View Post

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 …

View Post

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, …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

Firstnet’s progress lauded at APCO as Arizona and Kansas join the public safety network

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE August 15, 2017: Kansas is also transforming public safety communications by opting in to FirstNet. This afternoon, Governor Sam Brownback announced his decision to accept the FirstNet and AT&T plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the state’s public safety community. This will make Kansas the 14th state or territory to bring advanced technologies that will help first responders save lives and protect communities. FirstNet Chairwoman Sue Swenson extolled …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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, …

View Post

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 …

View Post

AT&T’s fixed wireless footprint expands to 70,000 rural locations

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet for rural and underserved locations is now available in eight new states. These are in addition to the initial launch that took place in Georgia in April. More than 70,000 locations can now access Fixed Wireless Internet in underserved or unserved areas across these nine states. This is part of the FCC Connect America Fund commitment. …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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, …

View Post

FirstNet and AT&T deliver state plans three months ahead of schedule

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

FirstNet and AT&T are taking an important step to deliver the first nationwide high-speed data and voice network for America’s first responders. Today, the two will provide U.S. states and territories with individual State Plans to enable the rapid deployment of this first-of-its-kind FirstNet network. The network buildout proposed in the State Plans will create thousands of new jobs nationwide …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

AT&T’s disaster drill sets stage for providing connectivity during emergencies

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Hurricane season officially kicks off on June 1, and the National Weather Service says an average of three hurricanes hit the U.S. coastline every two years. But each one carries with it different catastrophic results and AT&T says it wants to be prepared for all scenarios, and goes through a number of exercises that put their Network Discovery (NDR) team …

View Post

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 …

View Post

Broadband investment heads south, 5G Michigan trials soar successfully

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Samsung, Cisco deliver multivendor end-to-end 5G trial with Verizon Samsung Electronics America, Inc. and Cisco, in partnership with Verizon, today announced the successful deployment of the first multi-vendor end-to-end 5G trial network in the field, which took place in Ann Arbor, a suburb of metropolitan Detroit, Mich. Earlier this year, Verizon announced plans for customer trials of 5G technology for …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

AT&T exec Kay Kapoor will head new $15B global organization

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Kay Kapoor, who has led AT&T’s federal business for four year, and the company’s successful efforts to secure the multi-billion-dollar FirstNet public safety network contract, will now head the company’s new Global Public Sector (GPS) business unit as its president. AT&T is consolidating its federal, state and local public sector operations into GPS. AT&T’s public sector sales in 2016, consisting …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

AT&T still mum on what caused its 14-state 911 outage

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The FCC said on Thursday it will investigate why AT&T wireless subscribers in several states could not make emergency 911 calls late Wednesday that spanned at least 14 states. “Every call to 911 must go through,” said Chairman Ajit Pai in a news release. “So when I first learned of yesterday’s outage, I immediately directed FCC staff to contact AT&T …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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, …

View Post

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 …

View Post

CWA’s wireless workers at AT&T turn up the heat by alluding to a strike

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Wireless workers at AT&T are planning protests throughout the nation this weekend ahead of their contract expiration on Saturday night. The Communications Workers of America (CWA), representing about 21,000 AT&T wireless workers, is planning to protest in a number of U.S. cities to put pressure on the carrier to have them accept their contract requests. More than 90% of members …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

AT&T in advanced discussions with powercos to jump to their lines

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

AT&T is in advanced discussions with power companies and others to trial Project AirGig in at least two locations by this fall. One location will be in the United States with others to be determined in the coming months. AT&T has experimented with this unique, patented broadband-over-power lines (BPL) technology at their outdoor facility for some time with positive results. …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

Wall Street crucifies Dycom over loss of Goodman’s contract backlog

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Following the release of Dycom Industries’ Q1 FY2017 earnings report and conference call this morning where President and CEO Steve Nielsen fielded analysts’ concerns about Goodman Networks’ performance, a company that Dycom acquired last July for $107.5 million, Dycom’s stock lost $18.82, closing at $74.13. The 20.25% loss appears to be based upon a number of analysts’ concerns about considerably lower …

View Post

Tower techs’ lives are miraculously spared – literally by inches

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Although a Saint James City, Fla. wireless contractor lost a crew cab and utility trailer yesterday, and a Pompano Beach, Fla. crane company suffered considerable damage to their 120-ton crane when it crashed to the ground in North Port, Fla., thankfully no injuries were reported in an incident that could have easily resulted in being the most horrific multiple fatality accident …

