipov inducted into Wireless Hall of Fame

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Wireless History Foundation (WHF) inducted five individuals into the prestigious Wireless Hall of Fame during an awards ceremony that was held last night at the Omni Hotel in Los Angeles, Calif.  The Wireless Hall of Fame event was held in conjunction with the 2018 Mobile World Congress Americas Conference that is taking place this week in Los Angeles. The Wireless …

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Fictional ‘Hurricane Cora’ cripples hundreds of cell towers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A fictional “Hurricane Cora” crippled numerous states on the East Coast in a simulated narrative created by FEMA and Argonne National Laboratory in May that is similar to the real-world scenario that is unfolding as Hurricane Florence, now a Category 4 storm, is ready to devastate the Carolinas. Senior leaders from the White House, along with more than 91 federal …

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Infrared LED obstruction lighting is not required: FAA Obstruction Evaluation Manager

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

An ambiguous recent change to the FAA’s Obstruction Marking and Lighting bible left some obstruction lighting managers with the impression that the Advisory Circular (AC) now requires towers with a new FAA determination to include infrared (IR) LEDs in the L-810 and L-864 systems to make the red lamping more visible to Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS) and Night Vision …

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Florence’s aftermath will see how hardened networks actually were

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

As the country’s wireless workforce marshals logistic resupply bases, for the next two days the nation’s carriers will extol the virtues of their hurricane preparedness capabilities’ public relations campaigns as to why they – and only they – can ensure a strong and reliable network when Hurricane Florence decimates the East Coast. As if they all used the same Word …

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Not power, but tower structures will be put to the test as Hurricane Florence devastates the East Coast

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

It is now expected that Hurricane Florence will hit the East Coast Thursday as a powerhouse Category 4 storm, and possibly a Category 5, and the damage could be extensive – and long-lasting, especially for cell towers. A Category 4 hurricane has winds of 130 to 156 mph on the Saffir-Simpson Scale of Hurricane Intensity Initial winds of up to …

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Contractor cash flow could be the real culprit in the US’s inability to quickly roll out 5G

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

It’s the delayed payments, stupid! Commentary – Although we’re treated to almost a daily dose of news about how macro and small cell siting issue delays could adversely impact a successful 5G buildout in America, initial data from Wireless Estimator’s industry-supported Terms of Payment Survey indicates that carrier-generated cash flow problems of contractors could be 5G’s Achilles heel. To draw …

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Cell tower climber gets jail time, stern words from judge leads Fast-Forward Friday articles

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Fast-Forward Friday is Wireless Estimator’s latest news offering that provides an overview of relevant industry news stories presented during the week by other media that were not covered by our staff, along with a link to the article to go upstream and read it in its entirety. After all, the articles’ authors did all the heavy lifting, and capsuling their content and …

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Two key organizations release an alternative to the FCC-directed small cell model code

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In 2017, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai established the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) to draft a model code  for municipalities that would provide guidance and assist local communities in authorizing wireless and wireline broadband deployment in the public rights of way. The 41-page draft – still a work in progress – was introduced July 19, 2018, while the National League …

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FCC’s newly minted plan will clear the way for cheaper and faster 5G deployments

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC will vote in three weeks on a plan to accelerate next-generation 5G wireless networks around the U.S. by overriding some local rules that they believe will hold up deployment. FCC Commissioner Brendar Carr announced at a press conference today in Indianapolis that the plan is targeting deployment of small cell transmitters that are oftentimes subject to local delay …

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Influential wireless and drone companies at inaugural UAS summit

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) recently hosted a successful inaugural Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Summit in the Motor City of Detroit, Michigan.The high-level, 2-day strategic planning event was attended by participants representing the most prominent companies in the wireless and drone industries.During the NATE UAS Summit, attendees received an update from the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) UAS Integration …

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Plane crash toppling Louisiana tower leads Fast-Forward Friday articles

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Fast-Forward Friday is Wireless Estimator’s latest news offering that provides an overview of relevant industry news stories presented during the week by other media that were not covered by our staff, along with a link to the article to go upstream and read it in its entirety. After all, the articles’ authors did all the heavy lifting, and capsuling their content and …

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5G Americas and Small Cell Forum Industry Associations offer solutions on small cell siting challenges

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

5G Americas and Small Cell Forum believe that if the challenges of siting for outdoor cells are not addressed in a timely manner, many of the benefits which governments, regulators and cities hope to derive from 5G – such as smart city platforms and the Industrial IoT – will be severely compromised. The two associations emphasize that altering regulatory policies …

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CWA to FCC: Proposed T-Mobile / Sprint merger will cost 28,000 jobs

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expressing opposition to the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint as currently structured, citing that the merger will result in the loss of more than 28,000 jobs. As the filing notes: “The Commission should not approve the merger without verifiable and enforceable commitments by the …

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Firefighters secure the safety of 20 towers in Holy Fire flareup

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

When the Holy Fire in the Santa Ana mountains in California was contained on Sunday, tower owners gave out a collective sigh of relief. However, yesterday morning the Cleveland National Forest reported new activity around 10 a.m. as flames were heading towards Santiago Peak, home to approximately 20 communication towers. However, crews battled the unexpected flareup using air tankers and …

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FCC divvies out $1.5 billion in CAF ll funds in auction to deploy rural America services

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Over 700,000 rural homes and small businesses will gain access to high-speed Internet service for the first time through the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction. (See awarded bidders below) The auction results released today show more than half of those 713,176 locations will have service available with download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second. …

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Hurricane Lane provides record rain as cell sites remain almost 100% operational

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Fortunately for the Hawaiian Islands, the storm that began as Hurricane Lane and ended as a tropical depression, had next to no impact on communications, according the final report of the FCC yesterday that showed that only eight cell sites were out of a total of 1,297, representing only a 0.6% outage. Cable systems  and wireline outages were 3,991, down …

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Sprint’s new CEO hangs out with a Kansas tower crew to learn about the carrier’s upgrades

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Receiving adequate direction from carrier supervisors, change orders in a timely manner, and closeout inspections when requested are concerns of 222 of the nation’s contractors that have taken an industry-supported survey that will close at the end of September. However, it’s likely that a Missouri-based contractor will not have a challenge with any of those problems for one Sprint 2.5 …

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CTIA’s tower tech shout out leads dozens of Fast-Forward Friday articles

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Fast-Forward Friday is Wireless Estimator’s latest news offering that provides an overview of relevant industry news stories presented during the week by other media that were not covered by our staff, along with a link to the article to go upstream and read it in its entirety. After all, the articles’ authors did all the heavy lifting, and capsuling their content and …

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Lighting manufacturers question why a severe FAA directive letter was hidden from them

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In an unrelated Google search on Aug. 6, 2018, a lighting contractor found an FAA document with a somewhat ambiguous two-paragraph directive regarding non-original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) lighting system components that was published on June 27, 2018. It quickly spread throughout the obstruction lighting community because the industry wasn’t aware of it, and tower owners were asking their obstruction lighting suppliers …

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FCC chief takes off his tie to be tied off to appreciate the disciplines and exhausting work of a tower tech

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today experienced climbing a communications tower during a site visit near De Beque, Colo.  The tour was facilitated by representatives from the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), SBA Communications and EasTex Tower, LLC. The visit was a part of Chairman Pai’s road trip across Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado to highlight how …

Verizon’s ‘Bubba’ remark angering community is first in dozens of Fast-Forward Friday articles

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Fast-Forward Friday is Wireless Estimator’s latest news offering that provides an overview of relevant industry news stories presented during the week by other media that were not covered by our staff, along with a link to the article to go upstream and read it in its entirety. After all, the articles’ authors did all the heavy lifting, and capsuling their content and …

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Verizon appears to be disingenuous in stating contractors are paid within 30 days

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Although Verizon’s payment term for construction contractors has been 30 days in past master service agreements (MSA), according to preliminary data obtained by Wireless Estimator in its active Terms of Payment Survey, the carrier has been pressuring contractors to accept 90 days. Most companies are pushing back, but a smaller segment of contractors said they are accepting the delayed payment terms …

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Nation takes a deep dive into contractor obstacles threatening 5G with industry supported survey

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Wireless contractors have recently raised the distinct possibility that due to what they identify as ‘onerous’ payment terms and other issues created by carriers and tower owners, the industry could see a shakeout, and all of the recent successful legislative moves to speed up the implementation of 5G in America could be stymied as cash flow problems keep contractors from …

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Mount analysis questions is first in dozens of Fast-Forward Friday articles

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Fast-Forward Friday is Wireless Estimator’s latest news offering that provides an overview of relevant industry news stories presented during the week by other media that were not covered by our staff, along with a link to the article to go upstream and read it in its entirety. After all, the articles’ authors did all the heavy lifting, and capsuling their content and …

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One-touch policy will benefit broadband providers and non-union workers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC voted unanimously today, with one partial dissent, to adopt a one-touch, make-ready (OTMR) policy for new broadband attachments on utility poles in order to speed up broadband deployment and competition. The policy “makes clear” that states and local governments are not to impose moratoria on broadband development. Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel agreed with accelerating pole attachments, but dissented in …

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Vondran given reins after Marshall’s nine-year successful reign as American Tower’s U.S. tower chief

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

American Tower Corp. (ATC) today announced changes to its U.S. Tower senior management team. The company said in a press release that Steven Marshall intends to step down from his position as Executive Vice President and President, U.S. Tower Division, effective August 1, 2018. Steve Vondran, who has been with ATC for approximately 18 years, will succeed Marshall in this …

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Crown’s Q2 is all good news; ATC and SBA show some weaknesses

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The nation’s big three publicly traded tower companies have released second quarter earnings this month and spent time with analysts on their calls, highlighting marked improvement in some areas and offering encouragement of what they believe will be increased revenues as 5G is rolled out. There were also some less than encouraging summaries within their reports, but the Street shrugged them …

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AT&T and Verizon believe wireless is competitive, others strongly disagree

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

AT&T, in replying to the FCC’s request for comments as to the state of mobile wireless competition, informed the FCC in a filing that the answer is a slam dunk for the agency since the Commission “has the easiest call it has ever had to make…the wireless marketplace is, quite obviously, ‘effectively competitive’.” The carrier also said, “Competition has never …

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‘Tower Woman’s’ standoff pales compared to ‘Tower Guy’s’ six-day televised rescue

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A 29-year-old woman was arrested Thursday night after she climbed to the top of a 300-foot SBA Communications self-supporting tower in Wooster, Ohio, and refused to come down, taunting police and emergency personnel as she traversed diagonals in flip-flops. After a three-hour standoff that drew dozens of rescue workers and hundreds of spectators, Jessica Lee McCarty descended the tower on …

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Terrible contractor payment terms is first in dozens of Fast-Forward Friday articles

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Fast-Forward Friday is Wireless Estimator’s latest news offering that provides an overview of relevant industry news stories presented during the week by other media that were not covered by our staff, along with a link to the article to go upstream and read it in its entirety. After all, the articles’ authors did all the heavy lifting, and capsuling their content and …

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Pai promises to put his boots on and get on the steel after hearing ribbing

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

At an FCC House oversight hearing yesterday, tower climbers took center stage when Congressman Pete Olson threw a ‘curveball’ at FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, when he jokingly suggested that Pai should climb a tower as Commissioner Brendan Carr had done recently in South Dakota, as can be viewed in the above video. That  forced Pai to take advantage of Olson’s levity …

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Tower workers and families are major benefactors of T-Mobile’s 5th golf tournament

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The ‘uncarrier’ yesterday clearly showed that it is the caring carrier when T-Mobile donated $360,000 to two non-profit  industry organizations that assist tower workers and their families. At T-Mobile’s 5th Annual National Development Golf Tournament held Wednesday in Newcastle, Wash., the carrier continued their generous track record of philanthropy by donating $180,000 to the Tower Family Foundation which provides financial assistance and scholarships to family …

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T-Mobile’s A-Team seeking assurances Sprint deal won’t block spectrum bidding

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

T-Mobile is petitioning the FCC for confirmation that its proposed merger with Sprint won’t prevent the carrier from bidding in wireless spectrum auctions under FCC rules prohibiting joint-bidding arrangements between companies, according to an ex parte filing this week. Kathleen Ham, Senior VP, Government Affairs for T-Mobile and Steve Sharkey, the carrier’s Government Affairs, Technology and Engineering Policy chief, and …

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Sinclair/Tribune deal given life support after court nixes ownership rule petition

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In a two-page decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has refused to overturn the FCC’s restoration of the UHF discount on the grounds that the parties challenging it did not have standing to bring the petition. However, its impact may not be beneficial to the Sinclair/Tribune acquisition which might already be doomed. The UHF discount means …

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Monopole paint job gets too up close and personal with 132 cars

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Some contractors that have been painting towers for years might have painted something other than the intended structure due to an unexpected gust of wind or a wand or other spray rig malfunction, but an Iowa contractor last month tallied 132 reasons why you shouldn’t trust Mother Nature. A crew from TeleWinCom Inc. painted an SBA Communications monopole off of …

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‘Disruptive’ tower builder Tillman gets bankrolled with a billion dollars

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Build-to-suit developer Tillman Infrastructure, currently building sites in over 36 states across the U.S., will receive up to $1 billion in additional funding from La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and global investment manager AMP Capital, with an initial investment of $500 million. Tillman’s biggest clients are AT&T and Verizon. Both carriers last year announced a joint …

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Future telecom profitability is not seen as especially robust: BDO Global Survey

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Telecommunications companies surveyed for the 2018 BDO Telecom Risk Factor Survey are feeling a little more assured that there will be a successful future as compared to previous surveys, but BDO Global’s findings indicate that “dramatic changes in the political, business and economic environment means new risks are appearing the horizon,” and the industry must adapt to rapidly changing market …

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AT&T and T-Mobile rumble in the 5G buildout PR jungle over city choices

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

AT&T said Friday that it plans to begin introducing mobile 5G to customers in a dozen cities this year, and they’re adding Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C. and Oklahoma City as the next three identified cities for their buildout, the carrier said in a press statement. These cities will join their previously announced cities of Dallas, Atlanta, and Waco Earlier this year, T-Mobile said it plans to …

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Transparency bill ushered in to order early release of FCC’s draft documents

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger has introduced H.R. 6422, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Transparency Act, which would require the FCC to publish on their website the documents to be considered by the Commission at least 21 days ahead of a vote, a pilot plan introduced by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai last year. Upon introduction of H.R. 6422, Kinzinger released this statement: “As a member of the …

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Fast-Forward Friday is Wireless Estimator’s newest news offering

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Fast-Forward Friday, a new weekly feature, is Wireless Estimator’s latest news offering that provides an overview of industry news articles presented during the week by other media that were not covered by our staff, along with a link to the article to go upstream and read it in its entirety. After all, the articles’ authors did all the heavy lifting, and …

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Indian Tribes team up to halt 5G ‘desecration’ expected from FCC’s exemptions

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

American Indian tribes are pressing the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to halt a March 22, 2018 order from the FCC exempting small-cell 5G network structures from certain regulatory reviews, arguing that the order would allow for the “desecration of historic sites just because it cannot supervise effectively.” In consolidated complaints, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, …

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Appeals court rejects ‘wrong license’ ruling, reviving subcontractor’s $18.1 million lawsuit

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

License only becomes a concern in a ploy to not pay for millions of dollars of work, plaintiff says The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week restored a telecommunications contractor’s lawsuit seeking $18.1 million for work performed in support of a 1,371-mile fiber-optic cable network installation project in California, reversing a lower court’s verdict that installing underground conduit was not …

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Blackburn says feds should complement private broadband investment, not compete

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, held a hearing yesterday to discuss the latest efforts to support broadband deployment and bridge the digital divide. Subcommittie members received an update from the panel of expert witnesses about progress made by the private sector and the federal government. The full hearing video is available below. “Almost six months ago, I chaired …

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NATE and Warriors4Wireless announce a strong industry partnership

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) and Warriors4Wireless (W4W) today announced a collaborative partnership to enhance ties between the two organizations and further advance workforce development initiatives in the industry. As part of the agreement, NATE joins a select group of prominent organizations and companies in the industry to be promoted as an official supporting partner of W4W. Additionally, W4W …

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CTIA 2018 survey presents a story of remarkable growth and transformation

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

CTIA’s latest Annual Wireless Industry Survey finds the industry beginning the transition from 4G to 5G wireless networks with significant growth in cell sites and data-only devices. That growth and continued demand for everything wireless contributed to Americans using an unprecedented amount of mobile data in 2017.  The key wireless trends illustrated in this year’s survey: Mobile data continues to skyrocket. Americans …

