View Post

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 …

View Post

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, …

View Post

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 …

View Post

Charter advance allows SBA to break into the S&P 500 on Sept. 1

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

S&P Dow Jones Indices has announced that it will add Charter Communications Inc. to the S&P 100 Index on Sept. 1, providing the opportunity for Boca Raton, Fla.-based SBA Communications to become the newest S&P 500 company. Charter, which is part of the S&P 500, is replacing DuPont, which has been acquired by Dow Chemical Co., with the combined company …

View Post

SBA chief takes a payday; Crown takes new Florida office space

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

SBA Communications CEO Jeffrey Stoops recently sold 94,289 shares of SBA stock at an average price of $133.76 for a total value of $12,612,096. However, the chief executive is still hanging on to 329,124 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $44 million. The company’s shares hit an all-time high on June 2, closing at $138.69. The all-time low …

View Post

Crown sues Rye as SBA’s bread winner sells $12.6 million of his stock; AT&T strike ends

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Crown Castle International has filed a lawsuit against the City of Rye, N.Y. after the City Council rejected a proposal that allowed Crown to install wireless equipment in the community’s rights of way. In its complaint, Crown said Rye improperly refused to grant the company access to public rights of way to expand an existing network of small cells, or …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

Checkered contractor loses lawsuit after two tower tech deaths

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Based upon substantial evidence to support their findings, a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has kayoed a wireless contractor’s final attempt to vacate the company’s serious violations of OSHA’s General Duty Clause and $7,000 in fines they received following an accident that killed two of their employees on May 28, 2013. Both men, employees …

View Post

Services set for tech who fell from a 160-foot Oklahoma monopole

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: Nov. 7, 2016 – Services have been announced for Steven Lamar Hill, 44, of Chandler, Okla. by the Barnes Friedrich Funeral Home, 1820 South Douglas Blvd., Midwest City, Okla. beginning at 1:00 p.m., Nov. 9, 2016. Interment will follow at Elmwood Cemetery in Choctaw, Okla. UPDATE: Nov. 3, 2016 – Authorities have released the name of the deceased tower …

View Post

Free lanyards aren’t going to solve safety on monopoles after Lad-Saf sleeve recall and shortages

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

When Capital Safety/3M introduced their new vertical safety cable sleeve last March, the Lad-Saf X3, industry rumors circulated amongst some safety professionals and distributors that the use of legacy Lad-Saf sleeves could have resulted in a few serious injuries and deaths, either through product defects or misuse. But those could have been easily dismissed as anecdotal. In June, a number …

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

Top U.S. towercos eyeing Deutsche Telekom’s towers in Germany

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

As America gets ready to celebrate Independence Day on Monday, considered by some to be the original Brexit,  Deutsche Telekom is prepping the sale of thousands of its German towers in a potential $5.5 billion deal. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanly are organizing the sale of the structures. SBA Communications, American Tower and Crown Castle are on the invite list, according to …

View Post

“Simply trying to make a living,” couple is arrested for cell site copper thefts

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Bossier Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested a Texas couple in early April for stealing copper from cell phone tower sites in Bossier Parish, La., but the case continues as charges are pending from neighboring parishes, and detectives are working with five other counties in Okla. regarding the same crimes involving this duo. According to a department press release, Charles Krupnik, 51, …

View Post

Two tower technicians are killed in two separate incidents

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: May 23, 2016  – Burial services were held yesterday for Thomas Edward Taylor, 37, of Purvis, Miss. who passed away when he was electrocuted on a jobsite in Wadesboro, N.C. on Monday, May 16, 2016. He is survived by two brothers, David Busha of Lamar County, and Chance Taylor of Tupelo, his mother, Bertha Taylor of Lamar County; his fiancé, Susie …

View Post

TowerCo eyes new acquisitions and build-to-suits after its $244 million tower sale to Grain

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Company officials at TowerCo have announced the sale of 253 towers and 95 other assets to Grain Infrastructure II, L.P., a private equity firm in Sarasota, Fla., for $244 million. The sale marks the third portfolio of towers and assets sold by TowerCo since 2008 when the company sold 430 towers to SBA Communications for $193.5 million. The sale elevates …