View Post

Time Warner deal could affect AT&T’s wireless network capex/build-out

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In discussing AT&T’s deal to acquire Time Warner for $85 billion, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in a conference call yesterday morning, “We’re convinced this combination of Time Warner and AT&T is a perfect match for both companies.” In a canned statement, Stephenson said, “We intend to give customers unmatched choice, quality, value and experiences that will define the future …

View Post

AT&T and Verizon lead nation in 2015 capex, but tightened it in 2016

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

According to recent data from the Progressive Policy Institute, AT&T and Verizon outspent every other non-financial company in the nation in domestic capital expenditures in 2015. AT&T totaled $18.7 billion versus Verizon’s $16.5 billion. Noticeably absent from the bottom of the top 25 list were T-Mobile and Sprint, with Freeport-McMoRan at $3.4 billion, just behind General Electric at $3.5 billion. …

View Post

AT&T’s veiled tower lease ‘threats’ surface again with new onerous requirements

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

According to a number of news reports that republished information from an article by Fierce Wireless, AT&T is in a full-court press to force tower owners to take new restrictive terms or the carrier might relocate to an alternative site. The articles state that the push to lower rates dovetails with AT&T’s SVP of wireless network design Tom Keathley’s August …

View Post

AT&T plans to give towers and fiber competition with plastic antennas using the power grid

In Featured News, New Product News by Wireless Estimator

Towers and fiber may have a serious competitor if AT&T’s Project AirGig is successful in spreading internet service wirelessly through the country’s power grid, with the company believing, “where there are power lines, there can be broadband”. AT&T said its transformative technology from AT&T labs allows for affordable antenna units  to be able to redistribute wireless and wireless signals around …

View Post

Pittsburg communications confab focused upon industry safety issues

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Safety officials from carriers, tower owners, regulators and training companies converged in Pittsburg, Pa. last week at the 2016 Environmental, Health & Safety Communications Panel (EHSCP) symposium hosted this year by Crown Castle. A wide variety of topics related directly to the communications industry were presenting during the well-attended sessions. A panel discussion on the upcoming Washington State Standard, was …

View Post

American Tower’s chief says pressures to lower their tenant rates aren’t working

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

During American Tower Corporation’s second quarter earnings analysts’ call yesterday, President and CEO James Taiclet fielded questions regarding whether the company might need to reduce its carriers’ tenancy rates. Taiclet said, no. Answering Barclays analyst Amir Rozwadowski’s question regarding concerns about future lease escalator rates, with some carriers expressing “some consternation about how the compounding growth outlook of that cost …

View Post

The sky doesn’t appear to be ready to fall upon tower company stocks anytime soon

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Almost four months ago, a well-respected telecom financial analyst downgraded the public tower companies, later citing that she believed that a couple of the major carriers may be trying to bypass the major towercos – or at least presenting that posture so that they could control rising rent escalators. In a March 4 statement, Wells Fargo senior analyst Jennifer Fritzsche …

View Post

FCC’s new sweeping Spectrum Frontier rules will open up 11 GHz of spectrum

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC today adopted new rules for wireless broadband operations in frequencies above 24 GHz, making the United States the first country in the world to make this spectrum available for next generation wireless services. Building on the successful, flexible approach to spectrum policy that enabled the explosion of 4G (LTE), these rules set a strong foundation for the rapid …

View Post

As AT&T experiments with flying COWs they’re currently inspecting towers with drones

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

By John Donovan Chief Strategy Officer and Group President – AT&T Technology and Operations Imagine you’re at a concert watching your favorite band, and out of the corner of your eye you notice a tethered drone hovering nearby. But this drone isn’t taking photos or videos of the band.  It’s temporarily providing enhanced LTE wireless coverage at the packed venue …

View Post

A deceased Alabama tower technician’s family is struggling to bring him home

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

An Alabama tower technician was killed Saturday when the company vehicle he was a passenger in crashed into another vehicle that was towing a semi-trailer on I-10 in Hudspeth County, Tex. Adding to the tragedy, his family doesn’t have the funds to bring him home. Department of Public Safety officials said that 37-year-old Kenny Roach was driving on I-10 West …