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Vertical Bridge’s collection chances increase with iHeartMedia bankruptcy court action

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Vertical Bridge, one of bankrupt iHeartMedia’s largest unsecured creditors, might have a better chance at securing its past due lease revenues following a filing from iHeartMedia’s unsecured creditors to a Texas bankruptcy judge on Monday that could affect the media giant’s creditors’ Chapter 11 recoveries. The committee of  unsecured creditors want to prosecute and settle claims based upon allegations that many …

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Massachusetts town stands on five feet as its prime too-close T-Mobile lawsuit defense

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A Massachusetts town north of Boston yesterday asked a federal judge to end a Feb. 2017 lawsuit accusing its zoning board of appeals of wrongly denying T-Mobile and another company the right to build a 120-foot monopole, arguing that officials’ determination that the project was too close to residential neighborhoods was evidence-based. Lawyers for the town of Wilmington told the …

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Coalition charges ‘grossly overstated’ Verizon coverage hinders rural carriers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A coalition of radio frequency engineering firms informed the FCC last week that Verizon has “grossly overstated” its nationwide 4G LTE coverage, impairing the wireless carriers the engineering firms serve because the carriers can only get needed FCC funding to boost coverage in areas where coverage is low. To close gaps in broadband service, the FCC’s Mobility Fund II is …

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AT&T takes American Tower to court in widening lease rates rift

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In a lawsuit made public on Monday by AT&T Mobility LLC in Delaware Chancery Court, the carrier is alleging that American Towers LLC is not complying with amendments to leasing agreements for many thousands of towers that AT&T co-locates upon. In the complaint, AT&T is requesting the court to enforce what it believes is a binding agreement, that ATC disagrees …

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Man arrested for threatening to murder family of FCC Chairman

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A 33-year-old Asian male from California was arrested Friday in Los Angeles on charges of threatening to kill the family of Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, for Pai’s role in repealing regulations relating to net neutrality. According to unsealed court documents, on or about Dec. 19 and 20, 2017, Markara Man, of Norwalk, allegedly sent three emails to Chairman …

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AT&T needs to put part of their newfound billion dollars into workers’ billfolds

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Commentary AT&T recently increased their wireless revenue just south of $1 billion by sneaking in an increased “administrative fee,” a line item squeezed in at the bottom of their monthly bill that will not be noticed by most of their 64.5 million wireless customers since it’s only $1.23 extra a month. In a statement to Fortune after being called out …

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With stark differences after 20 years, another powerful towerco will start trading

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

American Tower, the first major U.S. towerco to go public on July 8, 1998, will have a 20-year head start on China Tower when the world’s largest tower owner starts trading next month on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, but down the road China Tower could become a serious competitor. Other than sharing the same IPO month, an average 5-year lease term and …

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Politics and alleged propriety software theft unveiled in lawsuit against American Tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A small Massachusetts software developer is alleging that through their proprietary analytical tools they identified in proof of concept testing that ATC’s Brazilian subsidiary (ATB) was missing the opportunity to capture millions of dollars’ worth of additional annual cash flow, and according to a complaint filed in Massachusetts U.S. District Court by CellInfo, they said they also found “safety shortcomings, …

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Coalition of organizations endorse Communications and Jobs Training Act of 2018 legislation

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A diverse coalition of influential communications industry organizations today announced their endorsement of H.R. 5639 – The Communications and Jobs Training Act of 2018.Organizations supporting the legislation include CTIA, Government Wireless Technology & Communications Association (GWTCA), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), Rural Wireless Association (RWA), Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), Utilities Technology Council (UTC) and …

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Industry pride shines as Pat Cipov is selected as Wireless Hall of Fame honoree

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Accolades from all quarters of the industry have been coming in for Pat Cipov who was selected by the Wireless History Foundation (WHF) last week as one of its 2018 Wireless Hall of Fame honorees – the most recognized and highest honor acknowledging the leadership, innovation and achievement of each honoree in the wireless industry. In making the announcement, the …

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Towerco financial support of wireless workers accelerates with a ‘buck a tower’ sponsors

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Tower Family Foundation (TTF), a 501c-3 non-profit, today recognized the updated support of tower owner/vertical solutions provider companies who are donors to the organization’s “$1 Per Tower” fundraising campaign with towercos Cellcom, Performance Development Group, Ltd. and Vogue Towers joining the inaugural list of donor firms participating in the capital campaign. The “$1 Per Tower” effort involves firms who …

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T-Mobile/Sprint say they’re giving a wedding gift to the U.S. of $40 billion

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

T-Mobile has taken the next step in their merger with Sprint by filing their Public Interest Statement with the FCC emphasizing to regulators that the public will benefit from the merger. In making the announcement, CEO John Legere echoed the ever-popular need to be first with 5G, stating, “If we don’t take decisive, positive action, we risk ceding global leadership …

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ATC misjudges industry pushback and pulls back onerous contractor amendment

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In a measure to prevent other towercos from building sites near their structures, and obtain some of their tenants with more favorable lease rates, American Tower Corp. informed their contractors late last month that if they assisted in the construction of a macro tower site within one-half mile of one of their existing towers they would be dropped from their …

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Tower techs settle ‘drive time’ overtime lawsuit with Illinois contractor for $333,000  

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A Yorkville, Ill. wireless contractor agreed to pay $333,000 to settle a class action lawsuit by tower technicians who claimed they weren’t paid overtime for the time they spent traveling between job sites. Illinois U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey Gilbert gave final approval Tuesday to the settlement between Heights Tower Service, Inc. and 65 employees (listed below), but in the agreement, …

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Fund set up for Georgia tech whose arm was severed in an accident

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A Waycross, Ga. tower tech was on his way to pick up a new safety climb sleeve Friday afternoon to replace his aging unit when, according to a Georgia State Patrol report, his truck was struck by a tractor with a planting rig implement attached that crumbled the entire driver’s side of the GMC Sierra pickup in Blackshear, and in …

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Less ‘headache’ calls championed by NATE’s new dropped object video

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

When a tool or other object is accidentally dropped by a technician from a tower, the customary bellow to those below is to yell ‘headache’ – the customary warning of a dangerous, possibly deadly situation. Desirous of Aleveiating headache concerns, the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today unveiled a video entitled “Look out Below” that focuses on the risks associated with dropped objects …

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D.C. Judge’s AT&T-Time Warner merger approval could bode well for T-Mobile-Sprint deal

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

AT&T is expected to complete its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner in eight days or less as the nation sees a major transformation of the pay-TV landscape after D.C. federal judge Richard Leon ruled this afternoon rejecting the U.S. Department of Justice’s efforts to block the merger. Within minutes of today’s announcement, AT&T General Counsel David McAtee applauded the …

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Foremen getting unique opportunity to help set the creation of certification guidelines

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) is reaching out to the industry’s thousands of tower foremen to complete a survey to provide their valuable input to ensure the new NWSA Certified Foreman Examination accurately reflects today’s work environment, regulations, and technology. This new certification for the telecommunications Industry will define a set of criteria to verify that candidates have achieved …

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American Tower to competition’s contractors: Our way or the highway

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

To lower carrier lease rates, AT&T, Verizon and Tillman Infrastructure last year announced a joint agreement to build hundreds of cell towers, some for new macro builds, others for “build-to-relo”. The major towercos quickly and cavalierly dismissed their efforts as non-hazardous to their business model’s health. But last week American Tower Corp. let it be known that they are concerned and …

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Settlement of $4.25 million to a first responder’s family after telecom tower collapse

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The family of a Nutter Fort, W. Virg. firefighter was awarded a $4.25 million settlement agreed to by the Harrison County Court System yesterday. The resolved lawsuit and details from the defendant’s bankruptcy also bring into question whether better vetting of a contractor could have prevented his death. Michael Garrett was responding to a tower collapse on Feb. 1, 2014 when the …

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Canadian who skated on toppling 1,100 foot tower is now charged with murder

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A 75-year-old Canadian man who was found guilty of collapsing an 1,100-foot Bell Canada guyed tower in Ottawa in 1987 and had his conviction stayed by Canada’s Supreme Court, is expected to plead not guilty today to a more serious charge – murder. Last Thursday, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) arrested James “Jimmy” Wise and charged him with first-degree murder in …

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TIRAP elects new leadership group with SBA’s Sams at the helm

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Executive Board of the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP) announced today that David Sams, Vice President of Risk Management with SBA Communications, was elected Chairperson of the group. Paul Roberts, Vice President of Compliance for American Tower Corp., was elected Vice-Chairperson, and Beau Aero, President and Founder of GME Supply, was elected Secretary. Former Chairman Scott Kisting was …

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AT&T’s “Extreme-Weather Drone” ensures faster network recovery and a first responder role

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

By Art Pregler AT&T Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Director It can see through obstacles, fly through rain, operate in extreme temperatures and communicate in areas without infrastructure. And it took its first flight last week in Bedminster, New Jersey. Meet the newest superhero of AT&T’s Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) Team – “The Extreme-Weather Drone.” This versatile new technology has the …

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With boots on the steel, FCC Commissioner Carr learns about exacting disciplines

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) and Sioux Falls Tower & Communications today jointly hosted FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr on an industry training and climbing experience site visit. The event was held at the Sioux Falls Tower & Communications new corporate headquarters and state-of-the-art training center in Sioux Falls, S.D. During the event, management …

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AT&T expected to meet FirstNet deployment targets sooner than anticipated

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

AT&T said it is planning to deploy public safety LTE service on 700 MHz Band 14 spectrum quicker than it anticipated, with approximately one-third of the projected buildout to be completed by the end of next March or earlier, according to AT&T Chief Financial Officer John Stephens. During an interview by Colby Synesael of Cowen and Company at the company’s …

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From the Bronx to Boston, Crown’s employees made a meaningful difference

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

More than 1,700 Crown Castle employees participated in a day of service earlier this month, contributing more than 7,036 hours of planting, building, painting and cleaning up the nation’s parks. On May 9, Crown hosted the day of service as part of its Connected by Good community parks initiative. Doubling its efforts from last year, Crown identified 22 parks in …

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Crop duster pilot killed as he topples 1,040-foot Oklahoma tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: May 31, 2018 -Andrew Deterding, 57, of Pond Creek, Okla., owner of Andy Deterding Ag Aviation, who was flying an S2R-T34 Thrush plane on Wednesday when the aircraft struck a radio tower guy wire, has been identified as the deceased pilot. A post on his Facebook page, written by one of his children, states Deterding’s memories and stories will live on through “every …

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Training coupled with a drone provides for a tech’s safe self-rescue

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A tower technician in Biloxi, Miss. rappelled safely to the ground yesterday evening after being stuck in a man basket for a few hours after a crane lost its hydraulic system. While performing maintenance work on the Alpha Media radio tower, the unnamed tech got stranded 140 feet up in the air. The tower is located just behind WLOX’s TV …

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‘Un-towerco’ says there will be some pain with a T-Mobile/Sprint merger

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

If the marriage of Sprint and T-Mobile is approved by regulators, the majority opinion of towerco executives at Connect (X) in Charlotte, N.C. last week was that business would still be robust. Jay Brown, President and CEO of Crown Castle, said during the View From the Top presentation, “It will almost be irrelevant how many carriers we have.” He said …

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Geek guy Pai enthusiastically wants America to win the 5G race

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a self-described lover of geeking out infrastructure issues, three weeks ago scaled a utility pole in Gainesville, Fla., to get an up-close and personal view of how difficult it is to string aerial fiber. He also spent time with representatives of MillerCo, a Gulfport, Miss. nationwide wireless contractor, to learn about the exacting requirements of site …

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Dish’s foray into 5G is already a soothing shot in the arm for nation’s towercos

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen said that his company will be building a full-blown 5G wireless network that will cost $10 billion in an interview Wednesday at the Wireless Infrastructure Association’s  Connect (X) conference in Charlotte, N.C. by former FCC Commissioner Rob McDowell. Ergen pointed out that current wireless networks are designed for approximately 300 million smart phone users in …

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AT&T settles for a record $30 million to injured tower technician’s family

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

With a Philadelphia, Pa. jury trial scheduled to begin today to determine whether AT&T and other defendants were negligent and contributed to a tower technician falling 50 feet to the ground and causing him to sustain severe and permanent injuries, the carrier agreed to a $30 million settlement, the largest recorded payment in the U.S. to an injured wireless infrastructure worker, …

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O’Rielly opens up about opening up more wireless services spectrum

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

During an interview by Kathleen Quinn Abernathy yesterday, special counsel for Wilkinson, Barker Knauer at ConnectX in Charlotte, N.C., Commissioner Micael O’Rielly discussed FCC priorities, emphasizing the need to open up more wireless services spectrum and to further streamline deployment. He noted one “bad actor” community that recently wanted to charge $4,000 per small cell for deployment. The company nixed …

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FCC’s 2020 repack deadline is questionable following first year’s bleak build

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

After assessing the progress of the first 12 months of the broadband repack, and the immense pressure put upon the small cadre of contractors that specialize in tall tower broadcast work, the NAB is again championing the need for the FCC to address what the trade group and tower companies believe is an “unrealistic schedule” and the organization is urging …

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PerfectVision and Trylon team up to ensure successful wireless rollouts

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

PerfectVision Manufacturing, a leading manufacturer of satellite, broadband, and wireless products, and Trylon, an end-to-end wireless infrastructure developer and tower manufacturer, have entered into a partnership agreement for a long-term joint manufacturing and distribution relationship to support the growing demands of the industry. The alliance will drive continued improvement in the quality and cost of products in the wireless marketplace by aligning …

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All tower techs get to bask in the limelight on appreciation day

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today unveiled a commemoration declaring Wed., May 9, 2018 as Tower Technician Appreciation Day. For the second consecutive year, a day has been set aside by NATE to coincide with OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down Week in order to pay tribute to the important work that tower technicians conduct on a daily basis to …

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FCC Commissioner Carr gets an enlightening Cook’s tour of tower site work

In Associations News, Featured News, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr today conducted a site visit to a communications tower located in Noblesville, Ind. The tour was facilitated by representatives from NATE, Crown Castle and Heartland Solutions Corporation. During his time spent on site, Carr visited with technicians and staff from NATE member companies Heartland Solutions and Crown Castle to discuss the work that is conducted on …

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Risk categorization in accordance with ANSI/TIA-222-H and the 2018 IBC detailed

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Wireless Industry Association and the Telecommunications Industry Foundation published a white paper today to provide clarity and insight regarding the risk category for a new or existing communication structure by comparing the risk categories from Rev H (Table 2-1) to the risk categories defined in IBC for buildings and other structures. The document is available here. The ANSI/TIA-222 Standard …

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FCC’s O’Rielly wiggles by an ethics violation with a wrist slap

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly violated a federal ethics law when he called for the re-election of President Trump at a panel discussion with fellow FCC Republicans Ajit Pai and Brendan Carr at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on February 23, according to the US Office of Special Counsel (OSC). The violation came to light after the OSC’s Deputy Chief …

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Bet on the Sprint/T-Mobile mega merger wounding towercos

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

If the proposed T-Mobile and Sprint merger announced Sunday is approved by federal regulators, both companies said that they expect the marriage creating the nation’s second largest carrier would be sometime in July 2019. However, it’s been identified by the carriers that fully combining the companies is another three to four years, possibly longer. Displaying their lack of fundamental industry …

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T-Mobile and Sprint agree to merge creating severe competition for rival AT&T

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

After years of negotiations, T-Mobile and Sprint announced today that they have finally agreed to tie the  knot and will merge in an all-stock transaction of 9.75 Sprint shares for each T-Mobile US share. Based upon Friday’s closing share prices this represents a value of approximately $59 billion for Sprint and approximately $146 billion for the combined company. The new company will …

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India tower deal drops American Tower to the world’s third largest towerco

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

India’s Bharti Infratel Ltd has agreed to merge with Indus Towers, in a deal that creates the world’s second largest telecom tower company, a title that American Tower formerly held. The new company with more than 163,000 towers has an estimated equity value of $14.6 billion Indus Towers’s tower total lags considerably behind the world’s largest tower owner, China Tower …

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AT&T’s CitySwitch agreement is a clear unveiling of their current tower leasing concerns

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In a shot over the bow of the major tower owners signaling that they’re not pleased with their current leasing models and are looking for alternatives, AT&T announced today that the carrier and CitySwitch signed an agreement for building new cell towers to-suit based on future wireless network needs. CitySwitch will begin tower construction plans as early as the second …

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Erector’s owner identified as the deceased worker in horrific Missouri tower collapse