View Post

Wireless industry tackles needed improvements for failing safety climb systems

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Officials from the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP), which aims to promote worker safety, quality and efficiency within the wireless infrastructure industry, gathered representatives from wireless carriers, tower companies and safety climb system equipment manufacturers to hold a Safety Equipment Manufacturers Summit to maximize the critical role safety climb equipment plays in protecting climbers. The purpose of the gathering …

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

Workshop panelists ferret out tower climber concerns and possible solutions

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

During his opening statement at a Department of Labor / Federal Communications Commission tower climber safety workshop on Feb. 11, 2016, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that “everybody has to be proactive,” emphasizing the need to champion pre-emptive strikes by all wireless industry stakeholders in order to continue to improve upon a lower climber fatality rate that was achieved in 2015. …

View Post

FCC and DOL’s tower climber safety and apprenticeship program’s workshop agenda set

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

As part of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) and Department of Labor’s (DOL) efforts to reduce communications tower-related fatalities and injuries, the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) announce the agenda for their upcoming workshop on tower climber safety and Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP). As …

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

Sprint should have a sanity check before it commits ‘Network Suicide’ with its pole plans

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

By Iain Gillott – Commentary Much has been written and speculated in the last week about Sprint’s network plans after the publication of a Re/Code article and the plan to significantly cut network expenses.  Aside from the resulting pressure on the stocks of several wireless companies, including Sprint’s, it also appears that the article has caused Sprint to move up …

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

SBA seeks at least $1 million from two contractors after towers collapse

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Boca Raton, Fla.-based SBA Telecommunications LLC and SBA Towers have filed a property damage lawsuit against S&S Communication Specialists Inc. of Oklahoma, and FDH Engineering, located in North Carolina, following the collapse of two communications towers that resulted in the death of three people. The complaint filed last month, asking for at least $1 million, states that both companies were …

View Post

Towercos tank after radical unconfirmed report of government competition

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Report seen as ‘nonsense’ by siting professionals UPDATE, Jan. 19, 2016 – Deep diving industry expert Ken Schmidt has provided a detailed analysis of why Re/code’s “improper deductive reasoning” in their article doesn’t dovetail with available information regarding Sprint’s Next Generation Network. The story, published on Jan. 15, 2016, claimed that Sprint would be relocating its cell sites from American Tower Corporation …

View Post

Wireless workforce and supplier requirements for 2016 continue to be mostly upbeat

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

To project whether 2016 will be a banner, bust or somewhere-in-between year for wireless construction, and service and supplier providers, one has to simply search for the devil or angel that’s always in the details. Unfortunately, conflicting details and limited industry information clouds accurate projections. But the industry overall appears to be still creating jobs and there should be a robust …

View Post

Removing five diagonals and loosening 12 others cited for causing deaths, injuries

In Featured News, Incident Report News, Safety, Standards by Wireless Estimator

Four lawsuits that were filed in June against a tower owner and the contractor it hired to design and manage a structural reinforcement project in West Va. where two tower technicians died and two were injured after a tower collapsed, have worked their way from circuit court to federal court, and the defendants are alleging that it was the tower …

View Post

SBA Communications sees 2016 growth outpacing 2015’s full year projections

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

In providing SBA Communications Corporation’s Q3 earnings report today, President and CEO Jeffrey Stoops said, “Our backlogs continue to grow, and our initial 2016 outlook reflects a higher domestic organic growth rate than we now expect for full year 2015.  Our portfolio continues to grow as well.  We now own over 25,000 sites.” “Our customers remain active,” Stoops said, “and …

View Post

FCC Commissioner’s new tower builds is based on a hazy crystal ball

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Commentary — Making subsidies more flexible and removing legal hurdles are two of several changes the Federal Communications Commission should make to advance wireless infrastructure development, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said Wednesday at the Competitive Carriers Association conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Another adjustment they should consider is providing their Commissioners with research that they’ve unearthed to provide direction rather than …

View Post

Key analyst likes Crown Castle, but sees American Tower with less acquisition exposure

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Morningstar analyst Michael Hodel has provided an excellent overview of the industry’s three publicly-traded companies, American Tower Corp., Crown Castle International, and SBA Communications. Whereas there are almost daily yawn-inducing recommendations from analysts, Hodel’s insight and extensive analysis is worth the read. Although Hodel has previously said that his favorite amongst the towercos is Crown Castle, because he thinks it …

