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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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Sprint turns around with its first profit in three years

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Sprint Corporation today reported operating results for the first quarter, including net income for the first time in three years at $206 million and the highest Adjusted EBITDA in nearly 10 years at $2.9 billion. The news saw its stock soar up over 10% in early morning traiding. The company also reported net operating revenues of $8.2 billion, its fourth …

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Sprint’s parent company to add 50K new jobs and invest $50 billion

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

President-elect Donald Trump said yesterday that SoftBank Group Corp., the parent company of Sprint Corp. will invest $50 billion and create 50,000 jobs in the United States. Making the announcement standing next to Masyoshi Son, Sprint Chairman and CEO of SoftBank, which owns more than 80 percent of Sprint, neither Trump nor Son  mentioned Sprint other than Son stating that …

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American Tower reacts to Sprint and T-Mobile merger rumors

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: Nov. 14, 2016 –  SBA Communications Corp. provided an update to its exposure to both companies in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. In the papers, SBA said that as of the end of Q3, T-Mobile and Sprint each represented around 16% of its total site leasing revenue. Revenue generated from each of T-Mobile and Sprint overlapping sites represents …

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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 …

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Sprint’s small cell delays may be worse than the industry thinks

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

By Ken Schmidt Sprint and Mobilitie’s innovative plan to build mini-macros Back in June of this year, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) ran a story about Sprint’s use of “sidewalk utility poles” as a core element of their efforts to improve the Sprint network while reducing ongoing network operating expenditures. The article suggested that Sprint may have been delaying network …

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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 …

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Sprint’s small cell deployment snags seen related to permitting difficulties

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Sprint’s plans to deploy up to 70,000 small cells throughout the country have hit a number of permitting roadblocks, according to an article by Ryan Knutson of The Wall Street Journal published Tuesday that indicates that the Overland Park, Kan.-company is struggling to roll out its small cell densification network project. Sprint’s primary contractor for the turnkey installations is Mobilitie …

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Sprint’s anticipated spending for 2016 takes a 40% haircut

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Sprint’s announcement that it is going to invest $3 billion in network expansion during fiscal 2016, which started for the carrier on April 1, 2016, is a sharp decline from fiscal 2015’s $5.4 billion which was already down $0.7 billion from 2014. Last year, Sprint indicated it would spend $15 billion over three years on network build-outs, financing some of …

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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 …

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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 …

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Tower capacity concerns recognized at CCA’s keynote discussion

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

While all panelists agreed at yesterday’s Competitive Carriers Association’s Mobile Carriers Show keynote discussion in Nashville that unlicensed spectrum use by carriers was already in play, with subscribers using Wi-Fi connections, C Spire CTO Stephen Bye said carriers would have to be aggressive in making the experience better for consumers. “Unlicensed has an important role in the delivery of services, …

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Sprint’s racist ‘ghetto’ video was in exceptionally bad taste

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Commentary – Sprint has pulled a video ad on Twitter in which a waspy giggling white woman describes rival T-Mobile as “ghetto.” The below ad opens with Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure sitting with “Actual Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T customers,” asking them about Sprint’s competitors. The Bolivian/American told his preppy audience, “I’m going to tell you a carrier name, and …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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FCC hits two carriers with $85,000 in fines for RF exposure rooftop violations in Arizona

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Two carriers were cited by the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau for similar violations for failing to comply with the FCC’s radio frequency exposure limits after the owner of a building at 4040 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, Ariz. complained to enforcement agents that his building staff have difficulty gaining RF exposure safety assistance from the carriers that use his rooftop. …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Shentel to acquire Ntelos in a $640M regional deal that doesn’t include towers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Mid-Atlantic regional wireless carrier Shentel announced that it will be acquiring another carrier, Ntelos, in a deal set at $640 million, including net debt. The transaction will double Shentel’s subscriber base, but not its 151 tower count since Ntelos’ 103 towers were sold to Grain Management earlier this year for $41 million. Sprint is heavily involved in the transaction and …

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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 …

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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 …

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Towercos, contractors and small cell providers expected to benefit from Sprint’s network overhaul

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In Sprint’s earnings call this morning, the carrier said that they were going to have a massive network overhaul that will include thousands of new macro sites, tens of thousands of new small cells, and the upgrade of almost all existing sites to support its three spectrum bands, 800 MHz, 1900 MHz and 2.5 GHZ. Analysts believe that Sprint will …

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American Tower monopole destroyed following Virginia welding accident

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Polyethylene insulation on coaxial transmission lines caught fire Tuesday in Newport News, Virg. when a crew was welding on a monopole behind Heritage High School. According to Newport News Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Pincus, the coaxial cable caught on fire as maintenance workers were welding on the tower just before noon. The flames quickly spread along the insulation of …

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Technician accused of stealing over 4,000 cell site batteries during Northeast crime spree

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE – May 27, 2015 – According to Upper Merion Township Detective Andrew Rathfon, the technician was employed in the industry until September 2014 when he started stealing backup batteries from cell sites. In the past five years he has worked for World Link Inc., Clear Wireless, LLC, and Ericsson Inc. He was able to disarm tamper switches due to his …

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Former EHS Sprint chief Slagle joins National Wireless Safety Alliance efforts

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) announced today that they have entered into a professional consulting agreement with former Sprint Environmental Health and Safety Executive, Chuck Slagle. Slagle, who recently retired from Sprint after nearly a 38 year career, will be tasked with spearheading several NWSA project initiatives and assist in getting the NWSA national assessment and certification programs to …