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Steve Lemay, 56, of Washington state, the owner of Steve Lemay LLC, has been identified by authorities as the erector who died yesterday morning when an 1,892-foot TV tower in Webster County, Mo. collapsed while his crew was performing structural upgrades in order for Ozarks Public Television KOZK to comply with their FCC repack requirement to move from channel 23 to …

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Tech is killed after 1,892-foot tower collapses while being repack retrofitted

In Featured News, Incident Report News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: April 20, 2018 – The deceased has been identified by authorities to be Steven Lemay, the owner of the erection company that was performing structural upgrades. April 19, 2018 – An 1,892-foot TV tower in Webster County, Mo. collapsed this morning just before 10 a.m., killing a tall tower worker and injuring at at least five others with non-life-threatening injuries, …

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T-Mobile slapped with a $40 million FCC fine for false network coverage ringtones

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

T-Mobile has agreed to cough up $40 million to the FCC after the agency accused the company of trying to cover up poor rural cell service with false rings. The settlement also requires the carrier to implement a “compliance plan” to address the issues. It was alleged that T-Mobile was using false ringtones to make it seem like someone just isn’t answering …

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Climber safety and net neutrality FCC Commissioner provides an unexpected adios

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn made a surprise announcement yesterday at the FCC’s open meeting– she’s resigning after serving a nine-year tenure at the agency. A fierce advocate of the FCC’s net neutrality rules, Clyburn has been at odds with Chairman Ajit Pai frequently. “I have enjoyed working with her and, even when we have not seen eye-to-eye on policy, I …

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Feds charge FCC chairman’s advisory head Elizabeth Pierce with a $250 million fraud scheme

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

When Quintillion Subsea 0perations, LLC CEO Elizabeth Ann Pierce ran her first meeting of the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) on April 21, 2017 as its newly appointed chairman, she echoed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s message that it would be a priority of BDAC to remove regulatory barriers. She also knew, if the Department of Justice’s allegations are true, that …

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Puerto Rico death is second industry tower tech fatality in April

In Featured News, Incident Report News by Wireless Estimator

A 28-year-old tower technician died Saturday after he was electrocuted while working on an AT&T LTE installation in Puerto Rico. According to sources knowledgeable of the incident, Josean Matos Rodriquez, employed by FM Technology Group of Dallas, Tex., was working on a residential rooftop when he came into contact with a 13kv power line. Authorities said the incident occurred at 10:50 …

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Sprint and T-Mobile might believe the third time will be a charm

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Sprint Corp has resumed talks to merge with T-Mobile US, according to Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and other news outlets who quoted unnamed sources. The third and fourth largest U.S. wireless carriers, with a combined subscriber base of almost 130 million customers, reportedly restarted talks, in part, to reduce operating network costs as well as share expansion costs. Shares …

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FCC whacks Sprint & Mobilitie with a $11.6 million fine for non-compliant small cell installs

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Federal Communications Commission today announced settlements with Sprint and Mobilitie in two separate but related investigations into whether the companies completed proper tower registration as well as environmental and historic impact reviews prior to construction of wireless infrastructure facilities. The investigation was most likely initiated last April after Event Driven identified that Sprint appeared to have been complicit in providing …

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It’s unlikely that company that stole 42 towers on paper will pay a $236K FCC fine

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC has proposed a penalty of $235,668 against Aura Holdings of Wisconsin, Inc. for the willful and repeated failure to provide truthful and accurate information to the Commission in submitting false and misleading information in 10 different change in ownership applications on the FCC’s antenna structure registration (ASR) website. Last June, Wireless Estimator broke the story of the FCC …

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WIA’s Adelstein honored for wireless training and industry education work

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Jonathan Adelstein, President and CEO of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA), was honored today at the Wireless Connect conference held at the University of Maryland for his work to enhance training and education opportunities within the wireless infrastructure industry. Dr. Rikin Thakker, Faculty Member of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, and …

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Services set for Alabama tower tech, the nation’s first 2018 fatality

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Services have been set for Melvin Ronnie Nelson, Jr., 34, a resident of Foley, Ala., who passed away Mon., April 2, while working on a new Verizon tower installation in Utica, Miss. Nelson was the first industry-related fatality in 2018. According to Hinds County Sheriff Major Pete Luke, “The tower was being erected just off Hwy. 27 near Bear Creek …

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SpaceX’s broadband satellites approved conditioned upon not causing space collisions

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Federal Communications Commission issued an order approving SpaceX’s application to start launching operational satellites as early as 2019, with the goal of reaching the full capacity of over 4,000 satellites in 2024, even though the FCC approval only requires SpaceX to launch 50 percent of the satellites by March 2024, with the remainder by March 2027. “Grant of this …

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New structural corset could sound the death knell for tower technicians’ retrofitting work

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

AT&T Labs’ top research scientists and engineers, in conjunction with Flex Tape for Towers, introduced a ground-breaking disruptive technology yesterday that is expected to transform the way capacity-challenged towers are retrofitted. It will also speed up broadband development and add to the towercos’ bottom lines, but will clearly force many companies specializing in structural rehabilitation to close their doors as …

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Giant step back for mankind: Supreme Court scrubs Nokia’s 4G Moon network launch

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Still smarting from last week’s passage of a rule by the FCC that will streamline the deployment of 5G networks by cutting into the ability of American Native Indian tribes to charge upfront usury fees for review of smaller cell sites throughout the country, tribes took solace in  yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision that scrubbed an effort – temporarily – …

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Outside engineer’s defective gin pole rigging plan is cited for three tower techs’ deaths

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Calculation errors in an engineer’s rigging plan is being cited as the reason a gin pole broke loose from the 1,000-foot Miami, Fla. tower it was attached to, causing the death last September of three tall tower technicians employed by Tower King II, Inc. of Cedar Hill, Tex. The disclosure came to light this afternoon from Tower King II’s attorney, …

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Organizations applaud new rules that curb 5G ‘cash cow’ reviews

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC helped clear the way for wireless providers to deploy hundreds of thousands of small antennas for use in 5G services by easing historic and environmental reviews before equipment is installed, and limiting American Indian tribes’ authority over the installations. In a 3-to-2 Republican-led vote for its Wireless Infrastructure Streamlining Report and Order, the FCC said that installing the …

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Vertical Bridge is a major creditor In the iHeartMedia bankruptcy

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In a prearranged bankruptcy worked out with creditors, debt burdened radio conglomerate iHeartMedia, with 850 stations, many of them losing money, has been giving some breathing room to shed under-performing stations and focus upon growth potential stations that are profitable. The company has been saddled with $20 billion in debt, the legacy of a leveraged buyout in 2008. In a …

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Citing national security concerns, Trump kayos $117 billion Broadcom-Qualcomm deal

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: March 14, 2018 – President Donald Trump blocked Broadcom in its hostile takeover bid of U.S. chip-maker Qualcomm earlier this week, and the Singapore company said today it is officially withdrawing its $117 billion bid. Broadcom Ltd. said it was disappointed as it withdrew its proposed candidates for the board at Qualcomm Inc., but assured in its announcement that …

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Bonuses for American Tower execs are a far cry from bread crumbs

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

When companies started handing out bonuses of $1,000 or more to workers in January as a result of the GOP tax bill, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said they received “crumbs”. Pelosi was not impressed. “In terms of the bonus that corporate America received versus the crumbs that they are giving to workers to kind of put the schmooze on …

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Tower tech’s new ‘badge of honor’ certifications detailed in NWSA video

In Featured News, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) has unveiled a video highlighting the National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) worker certification programs as the second to debut in Volume 3 of the Association’s critically acclaimed Climber Connection series. The video, entitled “NWSA: A New Badge of Honor” focuses on the transformative and portable certification offerings now available in the marketplace to the …

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Massive new workforce development, training needed for success of 5G

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) has announced the release and publication of a new white paper titled “Getting Ready for 5G: Preparing a Skilled Workforce for Future Wireless Networks.” The new research focuses on how next-generation of mobile communications networks will dramatically change the way network infrastructure is designed and deployed, requiring many new qualified engineers and technicians.  The paper …

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Leaving the cradle of earth, Vodafone and Nokia to create moon-based 4G network

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Moon will get 4G coverage next year, 50 years after the first NASA astronauts walked on its surface. In an announcement Tuesday, Vodafone said it plans to create the first 4G network on the Moon to support a mission by PTScientists in 2019 and has appointed Nokia as its technology partner. Berlin-based PTScientists is working with Vodafone Germany and …

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American Tower and SBA paint a rosy picture for 2018

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

American Tower Corp (ATC) and SBA Communications (SBA) informed analysts during their earnings calls this week that higher build levels and increased carrier capex are expected in 2018, supporting above average industry growth. “First, we anticipate that our core U.S. tower market will enjoy strong tenant demand in 2018 and beyond,” said ATC CEO James Taiclet, Jr. yesterday. “Based on …

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NATE’s Music City show ends on a ‘real’ record high note

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) announced today that last week’s NATE UNITE 2018 conference in Nashville, Tenn. set a new attendance record of 1,856 registrants. The organization’s all-time conference attendee total in its 23-year show history exceeded the previous attendance registration record of 1,801 at NATE UNITE 2017 in Fort Worth, Tex. NATE leaders also recognized the high …

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Sprint wants to put an end to tribal fees costing 24% of a small cell’s installation cost

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In a short letter to the FCC with four photographs , Sprint has easily identified the outdated review processes that have become a significant barrier to 5G deployment with small cells. According to Sprint Senior Counsel Keith C. Buell, the tribal review process that is part of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) allows fees to be levied against Sprint …

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NRA awards FCC chief Pai a long gun for his ‘courage’ to kill net neutrality

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is a passionate and polished speaker. But on Friday he was flummoxed when he was about to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland when the American Conservative Union (ACU) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) presented him with the Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire” award, an honor that is given with the …

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Foundation launches ‘$1 Per Tower’ campaign and highlights donors

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Tower Family Foundation today recognized the tower owner/vertical solutions provider companies who are the inaugural donors to the organization’s “$1 Per Tower” fundraising campaign. The “$1 Per Tower” effort involves firms who own and manage vertical communications infrastructure sites and commit to donating $1 for every tower the company owns directly to the Tower Family Foundation. The foundation made …

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Cipov, Miller and Blackburn honored at NATE UNITE 2018 awards luncheon

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today honored Pat Cipov, President of Cipov Enterprises, Inc. in Sumter, S.C.; Pat Miller, Director of EasTex Tower, LLC in Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Congressman Marsha Blackburn, U.S. Representative for the 7th District of Tennessee during the Awards Luncheon sponsored by SBA Communications at NATE UNITE 2018 in Nashville, Tenn.Cipov was honored as the recipient …

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Thanks to the Women of NATE, Nashville confab is off to a running start

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Participants who walked the 3.1 mile loop around the Gaylord Opryland resort, had the opportunity to network and enjoy each other’s company, but for some, their time to finish took precedence and it showed with the first three male finishers being Ross Evans, Anthony Castillo and Jim Murdock. The top three female participants were Heather Delz, Jeanne Piercy and Danielle …

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FCC Inspector General to investigate the agency and its chief says NYT

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Two members of the US House of Representatives have sent a formal letter to the Federal Communications Commission Inspector General calling for an investigation of Chairman Ajit Pai, questioning whether Pai and others at the FCC have used personal messaging channels and private emails to communicate with Sinclair Broadcasting Group, a violation of the Federal Records Act and the Freedom …

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Lawsuit targets multiple companies in Ernie Jones’ tragic death

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The widow of a well-respected and prominent Indiana structural engineer who died on Oct. 21, 2015 when he was crushed to death between an elevator and a guyed tower’s structural members has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Oklahoma, where the incident occurred, against the owner of the tower, the manufacturer of the structure, the elevator manufacturer, and a contractor …

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Industry movers and shakers to serve on National Wireless Safety Alliance Board

In Associations News, Featured News, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) announced today that Bernard Borghei, Executive Vice President – Operations and Co-Founder of Vertical Bridge, Doug Dickinson, Western Region Environmental Health & Safety Manager at Ericsson; Bruce Eades, President of USA Telecom Insurance Services; Pat Moore, Field Service Specialist at Stainless; Paul Roberts, Vice President of Compliance for American Tower Corporation; Jose Tarafa, Corporate …

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FirstNet’s buildout strains resources of qualified infrastructure workers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

According to Wireless Estimator’s hiring trend data, infrastructure hiring has bounced back to ambitious and overwhelming 2013 LTE buildout levels when Verizon was racing away with its LTE expansion and AT&T was ramping up for its own 4G LTE Roll-out that would require spending $14 billion on network upgrades through 2016. “But that came to a screeching halt in May …

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Free exhibit hall pass is another enticement for heading to NATE UNITE 2018

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Every year the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) adds new educational and event activities to it annual convention, the acknowledged premiere conference for the wireless construction and maintenance industry. This year is no exception as the organization introduces its free exhibit hall passes during the Feb. 19 through Feb. 22 NATE UNITE 2018 event at the Gaylord Opryland Resort …

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Trump’s infrastructure plan unveiling is thin on broadband benefits

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The White House today released President Donald Trump‘s long-sought infrastructure plan that includes $200 billion in federal funding for the next 10 years with the end goal being to incentivize another $1.3 trillion in local investment to rehabilitate the nation’s roads, bridges, tunnels, and to expand broadband. Whether any of the $100 billion in direct grants to local governments will …

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Spectrum scammer, firms ordered to repay $14 million in illegal payments and fines

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A Florida man and several companies he managed will have to pay more than $14 million in repayment of ill-gotten gains and civil penalties after a federal judge sided with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on allegations that they participated in a fraud scheme involving applications to the Federal Communications Commission for cellular spectrum licenses. U.S. District Judge …

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American Tower could take over the Philippines as sole towerco

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A new tower siting policy in the Philippines to free telecommunications companies from costly capital expenditures in constructing communication towers and eventually reduce the cost of their services is being rolled out by President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration. Under the controversial “common tower” policy, telecommunications companies will no longer be allowed to build communication towers or cell sites, but instead must …

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NATE members enable networks to enjoy record Super Bowl LII data surge

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

All eyes will be laser-focused on Sunday’s Super Bowl LII kickoff, and it’s unlikely that they’ll even notice eyeball orbs above them containing dozens of cellular antennas improving coverage at ground level. Or Verizon’s antennas hidden in stairway handrails and under some seats. With the lowest asking price for a ticket on the secondary market going for $6,743 this afternoon …

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Congressman Marsha Blackburn to headline NATE UNITE 2018 awards luncheon

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) announced today that Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has been named as the inaugural recipient of the organization’s Legislative Champion Award. Blackburn will be presented with the honor and is slated to deliver keynote remarks at the NATE UNITE 2018 Awards Luncheon. The Awards Luncheon, sponsored by SBA Communications, is scheduled to take place …

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First batch of a flurry of broadband bills introduced by Rep. Blackburn

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) announced today a series of bills introduced by members aimed at reducing the regulatory barriers to broadband infrastructure expansion. “Communications Facilities Deployment on Federal Property Act of 2018,” sponsored by Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA). The bill would amend Sec. 6409 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act (47 …

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California considering paying $20 million to build three 180-foot towers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Humboldt County California homeowners were given the opportunity last night to learn about the state’s Office of Emergency Services’ plans to move government agency towers atop of Red Mountain – a sacred prayer area for the Yurok Tribe and the highest peak in the area – at a community meeting in Arcata. And if they wanted to learn more about …

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Washington’s ‘Little Red Book’ could easily save tower tech lives

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

  The State of Washington Department of Labor and Industries’ (L&I) extensive Safety Standards for Telecommunications became effective Jan. 1, 2018, and in order to get the rule into workers’ hands, the agency, at no cost to the individual or their company, is providing a downloadable copy of the 129-pages of rules in Chapter 296-32 WAC. The department is also providing …

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President Trump’s ‘great, great’ rural broadband pledge should increase tower builds

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

President Donald Trump boasted to big ag executives at the American Farm Bureau Association convention in Nashville, Tenn. yesterday that an executive order he’s signed will help solve the persistent problem of appalling broadband speeds in rural America. Trump signed a memorandum directing the Interior Department to support broadband development in rural areas by increasing access to tower facilities managed …

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New broadcast stations’ 2017 count shaved in half following FCC’s reverse auction

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

According to newly released statistics by the FCC, the nation saw an addition of 609 broadcast stations added to its ranks during 2017, with 158 of them being low power FM stations. However, the repack auction has taken its toll. In 2016, an additional 1,365 stations were added, 55% more new broadcasters than in 2017. (VIEW BROADCAST CATEGORY COUNTS BELOW) The year saw the continuing …

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CommScope ushers in the new year with a new DAS patent lawsuit