View Post

Presbyterians: 1; Evangelicals: 0 in Verizon’s cell tower search in Nebraska

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Southern Heights Presbyterian Church members’ dream of a having a bell tower on their church property in Lincoln, Ne. came true when a 67-foot brick structure housing cell antenna was constructed recently along with the base station, and the electronic digital carillon bells will soon be in place with crosses covering the opening on each side. The community liked it, …

View Post

American Tower’s CEO unloads 47,000 shares and the 48-hour silly cycle begins

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

When a corporate insider such as an officer or director buys or sells their company’s publicly-traded  stock they’re required to file a Form 4 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. American Tower Corporation Chairman, President and CEO James Taiclet did that yesterday when he sold 47,000 shares in a transaction that occurred the day before at a price of $100.99, …

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

Boca Raton, Florida is fast becoming the corporate hub of choice for tower owners

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Thanks to early siting entrepreneurs Jeffrey Stoops and Marc Ganzi, Boca Raton, Fla. is fast becoming the hub for tower owners’ corporate offices as witnessed by numerous key players’ offices in a two mile stretch along and off of Congress Ave. SBA Communications CEO Stoops used to run his company from its corporate office off of Broken Sound Pkwy., almost within shouting …

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

SBA disses DAS and small cells, preferring the macro site tower business for growth

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Business relationships have an average shelf life of less than five years primarily because there is a lack of cohesiveness in shared visions. Tower owner SBA Communications and ExteNet Systems, a neutral host provider with some of the most profitable DAS locations in America, fit that model and decided to call it quits after five years, even though they seemed to …

View Post

In a surprise move, SBA walks out with cash and away from its investment in DAS

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Five year DAS ride for SBA unexpectedly ends In a deal that took many industry observers by surprise, DAS developer ExteNet Systems, Inc. announced that Digital Bridge Holdings and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners will recapitalize the company with more than $1 billion dollars, and Digital Bridge’s CEO Marc Ganzi will assume the position of Chairman of the Board. Key members of …

View Post

SBA Communications’ ‘improper accounting’ whistleblower act charge is denied by court

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A U.S. District Court judge has denied a former SBA Communications employee the right to sue under the Florida Whistleblower Act (FWA) since the alleged request for her to create false assets was not a company policy, but the court will hear her remaining three discrimination complaints filed in Palm Beach County, Fla. On October 7, 2014, former SBA employee …

View Post

Sheriff’s report: Woman’s death in March was 2015’s first fatality

In Featured News, Incident Report News by Wireless Estimator

Although OSHA has not stated whether 28-year-old Stephanie Gurney’s death on March 28, 2015 was industry related when she fell off of an SBA Communications tower near Eden, Tex., a Concho County Sheriffs Office Deputy’s report obtained by Wireless Estimator identifies that the woman was being assessed for her ability to climb by the owner of Jostan Communications for possible …

View Post

Four new lawsuits claim tower owner and its engineer are liable in deaths and injuries

In Featured News, Incident Report News, Industry News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: June 9, 2015 – Wrongful death lawsuits have been filed on behalf of the administrators of Kyle Kirkpatrick and Terry Richard, both of Oklahoma, who were both killed when an SBA Communications tower collapsed on February 1, 2014, and personal injury lawsuits were filed on behalf of Randall McElhaney, of Texas, and Jerry Hill, of Oklahoma, who also sustained …

View Post

Industry’s 2015 fatality record still undecided as OSHA continues to investigate woman’s death

In Featured News, Incident Report News by Wireless Estimator

Whether or not the industry this year is close to having no fatalities for the longest period of time since deaths have been accurately tracked since 2003 will not be known until the OSHA Austin, Tex. Area Office makes a decision as to whether a fatality near Eden was training related or an unauthorized climb of a tower technician’s girlfriend. …

View Post

Competitive spirit can be cutthroat in leasehold ground wars of towercos

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Although the nation’s major tower owners present a public face of spirited friendly competition and collective initiatives to ensure worker safety, when it comes to protecting their interests it can be a no holds barred battle between them to keep their most valuable assets, their long-term leases. One clash got so nasty that the counter-complainant wanted a leasehold aggregator’s executives …