View Post

Dycom picks up Goodman Networks assets for $107.5 million

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Dycom Industries, Inc. and Goodman Networks Incorporated have announced that they have entered into an agreement that will have Dycom acquiring certain assets from Goodman used in their current wireless network deployment and wireline businesses for approximately $107.5 million in cash. Both companies informed Wireless Estimator that they would not be identifying what those assets are, other than that the acquired …

View Post

OSHA is readying new RF, fall protection and hoist standards

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had known that fall protection in the wireless construction industry has either been used improperly or inconsistently due to the high fatality rate of tower climbers, after analyzing the responses to their 38 questions on tower safety published last April, the agency has decided that it will be moving forward with revising their standards …

View Post

From Whoop! to knots, task force moves forward with tower tech certification development

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) convened 35 industry leading subject matter experts this week to continue the assessment and certification development process for the Telecommunications Tower Technician I (TTTI) and Telecommunications Tower Technician II (TTTII) programs. The intensive NWSA task force meetings occurred over a three-day period and were hosted by AT&T at the AT&T Center for Learning in …

View Post

Eyes are on Sprint as T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon provide favorable capex reports

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Although subscriber growth is a good indicator of a carrier’s favorable outlook by analysts, capex is the tailwind of wireless infrastructure providers, and this week’s news deflated the sails of a number of analysts who have speculated that carriers would cut their capex in early 2016. In his typical over the top presentation with a 360-degree camera, T-Mobile CEO John …

View Post

Carriers agree upon network resiliency framework for disasters and emergencies

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Carriers today said they’re in agreement on how to facilitate information-sharing in an effort to improve network resiliency before, during and after natural disasters and emergencies. House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Frank Pallone and CTIA the Wireless Association released the “Wireless Network Resiliency Cooperative Framework” with the backing of AT&T Inc., Sprint Corp., T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon …

View Post

Execs from HBO, AT&T and T-Mobile top speakers’ list at 2016 Wireless Infrastructure Show

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association has announced that the 2016 Wireless Infrastructure Show in Dallas May 23-26 will feature keynote speeches from a dynamic group of thought leaders from the converging worlds of technology, telecommunications and entertainment. The show, which will take place at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, attracts more than 3,000 leaders and innovators from across the …

View Post

Acceptance of drones in wireless work could begin with early broadcast ‘repacking’ efforts

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In 2013, when Amazon unveiled its daring drone plan to have unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) provide commercial deliveries, Black & Veatch had already been investigating how drones could assist in reducing the number of times climbers would have to ascend a tower. At an FCC-OSHA workshop in 2014, John Johnson, Black & Veatch Vice President, ESH&S, said, “I know that …

View Post

Tower tech’s condition still critical after a safety climb failure in Texas; his rescuers are sacked

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: – April 21, 2016 – According to Troy White’s father, Mick Whitecotton, White is scheduled to undergo surgery on his left leg today. It was severely cut as the tower tech slid down a guy wire. Whitecotton said White was still in the trauma center intubated with a brace on his back. Nurses were able to allow him to stand …

View Post

FAA to consider report on drones typically used by carriers and contractors

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The final Unmanned Aircraft Systems  (UAS) Aviation Rule-Making Committee (ARC) report was released to the public yesterday and will assist the telecommunications industry if the group’s recommendations on drones are accepted by the FAA. The Senate is seeking to create regulations for larger drones that could do commercial deliveries. The FAA Administrator, DOT Secretary, White House and Congress staffers have been briefed on the …

View Post

FCC auction has kicked off with NAB and NATE still ticked off

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) auction to buy spectrum from television stations, repack the spectrum, and then sell it to wireless providers, kicked off yesterday with broadcasters having to make a commitment as to whether and how they would participate. But a 39-month post auction deadline is seen as too compressed by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). And the …

View Post

Popular analyst’s tower sector downgrade will be tested in coming weeks

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Commentary It almost appears that journalists have keyboard reader software on Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche’s computer since as soon as she writes something – even a knee-jerk observation – it instantly appears in the media as unchallenged sacred telecom guidance. So it was no surprise when Fritzsche downgraded the tower sector on Friday that it would be picked up …

View Post

A bright future predicted for wireless work by leading industry experts at NATE UNITE 2016

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

As three leading industry experts gazed into their crystal balls Tuesday during their NATE UNITE 2016 presentation, “The Future of the Wireless Industry,” their consensus indicated a robust build program that could last for more than a decade. However, Clayton Funk of Media Venture Partners, Christopher Fisher, Cuddy & Feder LLP; and Robert Paige, Vertical Bridge, cautioned National Association of …