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

When Cobham Wireless launched it intelligent digital DAS (idDAS) on New Year’s Eve 2015 covering Berlin’s Fan Mile – from the Victory Column to the Brandenburg Gate – over one million revelers enjoyed high-bandwidth 4G (LTE) services on the thoroughfare for the first time. This New Year’s Eve, CommScope’s attorneys and management were reveling in their ability to recently file …

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NATE offering free rigger awareness training throughout the country

In Featured News, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) announced today the dates and locations for their 2018 Rigger Awareness Training Courses. Twelve courses will be hosted nationwide and will be offered free of charge to attendees due to a Susan Harwood Training Grant (SH-31235-SH7) from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. Throughout 2018, NATE is planning to …

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ISP worker falls to his death from a backyard broadband tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: January 2, 2018 – OSHA has opened their investigation into the workplace accident that took the life of technician Richard C. Andrews, the eight industry fatality in 2017. In 2016 there were seven fatalities. Update: January 1, 2018 – Services have been announced for Richard C. Andrews, age 31, a resident of Manitowoc, Wisc. who fell from a tower …

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Top 10 industry stories in 2017 trailed with one fake news article

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Below are the top 10 articles that appeared in Wireless Estimator during 2017 based upon the number of views each one received, such as the September rigging accident that claimed the lives of three industry workers. It had 6,000 Facebook likes, was shared on LinkedIn over 900 times, and had been viewed over 48,000 times With Wireless Estimator’s safety-centric audience …

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RSI asks for steep and immediate prosecution for counterfeiting training documents

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

By Miranda Allen, CEO RSI Corp. Fraudulent safety training cards are circulating putting us at risk. The definition of a fraudulent act is intentional deception of a person or entity by another made for monetary or personal gain.  Fraud can be prosecuted both civilly and criminally. Wire fraud is a federal crime and occurs whenever a person uses a phone, …

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FCC gets serious about putting 4,200 ‘twilight towers’ in the spotlight

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) and the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) applauded the FCC’s significant vote to seek public comment on a plan to exclude from routine historic preservation review the collocation of wireless communications equipment on “twilight towers”. It has been estimated by the FCC that those structures total more than 4,200 nationwide. The affirmative vote from …

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FCC’s fidget spinning Pai gets enough party-line votes to kill net-neutrality

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In a move that will reshape the internet and incubate consumer-advocacy and other opponents’ lawsuits, the Federal Communications Commission this afternoon repealed the net neutrality rules it put in place in 2015. In the 3-2 expected party-line vote, with Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn dissenting,  the FCC reversed the designation of broadband providers as telecommunications companies and does away …

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Battery thief uses Verizon codes for multi-county Florida crime spree

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A Ruskin, Fla. man with ties to the industry has been arrested by Hillsborough County Florida deputies for breaking into numerous cell phone tower compounds in Hillsborough and surrounding counties to steal backup power supply batteries. Authorities say that William Bingham, 40, broke into a Gibsonton cell tower site on Nov. 27 using Verizon access codes to get into the …

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Leaked Vermont FirstNet reports put AT&T in an unwanted spotlight

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Vermont Governor Phil Scott’s decision last month to award a 25-year contract to provide FirstNet’s emergency responders network is overly secretive, according to critics who leaked documents last week of unredacted consultants’ reports, and it has state officials and lawyers for AT&T scrambling to find the leaker and force them to return the documents, according to Vermont Digger. The concerns …

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Weekend Kansas fatality is nation’s 7th industry death in 2017

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

January 3, 2018 – UPDATE:  Authorities have released a statement that  Clayton Donnell Barnhill of Grayson, La., was working on a communications tower fell approximately 320 feet to the ground from a 420-foot guyed tower. Based on reports by the Trego County Sheriff’s Office, a coworker on the tower with the deceased heard the deceased “click” his safety harness on, then …

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Big tower build bonanza for towercos and contractors announced by Sprint

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Sprint CFO Tarek Robbiati last week gave the industry an early holiday present – thousands of new towers to be built across the nation. At the 45th Annual UBS Global Media and Communications conference, Robbiati said the carrier intends to spend upwards of $4 billion on its network during fiscal 2017, which ends in March 2018, and expects to increase spending …

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FDH Velocitel restructures after QualTek acquires Velocitel assets

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Following QualTek Services’ recent acquisition of the assets of the Velocitel wireless turf and Site Safe businesses from Willis Stein & Partners and Vision Capital, FDH Velocitel’s remaining business units have reorganized into FDH Infrastructure Services (FDH-IS). FDH Velocitel’s infrastructure engineering businesses, FDH and Stainless, have been restructured to preserve both entities’ long traditions of service excellence to the wireless, …

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Tower techs’ overtime lawsuit puts travel time compensation under an industry microscope

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

An Illinois class action lawsuit filed in August of 2014 by current and former tower techs of Heights Tower Service, Inc. (HTS) could be headed for a jury trial after a U.S. District Court Judge on Nov. 29 ruled against both sides’ bids for summary judgment regarding the complaint that accuses HTS of failing to properly compensate its employees for …

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Hytera lawsuit alleges Motorola uses anticompetitive practices

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Hytera Communications filed a lawsuit in federal Court Monday alleging that Motorola Solutions (MSI) is feeding its monopoly status in the land-mobile-radio (LMR) sector by pressuring dealers to not offer lower-priced Hytera radios. The complaint also states that due to Motorola’s monopoly, U.S. users are comparatively paying up to five times more for some radios than in other countries where …

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Four NATE Directors re-elected as Ray joins Board for the first time

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today released the official results of the 2018 Board of Directors election, announcing that candidates Kevin Dougherty, President of MILLENNIA CONTRACTING, Inc. in New Castle, Del.; John Paul Jones, President of Tower & Turbine Technologies LLC in Austin, Tex.; Bryan Lee, President of Lee Antenna & Line Service, Inc. in Hellertown, Pa and …

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New SCF study says small cells expected to reach up to 480 per square mile

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Small Cell Forum (SCF), the telecoms organization driving universal cellular coverage, today announced the results of an in-depth survey of over 50 mobile operators, undertaken by Rethink Technology Research. The survey questioned operators’ deployment plans and business drivers for a dense HetNet, as well as the barriers they expect to have to overcome. The results showed that densification has begun …

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New antenna mount standard provides framework for a level playing field

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

When AMPS cell tower antennas made their debut in Chicago in 1983 they were 14 feet in length and as PCS was introduced they slimmed down in size. Today, new base station architecture has remote radio heads tagging alongside the antennas and they may be on a mount designed for horizontal wind loads and not the vertical dead loads created …

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American Tower picks up 20,000 towers in India for $1.2 billion

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

American Tower Corp.’s Indian subsidiary is buying approximately 20,000 communications towers from Vodafone India Ltd. and Idea Cellular Ltd. for $1.2 billion. ATC Telecom Infrastructure Private Ltd. is buying the sites and expects to generate roughly $320 million in property revenue from the assets during the first full year of ownership, American Tower said today. In both deals, the companies …

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AT&T and Verizon threaten the big three towercos with a new Tillman 200 tower scheme

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In a move clearly positioned as a threat to major tower owners to lower their lease rates, AT&T, Verizon and Tillman Infrastructure announced a joint agreement today to build hundreds of cell towers, with the potential for significantly more new site locations in the future. Last year during an investors conference, Bill Hogg, AT&T’s president of technology operations, said that …

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College football coaching legend Lou Holtz to keynote NATE UNITE 2018’s conference

In Associations News, Featured News, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) announced today that legendary college football coach, prominent motivational speaker and best-selling author Lou Holtz will deliver the keynote address at the NATE UNITE 2018 Conference in Nashville, Tenn.  NATE UNITE 2018 will take place February 19-22, 2018 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. NATE UNITE is widely regarded as the premier and most …

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CommScope’s AT&T antenna orders is first real sign of FirstNet’s deployment

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In March, Barclays said that AT&T could start deploying the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) as early as June, but the announcement was one of many short-lived guesstimates. However, according to CommScope, they have received antenna orders from AT&T for FirstNet. In a Nov. 1 earnings call with analysts, Mark A. Olson, EVP & CFO of CommScope Holding Company said, …

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Either there’s a shortage of COWs in Puerto Rico or FCC data

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In order for Americans to experience a total solar eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21 and record it on their cell phones, carriers rolled out dozens of Cell on Wheels and Cell on Light Trucks for the two-minute event, but can’t seem to provide Puerto Rico with any more than 14 COWs and COLTs, according to FCC data, as …

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FirstNet gets passing grades on progress; AT&T stresses the need for one core

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

House subcommittee on communications and technology members seemed satisfied with the progress of FirstNet and its contractor AT&T during a hearing this morning. Chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, committee members appeared to accept that there should be only one core for the nationwide Public-safety broadband network (NPSBN). Verizon and others have lobbied for additional public safety network cores that would …

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FedEx Ground’s safety chief is President Trump’s pick to lead OSHA

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Scott A. Mugno, vice president for Safety, Sustainability and Vehicle Maintenance at FedEx Ground in Pittsburgh, Pa., has been nominated by President Trump to be assistant secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. Whereas the former chief of OSHA, David Michaels, came from academia, Mugno comes from a safety-centric organization that has more than 100,000 fleet vehicles and more …

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Media is hoodwinked on ‘new’ federal Crown Castle siting lawsuit

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A press conference was held Thursday morning in front of the Nassau County, N.Y. Supreme Court building announcing that a lawsuit has been filed by several Long Island homeowners challenging what they believe is Crown Castle’s installation of hundreds of unregulated and untested wireless facilities. Broadcast, print and digital media were there and sucked up the staged presentation with CBS2’s …

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No injuries reported in Nebraska broadcast tower collapse

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

No one was injured this morning about 8 a.m. when a 500-foot broadcast tower collapsed in Lincoln, Neb. at 4100 Industrial Ave. The cause of the collapse is unknown, but two witnesses told Channel 8 Eyewitness News they heard a couple of popping noises and the tower just fell. Several TV stations broadcast from the structure and it also has …

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Towercos headed for some stiff competition with formation of Lendlease Towers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

When Lendlease recently entered the U.S. tower market in May with its purchase of Parallel Infrastructure’s 450 towers, it is likely that major tower operators viewed the acquisition as a missed opportunity and another competitive thorn in their rosy future, and possibly shrugged off Lendlease Americas CEO Denis Hickey’s statement that he would expand those holdings. True to his promise, …

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Wireless Infrastructure Show morphs in May into an exciting CONNECT (X) expo

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) today announced the creation of a ground-breaking new conference and trade show dedicated to the rapidly evolving telecommunications ecosystem. Over three action-packed days, attendees will experience cutting-edge discussions, workshops and keynote speeches from leaders across multiple industries – from wireless infrastructure and automotive to smart cities and commercial real estate. The Connectivity Expo —  known …

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Kay Kapoor resigns after six months of heading AT&T’s $15 billion business unit

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Confirmed reports are stating that Kay Kapoor, the head of AT&T Global Public Sector, has resigned. The news took many industry observers by surprise since Kapoor, who had led AT&T’s federal business for four years, and the company’s successful efforts to secure the multi-billion-dollar FirstNet public safety network contract, was appointed to her key corporate position in April. AT&T appointed …

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Violent Florida contractor charged in $16 million DOD bribery and kickback conspiracy

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Oct. 12, 2017 – Update and Correction: Timothy Donelson, who was arrested on Oct. 4 for participating in a bribery and kickback conspiracy was employed by Level 3 Communications, according to his LinkedIn page, during the period when he allegedly co-conspired with three other individuals who are charged with the issuance of almost $16 million in fraudulent invoices. Donelson’s arrest record identified that …

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Indiana’s FirstNet opt-in hits the 50% mark of states coming on board

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced today his decision to accept the FirstNet and AT&T plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the state’s public safety community. The move puts Indiana as the 25th state to opt-in to the FirstNet system, bringing advanced tools to help Indiana’s first responders save lives and protect communities. “Indiana’s first responders need fast, accurate information to keep Hoosiers safe,” Gov. …

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NATE’s STAR Initiative participants represent the gold standard for safety and quality

In Associations News, Featured News, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today announced the member companies who have been formally approved to participate in the STAR Initiative program for the 2017-2018 year. The NATE STAR Initiative is currently entering its seventh year and is the Association’s signature program designed to help companies operate safely and recognize tower contractors, owners and carriers who voluntarily adhere to …

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Tata closing its doors will take a nice chunk out of American Tower’s income

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In response to press reports that Tata Group is going to close down its India-based Tata Teleservices Ltd. (TTL), American Tower Corporation (ATC) today announced that the carrier accounted for approximately $80 million, or 5% of the REIT’s consolidated property revenues, including approximately $32 million of pass-through revenue. In addition, TTL accounted for approximately $40 million in gross margin for …

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Towercos use the power of the plug and courts to get lease bills paid

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

While the Empire State Building Realty Trust (ESRT) used the New York Supreme Court this week to win its lawsuit against radio station Pacifica WBAL for unpaid tower rent of $1.8 million plus attorney’s fees, towercos in India owed millions of dollars by Reliance Communications are cutting the carrier’s power to force them to ante up unpaid lease payments that …

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Copyright accusations fly as Washington adopts its extensive telecom safety standard

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The State of Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) adopted their Safety Standards for Telecommunications, Chapter 296-32, on Monday with a Jan. 1, 2018 effective date for the comprehensive 106 pages of rules. Industry associations had challenged some of the major inclusions, but the final version released yesterday saw mostly definition changes, and clarity revisions that do not require …

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Court says broadcasting couple owes millions on their TV and radio stations sale

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Eleventh Circuit yesterday upheld a 2015 U.S. Tax Court decision finding a Florida couple liable for at least a quarter of $79 million in unpaid taxes and interest from the sale of their Wisconsin TV and radio stations using a Midco transaction where the buyer resold the assets of Shockley Communication Corp.’s (SCC) stock. The court said it was …

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FCC votes to give $77 million for telecom in PR; Governor’s outages differ from FCC

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: Oct. 4, 2017 – The FCC unanimously voted today to immediately provide carriers with up to seven-months’ worth of support from the FCC’s Universal Service Fund, which helps lower the cost of deploying service in areas that are costly to serve. Any funds advanced under today’s action can be used to repair telecommunications infrastructure and restore service to customers …

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Lack of on-site generators, COWs, contributes to Puerto Rico’s still horrendous cell service

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

After Hurricane Maria’s catastrophic devastation of  Puerto Rico’s cell sites, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai directed his staff last week to reach out to American Tower, SBA Communications and Crown Castle “to see how we can work together to address Puerto Rico’s communications needs,” However, according to over a dozen industry professionals interviewed by Wireless Estimator, the answers are already known …

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Engineer sentenced to 8 years for billing over $400K for missing equipment, 6 tower climbs

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A former radio engineer has been sentenced to eight years in prison for stealing approximately $400,000 from the College of DuPage Illinois-owned FM station WDCB. John Valenta, 68, of Wheaton, appeared in court Friday, where DuPage County Judge Liam Brennan handed down the sentence. Valenta pleaded guilty to theft over $100,000 as part of a plea agreement on Feb. 28. …

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High angle rescue brings down two tower techs in North Carolina

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Two workers had to be rescued after being unable to get down from an approximately 125-foot Crown Castle monopole in south Charlotte, N.C. Thursday night. According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, two techs were working on the tower, located at 1800 Rama Rd. when one of the men became ill. The other tower climber proceeded to help his coworker, but couldn’t assist …

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Three Tower King techs killed in Florida after gin pole rigging failure

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: Sept. 29, 2017 – Authorities have released the names of the three technicians who fell to their deaths Wednesday when a gin pole failed during an antenna installation project in Miami Springs, Fla. The men were identified as Marcus Goffena, 31, from Sidney, Ohio, Brachton Barber, 23, of Longwood, Fla., and Benito Rodriguez, 35, of Tampa, Fla. Brachton is …

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NATE unveils DAS video featuring Super Bowl LII venue at U.S. Bank Stadium

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today unveiled a Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) video as part of Volume 2 of the popular Climber Connection series. The video was released at the NATE Wireless Industry Network (WIN) Great Plains Regional Conference in Bloomington, Minn. The fast-paced video highlights the explosive growth of DAS and the essential role this technology plays …

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Not ready to opt in to FirstNet, Georgia becomes the 13th state to issue an RFP

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Georgia recently issued a request for proposals (RFP) asking bidders to submit proposals to build and maintain an alternative LTE radio access network (RAN) for FirstNet under a potential “opt-out” scenario, making Georgia the 13th state with an active procurement for an alternative-RAN vendor. Georgia released the RFP on Sept. 22, and bids are due on Oct. 24. The proposed …

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FCC says wireless carriers remain competitive, but not by building new cell sites

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Carriers captured high grades for competitiveness, according to  the FCC’s Twentieth Mobile Wireless Competition Report, an annual analysis of whether there is effective rate rivalry with wireless operators Although the 34-page report provides a wealth of additional information to support competitiveness, according to Jonathan Adelstein, President and CEO of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA), anybody who has turned on a …

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SEMC’s mission: Create commonality in wire rope climb terms, inspections, loading design

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP) recently applauded the work of the Safety Equipment Manufacturers Consensus group (SEMC) when it met at the USA Telecommunications Insurance Services facility in Atlanta, Ga. to finalize the first revision of the Wire Rope Climb for Antenna Supporting Structures Guide. SEMC has been working with the staff and leadership from the Telecommunications Industry …

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Puerto Rico’s horrendous cell site outages complicated by generator/fuel theft concerns

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Puerto Rico’s cell service is still devastated today with over 91% of its sites out of service, basically the same as yesterday. The horrific outages caused by Hurricane Maria are also being felt in the U.S. Virgin Islands where 60.4% of cell sites are out of service, slightly down from yesterday’s 61.3%. In San Juan, P.R., subscribers saw a poor, …

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T-Mobile and Sprint marriage announcement is imminent according to romance reports

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In February, Reuters broke the news that Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Mobile U.S. was reportedly planning a renewed bid to acquire rival Sprint after a previous reverse attempt was thwarted by regulators.  Joined by CNBC, Reuters is again reporting that the romance has fired up again and a deal could be expected by the end of next month. But it’s not …

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Technician rescued after he passes out on California emergency tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A 24-year-old tower technician was rescued by Long Beach, Calif. urban search and rescue experts yesterday afternoon after he became too weak to lower himself from a self-supporting tower in Long Beach. According to Jake Heflin of the Long Beach Fire Department, the man was about 50 feet up on the tower at the Long Beach Emergency Communications and Operations …

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Northeast wireless regional safety summit features all-star speakers

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Turnkey Safety Solutions has announced the lineup for its exciting keynotes and panels for the Northeast Wireless Safety Summit (NEWSS). Many of the speakers are safety professionals, insurance experts and other prominent members of the wireless community interested in promoting the importance of safety, training and the most modern techniques for protecting workers from the inherent hazards. The event is …

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Carriers’ cell site outages to the FCC will not match their marketing hype

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Commentary Although the nation’s four major carriers are reporting cell site outages in affected areas of Hurricane Irma to the FCC, and the Commission is providing daily compilations for a snapshot in time, such as today’s outages in Florida of 13.4%, carrier public relations officials are beginning to spin their hardened site assets at speeds off the Saffir-Simpson scale. On …

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NWSA begins development of Telecommunications Tower Foreman worker certification

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) today announced that a group of nearly 40 subject matter experts, representing a broad cross-section of the telecommunications industry, are convening in Dallas, Tex. this week to begin the development process for the Telecommunications Tower Foreman certification program. NWSA made the announcement at the 2017 GSMA-CTIA Mobile World Congress Americas event in San Francisco, …

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Irma cripples communications in its destructive path through Florida

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

There was little improvement in cell service today in the U.S. Virgin Islands following Hurricane Irma’s destructive path with 54% of affected areas without service, only a 1% decline since yesterday. Florida saw a slight drop of approximately 2% at 24.6%. Alabama fared well with only 1% of cell sites out of service. Georgia, according to the FCC, has 10.5% …

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Tower techs’ repack role and frontline disaster activities heralded before Congress

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

National Association of Tower Erectors Chairman Jim Tracy provided key testimony today before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing, taking the opportunity to stress the important role that tower technicians play in maintaining America’s communications. The subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), conducted the hearing (video below) entitled “The Broadcast Incentive Auction: …

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Hurricane Irma’s cell site outages could dwarf Hurricane Harvey’s maximum 4.7%

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

As Texas is still dealing with Hurricane Harvey’s areas of flooding, failures of water plants and prolonged toxic chemical concerns, the cell sites out of service in the affected areas hit a new low yesterday at 1.73%. However, when Hurricane Irma sweeps into Florida this weekend, industry observers believe that outages will far exceed Harvey’s highest total of 4.7% on …

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Rivada teams up with U.S. Cellular to entice New Hampshire to opt-out of FirstNet

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Rivada Networks announced this morning that New Hampshire’s first responders “deserve a dedicated, purpose-built and statewide public-safety broadband network, and Rivada has teamed up with U.S. Cellular to ensure that mission is accomplished.” In Sept. 2016, Rivada Networks, Herndon, Virg., signed a no-cost, no-obligation contract with the state of New Hampshire to develop an alternative radio access network plan for …

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TIRAP on pace to achieve 1,000 registered apprentices, finalized new occupations

In Featured News, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

The Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP) announced that the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA), which serves as the National Sponsor for the program, is on pace to sign up a total of 1,000 registered apprentices through participating companies. “This is exciting because the employers are not only utilizing the existing program but supporting the creation of new occupations and endorsements …

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One third of the nation has now signed on with FirstNet

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

More than a third of the country has moved to modernize communications for the fire, police, emergency medical services (EMS) and other public safety personnel who bravely protect and serve their communities. Alaska, Hawaii, Nebraska, Puerto Rico and Tennessee are the latest to announce decisions to opt-in. Twenty states and territories have announced their decision to opt-in to the FirstNet network – America’s …

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Hardened sites and resupply keep downed cell sites from Hurricane Harvey at 365

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Even though flood waters are rising, there was only one additional cell site out of service today from yesterday as a result of Hurricane Harvey’s relentless rainfall in Texas and Louisiana. Carriers are attributing it to hardened cell sites and their disaster recovery plans that have intensified following previous hurricanes such as Sandy in 2012. There are 4.7% of the cell …

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Harvey kayos 364 cell sites as carriers brace for more outages

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

After Hurricane Harvey hit the coastal tourist town of Rockport Tex., decimating communications in Aransas County, carriers reported to the FCC on Saturday that 18 of 19 cell sites were out of service. This morning, according to the FCC, the county is still without service, but more importantly, the percent of cell sites that are down in the affected counties …

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Wireless industry works to maintain service for millions of Americans impacted by Hurricane Harvey

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The wireless industry is working hard to maintain service for the millions of Americans across Texas and parts of Louisiana impacted by Hurricane Harvey, as data released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) showed that 95 percent of the thousands of cell sites across the region were up and running, although sites that are not operating are increasing. The nation’s major wireless carriers, AT&T, …

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Goodbye Moto? Not likely, but competitors will cut into LMR and FirstNet business

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Motorola Solutions is entrenched with U.S. government agencies and their land mobile radio (LMR) purchases are a significant share of the company’s profits, but in the past week a number of media are questioning whether the company could be vulnerable to competitors building handsets and other devices meeting FirstNet standards. According to a Forbes report, “FirstNet devices are expected to …

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Crown Castle disputes whistleblower’s claim that it hid millions in fees from New York

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A whistleblower lawsuit filed on Dec. 28, 2015 alleging that Crown Castle International has cheated New York out of millions of dollars by hiding fees it received from wireless carriers that were supposed to be split with the State has been unsealed in N.Y. State Supreme Court. The U.S.’s largest operator of towers and DAS systems is accused of filing …

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AT&T and FirstNet are keeping a low profile as Verizon touts its public safety network

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Verizon’s announcement yesterday that it would build a core network to support the nation’s public safety users, putting it toe-to-toe with AT&T which won the FirstNet contract to build a nationwide public safety network, has communications officials questioning whether Verizon’s network will meet the FirstNet interoperability requirements set by the FCC for states or territories deciding to opt-out and build …

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California tower technician rescued by emergency crews

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A tower tech working on a 120-foot self-supporting tower in Los Flores Ranch Park, southeast of Orcutt, Calif. was rescued after he became weak and nearly fainted,  and could not descend the tower this afternoon. According to Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni, the worker was doing repair work on the structure owned by the city of Santa Maria, …

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Verizon takes on AT&T with its dedicated first responders network

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Verizon Wireless, the largest wireless network operator in the U.S. announced today that it going to build and operate its own private network core to serve first responders, jumping into the ring with AT&T who has the contract to build out the opt-in FirstNet network. SVP, Public Sector for Verizon Mike Maiorana discussed the carrier’s commitment to public safety communications …

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Tower climbers have the ideal opportunity for the greatest solar eclipse photographs

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The total solar eclipse on Mon., Aug. 21, 2017 will be visible along a narrow strip of approximately 70 miles wide, spanning from Oregon to South Carolina. The first industry company where employees can walk outside their office and take in the first total solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. coast-to-coast in 99 years is Slatercom of Salem, Ore. beginning …

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Court tosses Tall Tower’s lawsuit filed after Vertical Bridge acquired Clear Channel’s towers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A lower court should have dismissed Tall Tower Capital, LLC’s lawsuit accusing Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, LP of breaching an agreement in a deal to buy Clear Channel’s 472 broadcast tower assets, a Florida appeals court ruled Friday, finding that the firm had not established personal jurisdiction in Florida. A three-judge panel for the Florida Second District Court of Appeals unanimously …

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AT&T heralds ‘one climb’ to get three units of spectrum in service

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

At last week’s Oppenheimer’s 20th Annual Technology, Internet & Communications Conference, AT&T CFO John Stephens said that he expects the carrier’s overall capex to increase as a result its FirstNet build over the next three to four years with work beginning this year with the states that have opted in. “What we expect is that it will be one of …

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FCC is back at full strength with Rosenworcel and Carr’s confirmation

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: August 3, 2017 -The U.S. Senate voted today to confirm the nominations of Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr to the Federal Communications, returning the FCC to full strength with five members. Rosenworcel, a former Commissioner and Capitol Hill staffer previously joined the FCC in 2011. Her new five-year term is retroactive to July 2015 and runs through 2020. She …

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Circuit court confirms that the FCC set fair utility pole attachment rates

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Eighth Circuit denied a petition from the nation’s power and electric companies for review of a 2015 Federal Communications Commission order governing the rates utilities may charge telecommunication providers for attaching their networks to utility-owned poles. The court found the pricing decision to be just and reasonable, holding that the term “cost” in Pole Attachments Act, 47, U.S.C. 224, …

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Charter Communications snubs SoftBank’s proposed merger

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Cable giant Charter Communications said that it is not interested in acquiring Sprint following reports that Sprint’s owner, SoftBank proposed a merger with Charter. “We understand why a deal is attractive for SoftBank, but Charter has no interest in acquiring Sprint,” Charter spokesman Alex Dudley said in a statement, although SoftBank reportedly proposed the merger that would combine Sprint and …

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Mobilitie thumbs its nose at Houston’s pedestrians as it plants poles in the middle of sidewalks

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

After the City of Houston, Tex. Public Works and Engineering Department recently became aware that numerous DAS nodes had been installed on sidewalks, a City engineer promptly red-tagged at least one monopole that was erected by MasTec North America, Inc. for Mobilitie, LLC. It also prompted the department to issue FAQs on network nodes, below, that were released today. Council …

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AT&T’s FirstNet chief mum on new tower builds, questions ‘public safety grade’ towers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A two-hour progress hearing on FirstNet yesterday by the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet provided scant details on AT&T’s plans for new tower builds throughout the country, especially in rural areas, other than a brief mention there was an aggressive program in place to accomplish it. Michael Poth, CEO of FirstNet and Chris Sambar, Senior Vice President, …

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Crown Castle makes a $7 billion bet on going horizontal with Lightower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Crown Castle International Corp had reportedly made an offer to acquire Lightower Fiber Networks for more than $7 billion, including debt, according to Reuters. Another company courting an acquisition of Lightower was Uniti Group Inc., Reuters said. Formed by Berkshire Partners, Lightower’s network extends over 33,000 route miles throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest, providing dense connectivity to over 22,000 service …

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NAB attacks Microsoft’s slick rebooting of failed white spaces rural broadband plan

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Before the salad forks were lifted at yesterday’s media luncheon in Washington where Microsoft President Brad Smith was readying his Rural Airband Initiative that would use white space spectrum, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) attacked Microsoft’s proposal as “the height of arrogance.” In a press statement, NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton said, “It’s the height of …

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Discrimination lawsuit against Mobilitie mirrors plaintiff’s groundless racial issues with Bechtel

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A wireless construction manager has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Mobilitie, LLC, a nationwide wireless infrastructure service provider, alleging that the company “engaged in a pattern or practice of failing to hire African-American and non-Caucasian applicants” for numerous construction-related positions in its offices throughout the country. Rufus Lovell Brooks of Orlando, Fla. filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for …

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Tech’s condition is stable after he allegedly rode guy wire down from an ATC Texas tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: July 11, 2017 – According to reliable sources, the company that the injured worker was employed by was Advanced Data Technology of Pearsall, Tex. Established in 1995, Advanced Data is a systems integrator of  voice, data, and video solutions in rural markets. The company did not respond to a request for additional information regarding the incident. The injured technician has …

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Corrupt broadband provider loses its exclusivity grant in the Hawaiian Home Lands

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In an opinion and order released on July 3, the Federal Communications Commission revoked the exclusive license of Waimana Enterprises to build, construct, maintain and operate a telecommunications network in the Hawaiian Home Lands (HHL). In December, the FCC said that Sandwich Isles Corporation, Waimana Enterprises, Inc. (WEI), its parent company, and Albert S.N. Hee, owner of  both organizations, were …

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L.A. Times calls State’s small cell bill an ‘audacious’ power (pole) grab

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

On Monday, California Democratic State Senator Bill Hueso tweaked his proposed bill to prohibit a city or county from adopting or enforcing any regulation on the placement or operation of a communications facility in the rights-of-way by a provider that is authorized by state law. His amended SB649 bill removed requiring an escrow deposit or performance bond for removal of …

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White House says POTUS picks FCC’s top counsel to be Republican Commissioner

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As anticipated, the White House has announced that President Donald Trump has nominated Brendan Carr to fill the open Republican seat on the Federal Communications Commission. Carr, a former telecom lawyer, joined the Commission in 2012 as then Commissioner Ajit Pai’s wireless public safety and international legal advisor and was then appointed in January to general counsel by Chairman Pai. …

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Dumb RF engineer who shut down smart meter base stations is sentenced to jail

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In 2014, a radio frequency engineer upset after being fired from his job which required him to set up base stations that employed omni directional antennas on communications towers to monitor water meters, took revenge upon his unnamed employer and hacked into base stations to shut them down. He also changed the radio frequency for communications. and altered the code for …

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With his 52 TV station buy, failed LightSquared’s Falcone is the comeback kid

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Philip Falcone, former CEO of Harbinger Capital and bankrupt satellite-based network LightSquared, is back in the telecom arena again with HC2 Holdings, Inc.’s purchase of DTV America Corporation (DTVA) which currently owns and operates 52 LPTV stations in more than 40 U.S. cities. Falcone, HC2’s Chairman, President and CEO, stated, “This investment is another meaningful addition to our dynamic and …

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Surveyor and design firm are off the hook in siting errors that cost Texas city $508,000

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

When Rowlett, Tex. officials found out in March that they had constructed a police communications 325-foot tower on a neighbor’s plot of land and not city property, they fixed the error, as reported by Wireless Estimator, by paying $478,000 additional to buy the adjoining lot. Otherwise, they would have incurred a $400,000 penalty for not having the tower constructed to …

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Carrier CEOs chew on Trump’s ear to clear the path and speed up small cell installations

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

President Donald Trump offered backing for emerging technologies such as next-generation wireless and unmanned aerial vehicles in a meeting yesterday with the heads of telecom giants AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile, and drone companies such as Trumbull Unmanned as well as venture capitalists and health care providers. Wireless makes some strange bedfellows During the meetings in the East Wing, Trump …

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FCC investigating unlawful transactions after contractor takes ownership of 40-plus towers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A Wisconsin wireless contractor discovered a flaw in the FCC’s Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) database, and changed the ownership of more than 40 towers from multiple carriers and tower owners into his company’s name during the past five months without the rightful owners being notified by the agency, according to FCC documents and sources knowledgeable of the illegal transfers. Sprint, …

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WIA endorses Trump administration apprenticeship reforms, TIRAP welcomes 12 contractors

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP) and the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) announced today that 12 companies have signed agreements to be Participating Employers in the nation’s only telecommunications apprenticeship program. This pledge from private businesses will accelerate the fulfillment of TIRAP’s goal to address the skills gap in the telecommunications industry by adopting an apprenticeship model, which is …