View Post

NWSA subject matter experts continue their tower technician certification program efforts in Texas

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) convened its distinguished group of leading subject matter experts this week to continue the assessment and certification development process for the Telecommunications Tower Technician I (TTTI) and Telecommunications Tower Technician II (TTTII) programs. The intensive NWSA task force meetings occurred over a three-day period and were hosted by AT&T at the AT&T Center for …

View Post

Sprint provides a sound thrashing to Re/code for their scoop that duped journalists, tanking stocks

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Sprint: Towercos have nothing to worry about – for now At two conference calls this morning, Sprint said that an article by tech website Re/code on Jan. 15, 2016, was not accurate, and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, during a media call, said the misinformation regarding a Sprint radical network overhaul “caused a lot of damage”. Re/code had claimed, according to …

View Post

Tower company executives’ ears will be on Sprint’s conference call tomorrow

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Sprint moved its quarterly analysts’ earnings call to tomorrow morning in what some analysts believe is an apparent move to ease the concerns of investors after an article on a tech website said that the carrier was going to move its base stations from American Tower and Crown Castle sites to government properties “which costs much less”. The carrier had …

View Post

Report of Sprint dumping its tower companies is slowly being debunked as industry stocks nose-dive

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

After the media threw Sprint, American Tower, Crown Castle and SBA Communications under the bus during the past five days by republishing unsubstantiated statements that appeared on a tech website, without adding research of their own, editors are starting to reassess their ‘need to be first’ news blast that resulted in all four companies’ stocks tanking Friday. Sprint suffered the most …

View Post

Misleading Re/code Sprint story is long on conjecture, short on facts

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Facts that would have made better reading and more sense  By Ken Schmidt After reading Wireless Estimator’s article, “Towercos tank after radical unconfirmed report of government competition,” and seeing the original article from Re/code on Friday, I felt compelled to respond. It seemed reckless to me that a website like Re/code could publish an unconfirmed report, have it copied by …

View Post

FirstNet RFP hits the streets with a low end $6.75 billion price tag

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Yesterday’s long-awaited request for proposal (RFP) for the US First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet) public safety network will provide the government’s selected carrier or contractor with $6.5 billion to support the project buildout, in addition to access to 20 MHz of spectrum, but the winning bidder will be required to pay FirstNet a minimum of $6.75 billion over the life …

View Post

AT&T will be throwing its hat in the ring for a FirstNet build-out

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

AT&T says that it’s attracted to bidding for the FirstNet contract — the federal government’s plan for a nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. Verizon has been widely considered a solid front-runner in the project. The request for proposals is expected this month on a project that could cost $20-$30 billion. At that time it will become known whether …

View Post

FCC’s wireless competition report has its Commissioner and association adversaries

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Federal Communications Commission released its 18th report to Congress on competition in the wireless industry which sheds little light on whether or not carriers are competitive. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau said in its report that the goal of the Commission is to promote competition and it “must continue to play an essential role in the mobile wireless industry,” hopefully …

View Post

AT&T work is a top Christmas wish list item for contractors and suppliers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Last year’s holiday gifts from AT&T came in the form of canceled construction purchase orders bandaged in cheerfully-colored stress-relieving bubble wrap, painstakingly selected by CEO Randall Stephenson. And although Stephenson told investors last week that “there’s going to be a continual downward pressure on our capital spending,” possibly signaling another coal stocking stuffer, some analysts believe that AT&T is going …

View Post

Industry expert is banking upon AT&T ramping up spending for its U.S. wireless network

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

AT&T CapEx – No more guessing! By John Celentano AT&T’s capital expenditures (capex) have been in the tank for the past year, and tower owners and installation contractors along with the original equipment manufacturers that support AT&T’s network all continue to feel the pain of the company’s significant capex cutbacks since mid-2104. Many marketers across the supply chain still are trying …

View Post

New York subway system’s DAS expansion welcomed in troubling times

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

With New York City going to high alert in response to the release of a new ISIS video that sets Times Square in the terror group’s bombing or chemical-warfare sight, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s announcement last Thursday that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Transit Wireless have launched the Phase 4 expansion of wireless, public safety and Wi-Fi services …

View Post

AT&T offers $7,500 reward to catch those who felled a Texas guyed tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

AT&T is offering a reward of up to $7,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in the destruction of the carrier’s tower located at 1901 W. Crawford in Denison, Tex. on Nov. 12, 2015, according to the Denison Police Department. According to authorities, the destruction of this tower affected cell service for AT&T, Sprint, and …

View Post

Court rules that AT&T will stand trial in tower injury lawsuit along with other defendants

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

AT&T, Inc. was denied its request last week to be removed from a personal injury lawsuit brought by Thomas Jeglum, 26, against the company in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania after the California tower tech suffered serious injuries when he fell in 2013 from a stealth tower site in Allentown, Pa. while performing an AT&T Mobility LTE upgrade. Judge John M. …

View Post

One tower is surely not in step with American Tower’s upbeat Mexico outlook

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

American Tower Corp. CFO Tom Bartlett said during the company’s Q3 analysts’ conference call on Friday that Mexico had 90% wireless penetration, but only had 45% smart phone saturation. He also said that the growth potential was excellent since, “We believe, like Brazil, that the market needs twice the number of towers to support 4G over the long term.” He …

View Post

American Tower cautions investors that their MLA with AT&T isn’t expiring in 2016

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In American Tower Corp.’s investors’ conference call this morning, EVP and CFO Tom Bartlett cautioned analysts that their master lease agreement (MLA) with AT&T was not expiring in 2016 when he was questioned by one caller regarding the expiration. Bartlett said he had seen that statement in some write-ups, but it wasn’t correct. In August, SVP and Treasurer Leah Stearns …

View Post

T-Mobile’s Legere predicts ‘dark horse’ bidders in 600 MHz auction

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

John Legere, the oftentimes eccentric and outspoken CEO of T-Mobile US, in a studio setting that mirrored an Imus in the Morning production complete with caustic remarks by the un-carrier chief, provided an entertaining as well as illuminating third-quarter conference call where Legere said today, “I do expect some dark horses to show up,” such as Google and Charter Communications …

View Post

Crown Castle will reinstate gag order keeping them from discussing carriers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Crown Castle CEO Ben Moreland said yesterday during the company’s Q3 conference call that Crown’s executives used to refrain from speaking with any specificity about carrier deployments, but “over the last couple of years, we’ve sort of relaxed that standard, and probably spoken a little bit too much occasionally around specific carrier deployment plans.” But Crown’s easing of carrier build …

View Post

Prophetic wireless kick start statement was made by AT&T 100 years ago today

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A transcontinental radio telephone demonstration transmitted from the U.S. naval radio station in Arlington, Va. to the naval radio station 2,500 miles away in San Francisco, Calif. and then relayed to Honolulu, for a total of 4,900 miles was sent today a century go. Its impact was revolutionary since the First World War was in progress in Europe and it would be …

View Post

T-Mobile and Verizon tie for high LTE speeds in the U.S. but America gets a failing grade

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless are almost tied for the fastest U.S. LTE data speeds, according to OpenSignal, a network testing firm. However, the U.S. was ranked number nine in the world for coverage, but received failing grades for its LTE speeds overall. Verizon was identified as having the most LTE coverage in America, followed by AT&T, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Sprint …

View Post

FBI investigating a string of fiber cuts; AT&T posts $250,000 reward

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

AT&T said yesterday that the company is offering up to $250,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for fiber vandalism across Alameda County in California. AT&T spokesman Jim Greer said vandals cut fiber in two different manholes about 10:30 p.m. Monday at Altamont Pass and Carroll Road in Livermore, causing Internet service to go out. …

View Post

To be 5G, or not to be, that is the question seeking answers at Super Mobility 2015

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

In advance of any standardized next-generation network, it is expected that carriers will be following Verizon’s lead  and will be jumping on the  faux 5G bandwagon. But the proclamations will be steeped in marketing since there are no clear paths to which technologies 5G will include. Tom Keathley, AT&T’s senior vice president of network and product planning, said at Fierce Wireless’ breakfast panel …

View Post

TIRAP taps into top Verizon talent to complete its Board of Directors’ seats

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

The Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP) has announced that Laurie Gebhardt, Verizon Wireless Director of Network Engineering & Operations Support, has joined its Board of Directors. She fills the final seat in its list of experienced industry thought leaders. Gebhardt will provide board oversight of TIRAP’s communication and liaison with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL).  In this role, …

View Post

Pregler and Larsen elected to oversee the guidance of safety alliance’s committees and initiatives