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Orange is the new knack – for selling tower siting sizzle and not the steak

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

After a 10-year effort to improve public safety communications in Douglas County and Highlands Ranch, Colo., erection of a 150-foot public safety radio tower began yesterday morning after sales and use tax funding became available and a private developer said it would assist in providing a location for an artistic structure – a monopole with two side-mounted omni antennas gingerly …

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Crown socks Southeastern N.Y. with multiple rights of way-involved lawsuits

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Crown Castle filed another lawsuit in federal court on Thursday against the Town of Oyster Bay, N.Y. seeking to have its permits reissued to install microcells in residential neighborhoods. The action follows a recently filed complaint against the Town of Hempstead as reported by Wireless Estimator on Friday where Crown Castle sued over a consultant’s delaying tactics and high fees …

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Crown sues Hempstead, N.Y. over consultant’s delay tactics and high fees for DAS nodes

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

National DAS-provider and tower owner Crown Castle has brought suit against the Town of Hempstead, N.Y., alleging that the Town unlawfully delegated its review authority to a third-party consultant for 14 initial applications for authorization to install, operate and maintain DAS facilities in the Town’s public rights of way. Crown, in its complaint, said that the consultant, Center for Municipal …

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American Tower cracks the mighty ‘500’; Crown Castle is catching up

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Fortune has debuted their 2017 Fortune 500 List, described as the ultimate testament to a company’s success, and American Tower went from an aspiring vertical realtor at position No. 526 last year to breaking into the exclusive club in 2017 to position No. 449 with revenues of $5.8 billion. Crown Castle International, the only other industry candidate vying to join …

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Crown sued for not having climbing safety devices on Texas tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A Michigan tower tech is suing a lift manufacturer and a tower owner in Harris County Texas District Court for more than one million dollars, alleging their negligence caused him to fall and suffer injuries in Richardson on January 29. Stevin Ammerman filed a complaint May 31 in Harris County Texas District Court against Safway Group Holdings LLC, Crown Castle …

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Tower foreman certification credential’s program being developed by NWSA

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) announced today that its Board of Governors has approved proceeding with the development of a new certification and credential for Telecommunication Tower Foreman. The new certification will create a credentialing system for industry workers who supervise crews that work on communications structures, whether they are antenna and line crews, construction crews, or structural modification …

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Calculating the job risk online, cell tower technicians are ‘doomed’ – but it’s unlikely

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A study that has been kicking around since it was published by researchers at Oxford University in 2013, has gained a second life in the last few months after two online entrepreneurs made it easy to find out how susceptible 702 occupations were to being replaced by machines. The university report by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne was created …

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CCA slams AT&T again, this time asking FCC to reject FiberTower spectrum buy

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) believes that AT&T will not allow their carrier members to remain competitive if the FCC allows AT&T to acquire bankrupt FiberTower’s 650 terminated licenses. In a filing with the FCC Wednesday, CCA said that instead of the planned acquisition, the FCC should recover and re-auction the unconstructed spectrum in the 39 GHz band, and potentially …

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Industry applauds OSHA / FCC’s long-awaited Communication Tower Best Practices guide

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC and OSHA today released their Communication Tower Best Practices guide following a concerted joint effort on industry safety when the two agencies began the initiative with a workshop in Washington, D.C. in 2014 and continued the effort with another group of industry stakeholders in 2016. Although the guide is advisory in nature, and is not a standard or regulation, …

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WIA launches new industry education and training programs

In Featured News, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) today announced the creation of the Telecommunications Education Center (TEC), a new program and online portal that aims to provide the wireless telecommunications industry with a series of education and training courses with the goal of building a stronger and more diverse workforce. TEC (www.tec-online.org) aims to improve safety and quality, reduce costs of wireless …

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FCC Enforcement Bureau adds another three violations to broadcaster’s tally

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

It is likely that Cortaro Broadcasting, a Coolidge Ariz. company that owns, KCKY-AM, a Spanish language religious broadcaster, might hold the title for operating a small station with the most FCC violations when last week Cortaro was cited for not having a property fence, and the gates in both individual tower fences were held closed with a loose loop of chain …

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UAS focus conference features NATE’s new epic drone video

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today unveiled an Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) safety video as part of Volume 2 of the popular Climber Connection series. The UAS Operations video was showcased by NATE during a main stage presentation at the 2017 Drone Focus Conference in Fargo, N.D. The 2017 Drone Focus Conference is a prominent annual gathering of …

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Commissioner O’Rielly addresses tower lighting, crews and siting concerns at WIA

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly took Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) conference attendees yesterday in Orlando, Fla. down a somewhat pessimistic two-year overview of troubling issues he addressed in 2015 before WIA in Hollywood, Fla. One key concern he had was that In 2014, the Commission eliminated unnecessary tower marking and lighting burdens on the industry while ensuring the safety of aircraft, …

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Single structure towerco wins siting suit in Oklahoma Supreme Court

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The owner of a successful Oklahoma tower and lighting maintenance company saw an opportunity to provide homeowners in a severely underserved area east of Muskogee with cell service – in some homes non-existent – and constructed a 250-foot self-supporting tower that a major carrier was interested in co-locating on in 2010. But as soon as it was built, homeowner Ken …

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FCC chief chides AT&T for 911 outage that could have been prevented

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Ajit Pai said today that AT&T’s 911 outage in March could have been prevented if the carrier had implemented network reliability best practices. On March 8, 12,539 Americans who were AT&T customers tried to call 911. But they couldn’t reach emergency services because of a nationwide outage of AT&T’s VoLTE 911 network. When they placed that call, they heard fast …

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Weekend strike threatened by AT&T’s 21,000 wireless workers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

More than 21,000 AT&T wireless workers may go on strike this coming weekend if their union can’t reach a deal on a new contract by Friday at 3 P.M. ET. Workers from 36 different states have been working without a contract since February. “Going on strike is a decision that is not made lightly. Your bargaining team has worked countless …

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NATE, Sen. Thune commemorate tower techs, the ‘muscle’ behind the nation’s networks

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) this morning unveiled a commemoration declaring Thursday, May 11, 2017 as Tower Technician Appreciation Day. This day has been set aside by NATE to coincide with OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down Week in order to pay tribute to the important work that tower technicians conduct on a daily basis to enable a mobile society. NATE …

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Verizon wins with its superior $3.1 billion offer for Straight Path

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: May 11, 2017 -Straight Path Communications Inc. announced this morning that it will sign today a definitive merger agreement under which Verizon Communications Inc. will acquire Straight Path for $184.00 per share, reflecting an enterprise value of approximately $3.1 billion, in an all-stock transaction. Concurrently therewith, Verizon will pay on behalf of Straight Path a termination fee of $38 …

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AT&T’s tower-centric drone software could sunset a number of head counts

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

More than 30 years ago, Art Pregler directed the Air Force’s complex mission of taking full sized multi-million-dollar fighter aircraft, converting them into drones, and then shooting them out of the sky with new advanced weapons systems. Today, as director of AT&T’s National Mobility Systems, Pregler’s role is just the opposite, requiring him to ensure that the carrier’s experimental drones remain …

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Portal to check cell tower RF exposure in India is a poor PR patchwork

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In early April, a ruling from India’s Supreme Court shut down a BSNL cell tower after Harish Chand Tiwari, who works in Gwalior, complained that for the past 14 years he was exposed to radiation from a the tower illegally installed on a neighbor’s rooftop that was 165-feet from his employer’s home. And under pressure from the major tower owners …

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Tower tech’s 150-foot fall in Mississippi is nation’s second 2017 fatality

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: May 3, 2017 – Kris Edward Runyon, 39, has been identified as the tower technician who fell from a Crown Castle guyed tower near Meridian, Miss. yesterday evening and was pronounced dead at the scene. A resident of Portsmouth, Ohio, Runyon had been working for D&K Nationwide Communications Inc. of Bristol, Conn. for the past year, but according to the …

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Report: Sprint approved ‘trial’ for Mobilitie to build sites without regulatory compliance

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A humorous anecdote heard in siting corridors is that distributed antenna system (DAS) providers are secretly funding Mobilitie so that they can look good in comparison since the California-based developer is well-known for installing DAS poles in community rights of way without getting permission. Their typical answer, when discovered, is that there was a misunderstanding with a zoning or permitting …

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Industry’s contractors readying for national safety stand-down

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Next week’s national safety stand-down, May 8 through May 12, to prevent falls in construction, is an ideal time for contractors and other aligned businesses to take time out to discuss the very real problem in wireless construction of civil workers and tower techs injuring themselves. And even though the industry has not had any fatalities of a wireless worker …

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New Labor Secretary sworn in, but OSHA chief still in the wings

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Alexander Acosta was sworn in Friday as Labor Secretary after a bipartisan vote of 60-38. Acosta, 48, is President Trump’s Cabinet’s first Latino member, but the President’s second choice for Labor Secretary. His first selection was fast-food executive Andrew Puzder, who withdrew when it was clear that he lacked support in the Senate for confirmation. In a statement, Senator Tim …

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NATE video stresses how riding the line is safe when using best practices

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Riding the line to reach a work station on a tower is thought by some individuals to not be the best safe practice for ascending or descending. However, as identified in the National Association of Tower Erectors’ (NATE) safety video released today – Riding the Line – the procedure is safe and there have been no incidents of injuries or …

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Crane collapse takes the life of a 51-year-old Texas industry worker

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: April 26, 2017 – The cell tower compound that RMCI’s crane toppled into is owned by Crown Castle International. April 25, 2017 – A 51-year-old industry worker was killed yesterday afternoon when a crane tipped on its side in downtown Dallas, Tex., crashing into a cell tower compound in the 1700 block of Arts Place, according to Dallas Fire-Rescue …

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O’Rielly: Should the FCC go the way of the Dodo Bird and be fired?

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said in a speech at the NAB show yesterday afternoon that it’s up to Congress to decide whether the FCC should “go the way of the Dodo” and be eliminated with its responsibilities divided up among other federal agencies. The FCC, originally established to prevent spectrum interference among radio users, has grown into a behemoth …

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One tower installation error adds up to a half million dollar add on

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

For 13 years Wireless Estimator has been covering the wireless siting community and is always in search of the man bites dog story rather than a mundane municipal siting protest. Today, we found one in Rowlett, Tex. where a city tower was built on their neighbor’s adjoining property. But instead of moving the tower, equipment shelter and generator to the …

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Wireless West 2017 Conference leaps way past the wow factor

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Last year’s inaugural Wireless West Conference was often described as taking the wow factor to the next level. Yesterday’s opening day in their second conference will surely be labeled as astonishing as to how five wireless associations – California Wireless, Arizona Wireless, Nevada Wireless, Colorado Wireless and the Northwest Wireless associations – put together a conference that rivals major trade …

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CTIA shrinks the size of a pizza box to get the FCC to deliver small cells

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Last Tuesday, CTIA Regulatory Affairs executives Brian Josef and Kara Romagnino pitched Rachael Bender, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s Acting Legal Advisor, with their newly minted presentation on key reforms that would be beneficial for the agency to enact to ensure that America can build its 5G infrastructure. It’s likely that Bender fully understood their presentation on new opportunities and challenges …

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Attempts being made to quell ‘panic’ over cell tower radiation in India

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

India’s Telecom Minister, Manoj Sinha, said yesterday that all relative radiation studies have not revealed any health hazards from cell towers, emphasizing that the limits in the country are more stringent than other nations. Sinha’s comments came in the wake of last week’s Supreme Court ruling that shut down a tower on the grounds that a 42-year-old domestic worker was …

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Robber who threatened to kill NYPD captain gets first taste of justice with $404K FCC fine

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC issued a notice of apparent liability (NAL) on Friday to a 20-year-old New York resident for operating a radio transmitter on frequencies that the Commission has licensed to the New York Police Department, fining him $404,166. And although the enforcement message was clear, collecting the fine is uncertain. Following procedure, a copy of the NAL might have been …

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Profitable range of reimbursable repacking costs offered contractors, engineers, suppliers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Full power and Class A Broadcasters that have been reassigned to new channels must submit their reimbursement estimates for their repacking costs by July 12 using a form released Thursday by the FCC. The stations must include engineering, legal, equipment, installation, and other costs reasonably incurred to complete a required channel change. And for those participants in the repacking efforts, …

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Repack is kick-started after FCC’s auction results are unveiled

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

T-Mobile, Dish Network and Comcast were the top bidders in the incentive spectrum auction for 70 MHz of airwaves, according to an FCC announcement that will now jumpstart the nation’s long-awaited repacking efforts. The Commission now commences a 39-month transition period to move broadcast stations to new channel assignments. The first group of stations to move channels is scheduled for …

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U.S. adds 449 broadcast stations in first quarter, mostly low power FM

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

According to newly released statistics by the FCC, the nation saw an addition of 449 broadcast stations, the majority being 246 low power FM stations as of March 31, 2017. Low Power FM (LPFM) radio stations are authorized for noncommercial educational and public safety and transportation broadcasting only and operate with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 100 watts (0.1 kilowatts) …

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Straight Path finds its 5G suitor as AT&T picks it up for $1.25 Billion

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

AT&T has announced plans to acquire Straight Path Communications which holds a nationwide portfolio of millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, including 39 GHz and 28 GHz licenses. This acquisition complements AT&T’s January acquisition of FiberTower and augments the company’s holdings of mmWave spectrum. The acquisition will support AT&T’s leadership in 5G, which will accelerate the delivery of new experiences for consumers …

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NATE goes full bore into the beltway to address industry’s and nation’s priorities

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Timed to coincide with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai’s declaration of April 2017 as “Infrastructure Month”,  executives of the National Association of Tower Erectors were in Washington, D.C. last week for a series of legislative and regulatory meetings. During the productive week, the NATE delegation, consisting of Chairman Jim Tracy, Board of Directors member John Paul Jones, Executive …

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California wireless contractor and his family killed in Oregon plane crash

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A well-known and respected California contractor and his family were killed Friday while on a college scouting trip when their plane crashed in a rural field in Oregon. Authorities said John A. Zitting, 42, of Thousand Oaks, Calif.; his wife, Karen Blackmore Zitting , 37; and their son, John Brendan Zitting, 17, were headed to Eugene to visit the University …

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FCC appoints WIA members and leaders to broadband deployment committee

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai today announced that members and leaders of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) were selected to serve on the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC), a new federal advisory committee charged with exploring ways to accelerate deployment of high-speed Internet access nationwide and to close the digital divide. WIA members named to the Committee include: Marc Ganzi, Chief …

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Court agrees, awarding FirstNet contract to Rivada was just too ‘risky’

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

According to documents released by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, FirstNet’s Source Selection Authority (SSA) said one of the reasons that Rivada Mercury did not make the competitive range for bidding for the nationwide public safety network that was awarded to AT&T on Thursday was because “Rivada’s proposed strategy was risky because it utilized aggressive business assumptions.” The SSA …

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Over 70 communities have filed suit over Ohio siting bill enforcement

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Maumee, Ohio is the latest community to take action against Ohio’s “Petland Bill” that became effective March 21, that snuck in and set standards for tower siting in the state’s 938 municipalities’ rights of way. Maumee City Council members voted unanimously last night to file a formal complaint and request an injunction against the section of the bill relating to …

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Mobilitie is zero for two in its move to install New York monopoles

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Mobilitie is back in the news again after submitting an application in Washington County, N.Y. for a cell tower in Kingsbury and commencing work in Easton without getting proper approval. According to the The Post-Star, Mobilitie applied for a county highway work permit, “which is normally used when a homeowner wants to put something temporarily in the county’s right-of-way. Usually …

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Ivanka puts in a hostile bid for 3M, wants crown jewel DBI-Sala

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

April 1, 2017 – Traders were turned topsy-turvy yesterday afternoon after The Wall Street Journal reporter Ryan Knutson, in an exclusive interview with Ivanka Trump, said she had made a hostile bid for Maplewood, Minn. industrial giant 3M, offering a 46% premium for the company’s stock which closed Friday at $191.33. “Thulin [Inge G., 3M Chairman and CEO] will be hard-pressed …

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FirstNet and AT&T contract is inked creating 10,000 new jobs, $40 billion in spending by the carrier

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

At an award and signing ceremony this morning at the Department of Commerce, AT&T, although unofficially acknowledged as the winning FirstNet bidder, was officially announced as the winner of the private/public safety network contract by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Today is a landmark day for public safety across the Nation and shows the incredible progress we can make …

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New Washington telecom construction safety regs could see widespread adoption

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Exclusive “quick links” document is available for rule review The State of Washington Department of Labor and Industries has submitted a 106-page Safety Standards for Telecommunications proposal for public review that is expected to be adopted in July following three public hearings. And even though it would just affect those companies working in Washington, it is possible that a number of other …

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STAC’s second Canadian conference expands in attendance and offerings

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Approximately 300 industry professionals attended the 2nd annual conference of the Structure, Tower & Antenna Council (STAC) yesterday in Toronto, Can., considerably exceeding last year’s event that saw 200 industry participants, including wireless carriers, broadcasters, engineers, contractors, manufacturers, landowners, safety equipment suppliers and safety trainers, according to STAC Program Manager Nicholas Kyonka. The conference  also featured 29 exhibitors. STAC serves members …

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American Tower’s $100 million amendment is most likely from Verizon

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: March 29, 2017 – According to two knowledgeable industry insiders, American Tower Corporation’s (ATC) filing on March 21 stating that it had amended a master lease agreement with one of its tenants that will provide the company with an additional $100 million in revenue for the year,  was an agreement with Verizon, not AT&T as had been widely speculated.  However, they …

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Adelstein drives home need to remove regulatory barriers at South Wireless Summit

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Jonathan Adelstein, CEO and President of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA), delivered a keynote address at the annual South Wireless Summit here today in which he highlighted the crucial work the association is doing in Washington and in state capitals across the United States to remove barriers to the deployment of wireless infrastructure. “Creating a predictable business environment helps us …

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Telecom proponent Jeb Bush teams up with Boca Raton’s Vertical Bridge

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Vertical Bridge, the largest private owner and manager of communication towers and locations in the U.S., announced today the appointment of former presidential hopeful and Florida Governor Jeb Bush to its Board of Directors. Governor Bush will serve as an independent director. “Governor Bush understands and appreciates the need for greater wireless telecommunications infrastructure,” said Marc Ganzi, Executive Chairman of Vertical Bridge and co-founder …

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WIA chair believes 50-foot small cells are reasonable, urges congress to remove barriers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA), Thomas A. “Tam” Murray, today urged members of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology to continue its work toward streamlining the widespread deployment of wireless broadband in communities throughout the United States. He also informed the subcommittee that WIA was “tremendously in favor of long lease …

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Public broadcasting stations take a huge hit in Trump’s budget lite

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget cuts, released late last week, left the wireless industry basically unscathed except for some cuts to rural broadband efforts that are said to be duplicated elsewhere. But the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) took a huge hit on President Trump’s wish list, losing $445 million, which could result in a number of rural stations …

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Expect a quick AT&T award of FirstNet after court rules against Rivada Mercury

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The U.S. Court of Appeals of Federal Claims on Friday ruled against Rivada Mercury in the lawsuit they filed in November alleging that they were unfairly excluded by FirstNet from being in the competitive range for the nationwide broadband network for public safety contract Knowledgeable industry observers have said that if Rivada’s lawsuit was denied, the FirstNet board will most …

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American Tower pulls out of Florida’s corporate row, affecting 56 employees

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

American Tower Corporation (ATC) will be closing its office in Boca Raton, Fla. at 750 Park of Commerce Blvd., and laying off many of their 56 employees, according to a Florida worker adjustment and retraining notice dated March 1. Terminations are scheduled to begin on May 1. The office is located within a stone’s throw of Digital Bridge’s headquarters and …

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Wireless Infrastructure Association named national sponsor for TIRAP

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP) announced today that the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) was selected to serve as National Sponsor for the program, and that TIRAP had secured approval for four additional credentialed occupations. TIRAP is a joint venture of telecommunications companies, industry associations and the U.S. Department of Labor that develops DOL-credentialed apprenticeship programs available to qualified …

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Tower tech in Kansas is injured after falling approximately 25 feet

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: March 20, 2017  – The tower tech that was injured on March 15, 2017 while dismantling a tower in Salina, Kan. is still in the hospital, but recovering, according to an individual knowledgeable of the accident. Randy Smith was employed by his own tower company operating under the business name of Randy Smith Tower Services of Rolla, Kan. March …

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Utility commissioners tell the FCC to ‘tread carefully’ with municipal streamlining petition

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) recently applauded the FCC and Chairman Ajit Pai for initiating the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, but came down hard on what it sees as the FCC’s desire to preempt the traditional authority of State and local authorities by replacing intrastate regulation of rights-of-way, pole attachments, and other telecommunications facilities or services of …

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NYC says ‘we’re done waiting,’ and sues Verizon over fiber rollout

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In correspondence sent to New York City on Friday, Verizon said they were looking forward to “constructive dialog” to resolve the City’s Fios build-out concerns. New York wasn’t as accommodating when it slapped Verizon with a lawsuit on Monday. In a complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court, New York City contends that Verizon is in breach of a …

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WIA outlines convincing small cell deployment barriers nation faces

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) filed formal written comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its “Streamlining Deployment of Small Cell Infrastructure By Improving Wireless Facilities Siting Policies” proceeding. In its filing, WIA stressed the importance of maintaining a fair and competitive marketplace to promote the widespread deployment of wireless infrastructure in communities across the United States. More importantly, …

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FCC Commish: New tower marking regs could affect 50,000 towers; needs tweaking

In Featured News, Standards by Wireless Estimator

By Michael O’Rielly – FCC Commissioner Having worked on numerous legislative efforts over the years, I have seen that it is not uncommon for very well-intentioned provisions contained within larger bills passed by Congress and enacted into law to lead to unintended negative consequences. One such provision recently enacted in an FAA Authorization statute is causing a considerable level of …

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Broadcaster taunts American Tower who could easily pull the plug on its stations

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: March 10, 2017 – A Jackson Hole, Wyo. Broadcaster most likely doesn’t agree with the cautionary idiom of not biting the hand that feeds you. Radio stations KMTN, KZ95, KJAX and KID broadcast from American Tower’s towers and the stations’ owner was given until March 8 to either pay ATC over $500,000 it owed in back lease payments or negotiate a …

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Rappelling tower tech may be disqualified from receiving workers compensation

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Supreme Court of Georgia has ruled that a tower tech who disobeyed his supervisor’s instructions not to use a controlled descent and fell, severely injuring himself, may not be entitled to workers compensation benefits, reversing a Georgia Court of Appeals decision. Tower technician Adrian Burdette, employed by Chandler Telecom L.L.C. of Eatonton, Ga. during November 2012, according to the ruling, …

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HR folks focused on Verizon’s employee handbook court ruling challenge

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

There were a number of lessons learned by wireless infrastructure companies last month when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that portions of Verizon Wireless employees’ handbook needed to be removed because they had the potential to suppress workers from not being allowed protected free speech. The NLRB, in its Feb. 24 decision and order, said that Verizon must …

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NATE sets new all-time attendee, exhibitor marks at 2017’s conference

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) announced today that last week’s NATE UNITE 2017 Conference in Fort Worth, Tex, set new attendee and exhibitor records. The Association said that 1,801 individuals registered to attend NATE UNITE 2017. This total eclipses the organization’s all-time conference registered attendee total in its 22-year history, exceeding the previous attendance registration record of 1,614 at …

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No barriers in the way of the un-carrier’s drive to support tower techs/veterans

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

All carriers and tower owners support the need for a safe environment for tower techs, but T-Mobile has unfailingly gone the extra mile in its deeds and donations. The un-carrier, consistently ranked for having the nation’s fastest 4G LTE network speeds for its 72-million-plus subscribers, has quickly and deservedly captured a reputation for having the greatest concern for the safety of …

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AT&T’s FirstNet award in the bag rumors ignore court’s near-term expected ruling

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Rumors at last week’s Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona that FirstNet was set to award America’s first nationwide network for first responders to AT&T would require judicial clairvoyance to be accurate since the award is in an ongoing procurement process that will be decided by U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Elaine Kaplan. Oral arguments in Rivada Mercury’s lawsuit …

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Lone Survivor hero wows hundreds of NATE attendees with harrowing survival tale

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

  Decorated retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell paced back and forth in front of almost 900 attendees at NATE UNITE 2017’s keynote address yesterday, effortlessly herding them from the Fort Worth, Tex. convention center to a Hindu Kush mountain top in Afghanistan in 2005 surrounded by Taliban fighters who killed Luttrell’s three team members. But through his courage, training, and …

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NWSA lauds America’s first trailblazing telecommunications tower technicians

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Workers successfully complete assessments; recognized with professional NWSA Certification The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) announced the names of individuals who are among the first workers to obtain NWSA Telecommunications Tower Technician (TTT) certification at an educational session that was held Tuesday in conjunction with the NATE UNITE 2017 Conference in Fort Worth, Tex. The following industry workers have obtained …

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Snyder, Vermillion and Wilder honored at NATE UNITE 2017 awards luncheon

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Collins, Hightower and Miller Receive Prestigious Chairman’s Coin  The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) honored Craig Snyder, President of Sioux Falls Tower & Communications, Inc., Jocko Vermillion, Vice-President of Safety Management Services for CITCA and Steve Wilder, Co-Owner and Founding Member of CITCA, during the Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, February 28 at NATE UNITE 2017 in Fort Worth, Tex. …

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Executives Tracy, Miller and Little elected to lead NATE in 2017

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

  The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) announced today that Board of Directors’ members Jim Tracy, Jim Miller and Ben Little were elected to serve on the Association’s Executive Committee for the upcoming year. The Association made the announcement on the first day of the NATE UNITE 2017 Conference and Exposition in Fort Worth, Tex. Jim Tracy, CEO of …

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Texas space program post says student was never in danger while climbing tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A representative of the Eldorado Space Program, an Eldorado, Tex. high school program that teaches students to design instrumentation packages and launch them into space, said on its Facebook page Saturday that a cover story photograph in the March edition of QST published by the National Association for Amateur Radio, represented an inaccurate, unsafe depiction of a student climbing a …

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Cover girl climber shot could send high schoolers to their death

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Commentary – The March issue of a well-respected magazine published by The National Association for Amateur Radio (ARRL) will most likely latch onto the literal lunacy award for depicting in a photograph the most egregious tie-off violations one could imagine. In QST’s latest edition, their antenna issue, the cover shows a picture of Chase Mertz of Eldorado, Tex. climbing a …

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Kansas mayor is perplexed why FCC chief singled out his city’s broadband

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

During a press conference yesterday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai singled out a small Kansas community that he said had 75 residents that could possibly receive economic prosperity if they were to be provided with adequate broadband services, but City of Allen Mayor Charles Eastman said he’s not quite sure as to how that would be achieved – or if the city …

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Wireless infrastructure movers and shakers to converge in Fort Worth

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

NATE UNITE 2017, the National Association of Tower Erectors’ annual conference, to be held Feb. 27 through March 2 in Fort Worth, Tex., is expected to rival a record-setting number of visitors to the event that is clearly regarded as the largest and most comprehensive show in the U.S. for the wireless infrastructure industry. The exhibition is already breaking last …

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Industry’s first successful flying COW live test is made by AT&T

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

By Art Pregler  It’s a bird, it’s a plane… it’s a Flying COW.  Despite its funny name, we expect our Flying COW will be doing serious, potentially life-saving things for our customers. We’ve used drones to inspect cell sites, measure network strength in sports stadiums, and now we’ve built a Flying COW.  A Flying COW – which stands for Cell …

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SoftBank spectrum bids and a T-Mobile/Sprint buy are based on suspect sources

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

SoftBank Group, Inc., Sprint’s parent company, may revive selling the carrier to T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, according to unnamed sources cited by Reuters. The news agency said that SoftBank is reportedly frustrated with Sprint’s growth and is ready to give up control of the company and take a minority interest in T-Mobile. With limited information provided by Reuters’ sources, …

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DAS debuts at University of Iowa as ATC’s lawsuit still dawdles in court

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

U.S. Cellular announced on Wednesday that it has completed its DAS network at the University of Iowa Carver-Hawkeye Arena and Kinnick Stadium, much to the chagrin of American Tower Corp. (ATC) who is suing the university and its Board of Regents after they yanked a 2013 contract that ATC says is still in effect. “The new network system supports a …

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FCC could decide whether U.S. Cellular violated incentive auction bidding rule

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In announcing on Feb. 16 in a government filing that they had ponied up $327 million in the FCC’s spectrum auction, U.S. Cellular might have violated the agency’s bidding regulations. Publication of their bid amount could be in conflict with the Commission’s rule that applicants cannot be “communicating directly or indirectly any incentive auction applicant’s bids or bidding strategies to …

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Mobilitie’s DAS marketing illustrations are labeled as ‘quite deceptive’

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Distributed antenna systems provider Mobilitie, whose national focus is to provide Sprint with sites in community rights of way to assist in densifying their network, recently made a presentation to local government telecom officials in Southern California at the States of California and Nevada Chapter of the National Association of Telecommunications and Advisors (SCAN NATOA). Mobilitie, in its presentation, provided …

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FCC Chief: As reported in 1929, radio is not in its death throes

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In addressing the North American Broadcasters Association in Washington yesterday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that in spite of a caustic commentator’s prediction in 1929 that “In two years, at the present rate of advertising exploitation which the radio is suffering, it will be as dead as a Democrat,” it is still alive and doing quite well. He noted that …

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New Jersey cell tower tax ruling could have a wide-ranging impact

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The nation’s most profitable toll road, exceeding over $1 billion annually in revenue, will be slightly less profitable following a New Jersey tax court decision handed down last Friday that will require it to pay city taxes on a cell tower on its property in Elizabeth. The ruling could also have other municipalities assess whether towers located on turnpike property …

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WUSF-TV is one of the first casualties of incentive auction

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

After 50 years of broadcasting, WUSF-TV has announced that it will go off the air later this year, now that the University of South Florida has sold its public broadcast license for more than $18.75 million during the FCC’s incentive auction. According to university officials, the price was far below what they anticipated receiving. Last week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai …

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Commissioner O’Rielly tackles questionable waste in backup network funding

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The adage, any publicity is good publicity, may have backfired on the Arlington, Virginia Public Schools (APS) after an article in ARLnow.com was read by FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly and he dashed off a letter to the Universal Service Administrative Co. (USAC) that could possibly kayo funding for APS’s backup fiber network because he believes that “ratepayer dollars are being …

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FCC gavels in $19.6 billion in auction, CTIA is already lobbying for another one

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Bidding in the clock phase of the FCC’s incentive auction ended last week with wireless companies and others ponying up $19,632,506,746 for 70 MHz of new broadband spectrum, and although it was lower than a number of analysts’ projections, it was still the second largest auction ever. The U.S. Treasury will get approximately $7.6 billion and trade group CTIA is …

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New tower construction regulations could be on the way if the CWA gets its way

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

New OSHA regulations directed at the wireless construction industry that were expected to be proposed in 2017 appeared to get a stay of execution when it seemed that the new administration will put a freeze on new regulations – especially since President Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 30 that for every new regulation, agencies would have to toss …

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Pence’s $260 million tower deal legacy for Indiana is terminated

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced today that the Indiana Finance Authority has terminated contract discussions with Agile Networks which struck a tentative deal last September with the state to lease its communications towers while Vice President Mike Pence was Governor. As reported at that time by Wireless Estimator, Agile and Pence said that negotiations had been finalized for an agreement …

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FCC head handcuffs his Enforcement Bureau chief in issuing settlements

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Newly minted FCC Chairman Ajit Pai instituted a process reform measure yesterday that will handcuff his Enforcement Bureau chief so that Commissioners will become more fully involved in the agency’s enforcement activities. One of the ways in which the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau resolves an investigation is by entering into a consent decree, in which the party being investigated agrees to comply with certain …

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Tower technician is seriously injured when a staged monopole section collapses on him

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: February 10, 2017 –  According to a tower technician who visited the hospital yesterday evening where Tobi Koons is being treated for his injuries, Koons is still in serious condition and is expected to be in ICU for at least a week. Two tower technicians who are friends with Koons, informed Wireless Estimator that he is employed by Mission 1 Communications of …

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WIA presses for small cells on pole facilities with its detailed primer

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Attaching small wireless antennas and associated equipment – such as distributed antenna system (DAS) remote units, remote radio units and self-contained small cells – on existing poles or structures significantly improves the coverage and capacity of mobile networks, according to a new white paper titled “Small Cells on Pole Facilities: A Primer on How Utility Poles, Street Lights and Traffic …

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T-Mobile’s Hail Mary pass falls short after Super Bowl data rank tanks

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray most likely knew that there was no possibility of the carrier sporting high data usage numbers at Super Bowl 51 Sunday, and used the same game play that it did last year. Ray tried to exploit his opponents’ slow speed during the most watched sporting event in America with T-Mobile’s download and upload speeds of …