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) unveiled the organization’s Board of Governors leadership team today in an industry-wide announcement. Art Pregler, Director of National Cell Site Programs at AT&T, will serve as the Chairman of the NWSA’s Board of Governors. Phil Larsen, President of Telecommunications Services at HAZON Solutions, will serve as the Vice Chairman of the organization’s Board of …

View Post

New top 100 U.S. tower owners unveiled with some first-time players and loss of a key owner

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Wireless Estimator released today its top 100 tower companies in the U.S. that identifies the same three top consolidators as in previous years, American Tower Corp., Crown Castle International and SBA Communications taking the lead. Although first place American Tower is slightly ahead of Crown in the Top 100 U.S. Tower Companies list by less than 200 towers, it is an …

View Post

National Wireless Safety Alliance’s Board selected to guide assessment and certification programs

In Associations News, Featured News, Safety, Standards by Wireless Estimator

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) unveiled the organization’s inaugural Board of Governors roster today in an industry-wide announcement. The NWSA is a national non-profit assessment and certification organization that is under development to provide thorough, independent assessments of knowledge and skills and provide verifiable worker certification in order to enhance safety, reduce workplace risk, improve quality, encourage training, and …

View Post

Routers, fiber line cut blamed for massive cell phone outage in the Southeast

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Cell phone service was restored Tuesday at about 8:00 p.m. after a major outage in the southeastern United States that began approximately five hours earlier in the day. In a statement issued by AT&T at 10 p.m., the carrier said: “Wireless and wireline service has been restored for all customers in parts of the Southeast affected by a hardware-related network …

View Post

AT&T and U.S. Cellular executives Join TIRAP’s Board of Directors

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP) announced that two new members will be adding their expertise to its Board of Directors.  Jim Walker-Pontius, U.S. Cellular’s Director of Network Operations, will serve as Chairman of TIRAP’s Technology Committee.  Art Pregler, AT&T’s Director of National Cell Site Programs, has been named Chairman of the Board’s Quality Committee.  Retiring from the Board …

View Post

Expensive earthquake tower design law passes following industry indifference during hearings

In Associations News, Featured News, Standards by Wireless Estimator

PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association came out against the City of Los Angeles’ newly passed ordinance requiring all new telecommunication towers to be designed as a Class lll Structure subject to an importance factor of 1.50 of the TIA-222 standard, a requirement that PCIA says could increase the cost of a tower between 30 to 200% and could stymie …

View Post

PCIA’s ‘view from the top’ shows a little bottoming out; tall tower crew shortage possible

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A common thread throughout yesterday’s PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association’s Hollywood, Fla. conference was that AT&T has pulled back on their builds, Sprint is almost in a holding pattern and T-Mobile is providing a number of opportunities. Verizon, however, is seen as a steady engine that is assisting a slower than expected build in the second quarter. “Verizon continues …

View Post

American Tower takes AT&T to court and wins a $132 million judgment

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

American Tower Corporation stood behind a New Jersey construction manager who used a creative approach to comply with an AT&T program manager’s directive on a new monopole cell site’s location, while suffering with hurt feelings, and was awarded $132 million by a Sloatsburg, Tex. jury today. In a statement issued by the Boston-based tower owner following the verdict, the company said, …

View Post

Goodman Networks lays off 340 as construction managers’ lawsuit advances

In Featured News, Vendor News by Wireless Estimator

Following a layoff of workers in December, Goodman Networks, a family-owned end-to-end wireless network deployment firm, let go an additional 340 employees on March 10, 2015, according to information reviewed by Wireless Estimator. It is not known, however, whether the downsizing was necessary due to a cutback in AT&T’s capex since a company spokesperson said Monday that Goodman Networks will …

View Post

AT&T kayos its 40,000 small cell build-out in half

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

AT&T’s 40,000 small cell deployments projected to be completed by the end of 2015 took a sharp cut in the carrier’s network plans since its goal may now be 20,000, about half the original number. The company said its March 2014 acquisition of Leap Wireless required it to reconsider those plans. “Small cells remain a key part of our advanced …

AT&T construction and engineering chief reportedly taking Goodman Networks’ COO job

In Vendor News by Wireless Estimator

Update: December 5, 2014 –  Goodman Networks has announced that Ernie Carey will take the helm of the design, engineering, construction and deployment firm’s operations as its chief operating officer. In a press release, Ron Hill, Goodman Networks’ CEO said, “Throughout his long telecommunications industry career, Carey has successfully managed a variety of vast and complex systems and networks, including responsibility for …