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NATE releases an updated detailed resource for tower site drone usage

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today released the 2nd Edition of the NATE Unmanned Aerial Systems Operations Around Vertical Communications Infrastructure resource document available to all interested parties at no charge. The newest edition of this valuable safety resource is a by-product of collaboration between the NATE Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Committee and other prominent representatives from the commercial …

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FCC Commissioner Clyburn trashes newest Chairman’s actions in news dump

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, the remaining Democrat on the Commission, went head to head on the keyboard with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Friday, clashing over whether his actions were legal when he reversed a decision made late in the Obama administration to let consumers apply their telecommunications subsidies to broadband services. Clyburn, who served as the acting Chairman in 2013 …

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FCC Commissioner contends more broadband subsidies may not be the best route

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have been open to the idea of spending $20 billion in broadband funding as part of a $1 trillion infrastructure proposal, as recently reported by Wireless Estimator, but one Republican Federal Communications Commissioner is arguing that the approach has “serious potential drawbacks.” “For the sake of efficiency and soundness, if new government money has to be …

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AT&T sneakily buys FiberTower, a company they once inadvertently helped to cripple

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Technology makes strange bedfellows and opportunities, as is the case when AT&T announced on Tuesday that it “entered into an agreement to acquire FiberTower Corporation, and its mmWave spectrum rights.” The one-sentence sale statement was tucked in at the end of an announcement that AT&T was in advanced discussions with power companies to trial Project AirGig, a patented broadband-over-power lines …

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Pennsylvania mayor arrested for burying graves during cell site construction

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: Feb. 19, 2017 –  Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Matulewicz dismissed the case against the Mayor of Shamokin, Pa. yesterday of allegedly desecrating graves, citing a lack of evidence. In a statement, Mayor William Milbrand said, “I knew that I did nothing wrong, but I also knew that some members of the Shamokin Police Department were angry at me and they …

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Pilot dies after clipping guy wire of Vertical Bridge Texas tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The pilot of a small airplane was killed when he crashed in Rusk County, Tex. yesterday on a clear afternoon on County Road 497 after its wing reportedly clipped a 449-foot tall tower’s guy wire, according to Rusk County Office of Emergency Management spokesperson David Chenault. Chenault informed Wireless Estimator that the plane was an older Cessna. The guyed tower, …

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Chairman Pai forms broadband deployment committee to close digital divide

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

At Ajit Pai’s first open meeting as the Federal Communications Commission’s Chairman, he emphasized the need to close the digital divide, and he believes the creation of a broadband deployment advisory committee that will be active for two years will assist in that effort. However, he didn’t discuss how he would proceed on key rules that he opposed under the …

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Up to 50 gazillion terabytes of data could be used at Super Bowl 51

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Patriots and Falcons will match up in Houston Sunday at NRG Stadium, and the nation’s wireless carriers are kicking off their public relations campaigns this week to show how they’ll be capable of handling whatever their subscribers throw their way. But unlike today’s odds where New England is installed as a three-point favorite over the Falcons, the odds of …

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AT&T: Viva Mexico, President Trump, and FirstNet selecting them

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Although the almost daily political question in America is Who will pay for the Mexican border wall?, AT&T knows who is paying to assist with its bottom line, Mexico. And it has been a “remarkable success story,” according to AT&T CFO John Stephens. In its quarterly conference call last week, Stephens accented the company’s strong growth in Mexico, stating, “In …

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U.S. broadband infrastructure spending consensus is at $20 billion

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

With President Donald Trump’s “America’s Infrastructure First” policy calling for $1 trillion in new investment to improve the nation’s infrastructure, broadband will play a critical role in connecting the country’s citizens, communities and businesses, and according to an all-star panel brought together by USTelecom that spoke before the National Press Club in Washington yesterday, that need will most likely require …

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Rivada’s 4G bid rigging allegations overflow with plots expected in a Grisham novel

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In November, Rivada Mercury, a consortium led by Rivada Networks, which includes Harris, Fujitsu, Black & Veatch, Nokia, Intel and Ericsson, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government over what it says is the illegal and “wrongful exclusion” of the consortium from the First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet) procurement process. Rivada’s latest lawsuit involves a $7 billion contract to operate …

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Goodman Networks expects to file prepackaged bankruptcy next month

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Financially troubled Goodman Networks Incorporated of Frisco, Tex. said that it expects to file its prepackaged Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in February in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. Prepackaging its bankruptcy plan allows Goodman to shorten and simplify the bankruptcy process in order to save the company money in legal and accounting fees, as well as …

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NATE brings to life new ANSI/ASSE A10.48 standard with a polished video presentation

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today released a safety video highlighting the new ANSI/ASSE A10.48 Standard. The video is the first to debut as part of Volume 2 of the NATE Climber Connection series. The A10.48 Standard – Criteria for Safety Practices with the Construction, Demolition, Modification and Maintenance of Communications Structures has been described as a game-changer …

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FCC chief appoints a new top cop and other staff leaders

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Michael Carowitz, who has been deputy chief of the FCC Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, was named by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai as his acting chief of the Enforcement Bureau, which had been headed by Travis LeBlanc. FCC observers expected that LeBlanc would be replaced since Pai has oftentimes complained about the enforcement group’s management. The enforcement bureau is the …

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AT&T’s end run around municipalities might have put Mobilitie out of the game

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

  DAS-provider Mobilitie LLC’s petition to the FCC for a declaratory ruling to promote broadband in the U.S. by prohibiting excessive charges for access to public rights of way was championed by AT&T, at least in Ohio, where the carrier last month lobbied for and successfully sneaked in an amendment inside a bill regulating puppy mill providers. The questionable legislative procedure …

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Reports were correct, President’s pick is Pai to head the FCC

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: January 23, 2017 – In sync with his new boss’ Twitter affection, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Tweeted today, “This afternoon, I was informed that #POTUS @realDonaldTrump designated me the 34th Chairman of the @FCC.” Pai, 44, a Republican, steps into Tom Wheeler’s position. Wheeler stepped down from his chairmanship on Friday. The industry came out in force to congratulate Pai, with …

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MacEntee named safety alliance’s executive director, Trego and Cook join staff

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

  The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) announced today that Duane MacEntee has been selected as the organization’s new Executive Director. MacEntee replaces Chuck Slagle who has retired from his position as NWSA Executive Director and is transitioning to a consultancy role within the alliance. “NWSA is thrilled to welcome Duane MacEntee as our new Executive Director,” stated President Don …

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It’s a one-woman show against Mobilitie’s rights of way crusade

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Mobilitie might have met the one woman in America who has the best chance with the FCC to have the agency bridle, what she describes as, the distributed antenna system (DAS) provider’s desire to “run roughshod over local communities” as it attempts to reduce rights of way fees that they say will impede future 5G growth. But Mobilitie has the …

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FCC’s forward auction clears $10 billion threshold, allowing spectrum transfer

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

  The FCC’s forward auction to reallocate broadcasters’ spectrum licenses to wireless providers marginally cleared its $10 billion clearing target Wednesday, setting the stage to transfer broadcast spectrum for wireless broadband use and the development of new wireless technology. With the results of  yesterday’s rounds of the FCC’s forward auction, the bidding has satisfied the requirements of the incentive auction’s Final …

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FCC fines Straight Path $100 million for failing to deploy wireless service

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau today announced a settlement valued in excess of $100 million with Straight Path Communications to resolve an investigation of Straight Path’s failure to deploy wireless services as required under its FCC spectrum licenses. The Enforcement Bureau investigated allegations that Straight Path violated the Commission’s buildout and discontinuance rules in connection with approximately 1,000 licenses …

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Judge: American Tower can’t evict tenant owing over $500,000

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A U.S. bankruptcy court judge in Utah has ruled that American Tower Corporation (ATC) cannot kick its tenant off of a number of their towers until March 8, 2017 if ATC and Rich Broadcasting Idaho, LLC (RB) do not reach an agreement on amended or new leases – an action that is highly unlikely. According to court documents, RB owns radio …

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Commuters use NYC’s new subway cell coverage to castigate the MTA for delays

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Almost all underground subway stations in New York City had cell phone coverage from the nation’s top four carriers on Monday, a year ahead of service, according to state and city officials. In addition, Wi-Fi has been installed a full two years ahead of schedule. Commuters welcomed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) early delivery that was made possible by Governor Andrew …

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Bankrupt Limitless Mobile wants to reject 140 cell tower leases; creditors cry foul

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: January 27, 2017 –  The bankruptcy court has agreed to a revised motion to reject the leases of Limitless Mobile. It stated, “For each Lease, any Tower Equipment remaining on or at the Tower or the associated premises is hereby deemed abandoned pursuant to section 554 of the Bankruptcy Code, effective January 30, 2017.” Tower owners can now remove …

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New inspection requirements added in Revision H of ANSI/TIA-222

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The new ANSI/TIA‐222-H Standard, the “Structural Standard for Antenna Supporting Structures and Antennas and Small Wind Turbine Structures,” the latest revision of the TIA-222 Standard that builds on the changes introduced in the Revision G and enhances and expands them, is expected to be published in the third quarter of 2017. Revision H has loading and design strength provisions revised …

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Carriers and towercos plan for enforcement of new tower technician certifications

In Associations News, Featured News, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

Nationwide NWSA certifications mark historic milestone for the communication tower workforce The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) announced the official launch of two industry-wide certification programs, Telecommunications Tower Technician 1 (TTT-1) and Telecommunications Tower Technician 2 (TTT-2), and carriers and tower companies have informed Wireless Estimator that they are assessing when they will require full certification compliance of all technicians …

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The U.S. ends the year with 1,365 additional broadcast stations

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

According to the FCC’s latest report, ending Dec. 31, 2016, there were 15 fewer AM broadcast stations in the past year. However, there has been an increase of 1,365 broadcast stations during 2016. FM commercial stations added 45 to their ranks with the nation’s count totaling 6,746, compared to an AM station total of 4,669. (View full details below) Commercial TV …

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AT&T to roll out giant eyeballs and drum sets to support inauguration

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The nation’s wireless carriers are ready for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20 in Washington D. C. with increased network capacity with AT&T providing what might be the best coverage in the District – or at least it appears that way as the nation’s second largest carrier promotes its innovative and largest temporary network it has ever provided. Two …

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NATE elects three incumbents and new board member Randel Scott

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today released the official results of the 2017 Board of Directors election, announcing that candidates Jim Tracy, CEO of Legacy Telecommunications, Inc. in Burley, Wash.; Jim Miller, President of EasTex Tower, LLC in Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Ben Little, CEO of Centerline Solutions, LLC in Boulder, Colo. were re-elected and will retain their …

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Michigan okays two licenses to Mobilitie, but disavows DAS

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The State of Michigan Public Service Commission has approved Mobilitie Management LLC’s application to provide facilities-based basic local exchange service throughout the state, but the Commission’s approval doesn’t provide the California-based company freedom to provide distributed antenna systems (DAS) or provide installations without obtaining required building permits. In its approval, the Commission noted that based upon the concerns expressed by …

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Point-to-point super flyway broadband network may not have enough planes

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

California-based Airborne Wireless Network (AWN) believes, like Facebook envisions, that it has the answer for being able to assist in providing broadband throughout the world by using aircraft. Whereas Facebook is attempting to use unmanned drones, with its first attempt ending in a return-trip crash, AWN want to use the world’s existing commercial aircraft to create a meshed carrier network. The company …

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Wind gusts found Aquila’s Achilles heel in “cell site” solar plane crash

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

On June 28, 2016, Facebook Connectivity Lab launched its solar powered Aquila aircraft to set the company’s ability to provide broadband coverage to a 60-mile-wide area on the ground in underconnected regions. Three weeks later, Facebook acknowledged that the operation was successful, but the patient died – or was severely injured — when their airplane had a structural wing failure …

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Corrupt owner dipped into $27 million of FCC broadband funds to support his lavish lifestyle

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

While the FCC announced Tuesday that it is freeing up an additional $51 million annually in subsidies for 35 companies to build out broadband infrastructure in rural areas, it was also anxious to see if Sandwich Isles Communications, Inc., (SIC) of Hawaii had paid its $50 million fine due by Jan. 4, 2017 for receiving $250 million in funding with “substantial amounts of that …

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Canadian investment group agrees to pony up $1.6 billion for 43,000 towers in India

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

India’s Reliance Communications (RCOM) has sold its tower business to Canadian private investment firm Brookfield Infrastructure Partners for $1.6 billion. The deal was announced in October. RCOM and Reliance Jio, the telecom arm of Reliance Industries Ltd, will continue as major long-term tenants of the new tower company, along with other existing carriers on the 43,000 towers. In addition to …

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FPS says oui to American Tower’s $726 million offer for 2,400 towers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

American Tower Corporation and Dutch pension fund manager PGGM today announced their entry into a definitive agreement to acquire FPS Towers, which owns and operates approximately 2,400 wireless tower sites across France, through their previously announced joint venture, ATC Europe. The price was set at approximately $726 million. FPS, founded in 2012 when it acquired the towers of Bouygues Telecom, …

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Black & Veatch’s Benjamin Afton appointed to safety alliance’s board of governors

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

  The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) announced today that Benjamin Afton, Safety & Health Manager for the Telecom Business Line with Black & Veatch in Overland Park, Kan., has joined the organization’s Board of Governors. Afton was appointed to fill one of the seats reserved for the Large General Contractor sector of the industry. “The wireless construction industry is …

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Wheeler to step down as FCC chief when Donald Trump is sworn in

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has announced that he will leave the agency on Jan. 20, 2017 when President-elect Donald Trump is sworn-in. The change will give President Trump an immediate 2-1 majority on the Commission. “Serving as F.C.C. Chairman during this period of historic technological change has been the greatest honor of my professional life,” Wheeler said in …

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NATE: Commercial vehicles are now exempt from hours of service/log book requirements

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) gave an early industry-wide Christmas present to the nation’s contractors this morning with its announcement  that its discussions with federal transportation officials has resulted in an important clarification of existing regulations that will provide critical relief related to companies’ commercial vehicles operations. NATE recently worked with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier …

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Deceased tech was not near work area when he fell

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: December 13, 2016 – According to a representative of Motive Energy Telecommunications Group, Inc. (METG), their tower technician who fell from a roof and died in Chula Vista, Calif. on Nov. 23, 2016, was not near the telecom worksite area when the accident occurred. In a statement to Wireless Estimator, he wrote, “METG is informed that Matthew Vukasovich fell …

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A deep dive into enhancing property values with in-building wireless

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

By Vince Varga Property managers, owners, and builders are missing an opportunity to increase profits through attracting modern, mobility-favoring tenants. The easiest way for a property to miss out on revenue is to lose tenants to turnover, or worse, not to get them in the first place. To get them in the door, your property must be well-maintained in your …

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FCC cell tower Ponzi scheme ensnares a Puerto Rico mayor charged with extortion

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The mayor of Gurabo, Puerto Rico was arrested yesterday on charges of extortion and soliciting a bribe for allegedly using his municipality’s money to invest in a $15 million Ponzi scheme that was structured around investors being able to reap handsome profits from their investments in FCC cell tower administration contracts. According to the indictment, on or about October 2012, the …

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American Tower CFO: T-Mobile, Sprint merger would strengthen the tower industry

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

If the big four carriers morphed into three majors through an acquisition, American Tower EVP/CFO Tom Bartlett believes that no matter how it all shakes out, “it’s all good for the tower industry and our business, in particular, here in the United States.” Bartlett was interviewed by Batya Levi yesterday at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in Manhattan, …

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Limitless Mobile’s bankruptcy hits contractors, towercos and suppliers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

At the end of November, Limitless Mobile’s subscribers in central Pennsylvania knew something was amiss when their cell service was cut off, and if they went to the Susquehanna Valley Mall in Selinsgrove this past weekend they would have been greeted with an empty store with a note on the security gate that said the store had been closed and …

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AT&T believes it’s a shoo-in for the multi-billion dollar FirstNet award

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

AT&T stretched the use of an 8K Securities and Exchange Commission filing as they shook their hips in the FirstNet win zone Friday, stating that it appears that they were the only compliant bidder – to their knowledge. According to AT&T, bidders pdvWireless Inc. and Rivada Mercury, LLC have both been eliminated from the RFP review. AT&T said that it …

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As Goodman Networks collapses, key execs bolt out the door

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Frisco, Tex.-based Goodman Networks’ Chairman and CEO Ron Hill gave notice on Nov. 21, 2016 that he would be resigning and his last day on the job would be Dec. 21, 2016, stating that he had “good reason” to quit as defined in his employment agreement that had been frequently updated since he served as the company’s Vice President of Professional …