First tower tech fatality in 2012First 2012 tower tech fatality claims the life of a 19-year-old
A 19-year-old man working on a cell phone tower fell and was killed in Solway, Minn. He was employed by Midwest Steeplejacks Inc. and was the first industry death this year. Initial reports identify that Jeremy Jo Froemke fell 153 feet. Please see: Fatality
TowerCo may take a run at T-Mobile's towersSources: Don't give TowerCo the 10-count
After employees were told to start polishing their resumes after TowerCo sold its entire portfolio to SBA, the media started referreeing the 10-count for TowerCo, but sources say they may take a run at T-Mobile's towers. Please see: 10 Count 
SBA buys TowerCo's portfolio for $1.45 billionSBA buys TowerCo's portfolio and sidesteps a T-Mobile bid
SBA Communications is buying 3,252 towers from TowerCo in an agreement valued at about $1.45 billion. The deal essentially pulls away TowerCo's entire portfolio and thwarts SBA's ability to bid upon T-Mobile's tower assets. Please see: SBA 
New FAA tower lighting regulations take effectIt's a go to just say no to some tower lighting regulations
If a tower owner wants to flash or omit steady-burning red lights from several obstruction lighting configurations, they'll be able to do so after they electronically file for a waiver, but their L-864 lights must be flashing at 30 flashes per minute. Please see: FAA Okay 
American and Crown will capture bragging rights following T-Mobile bidBillions and bragging rights are on the line in T-Mobile tower bid
T-Mobile received a second round of bids for its 8,900 towers from companies such as American Tower and Crown Castle. The winner will lead in tower counts for years to come, possibly forever. Please see: T-Mobile Bid 
Michael Fitch honored by the New York State Wireless AssociationFitch honored by NYSWA as PCIA searches for his replacement
Michael Fitch, president and Chief Executive Officer of PCIA was honored with the Wireless Warrior award by the New York State Wireless Association. Fitch announced that he was resigning his position in April. Please see: Michael Fitch 
Miranda Allen, Marc Ganzi, Mark PauldingOne throws in her hat, another his support, and another the towel
While the head of PCIA was at the White House supporting the signing of an executive order, an executive of RSI announced that she will be running for the Kansas Senate, and gin pole fabricator TEC said it will be closing its doors. Please see: Throwing In 
Many of Puerto Rico's towers are over capacityPuerto Rico code change adds to tower contractors' backlogs
Puerto Rico adopted the 2011 Puerto Rico Building Code, which references 2009 International Code Council model codes, and many legacy towers need to be retrofitted. Over capacity guesstimates run from 15 to 80%. Please see: Puerto Rico 
ANSI/TIA-222-G Questions and Answers providedAnswers at a glance available for ANSI/TIA-222-G questions
The TIA TR14.7 Steering Committee is now providing a publically accessible system to view frequently asked questions pertaining to the ANSI/TIA-222-G standard. New requests for clarification are also being solicited by the group. Please see: 222-G 
Sprint's legacy push to talk network to be removedLegacy push to talk network to be removed by four contractors
Sprint has announced that it has signed agreements with Goodman Networks, Overland Contracting, Inc., Pyramid Network Services LLC and WesTower Communications Inc. to decommission the company’s iDEN network. Please see: Sprint
Schlekeway is new NATE chiefTodd Schlekeway to lead NATE's drive for a unified voice
The National Association of Tower Erectors has announced that Todd Schlekeway has joined the organization as the trade group's Executive Director, replacing Patrick Howey who resigned in Sept.
 He said he will not seek reelection as a Soutth Dakota State Senator. Please see: NATE Selects New Exec 
AT&T fatality in Talladega, Alabama lawsuitAnatomy of a cell tower death is quickly cut off by payments
An investigation by ProPublica and Frontline into the death of William "Bubba" Cotton who was killed while working on an AT&T UMTS upgrade project has provided an exhaustive look at a fatality that could have been prevented. Please see: AT&T 
Unlocked tower gate costs broadcaster $7,000 in finesA $10 gate hasp costs station $7,000; lighting infraction is $10,000
An unlocked fence gate of a York, Pa. AM station caused the broadcaster to be cited with willful and repeated violations for not having the tower secured. A Texas tower owner was levied a $10,000 fine for obstruction lighting violations. Please see: Fines 
TR-14 tackles wind energy and towersTR-14 tackles turbines along with towers
As tower installation and manufacturing businesses look at the wind energy market to increase business, the engineering community is also involved in new standards and it's reflected in the TR-14 committee's name change. Please see: TR-14 
Keith Duckwitz passes away at 57Wireless industry veteran Keith Duckwitz passes
Keith M. Duckwitz, 57, passed away May 30, 2012 after a short illness. He was in key management positions for companies in the wireless communications industry such as American Tower Corporation and Gibson Technical Services. Please see: Duckwitz 
Climber falls on AT&T project and may have forced Goodman Networks stand-downTower tech's fall on AT&T project may have forced stand-down
It is still not known if a 31-year-old Austin, Tex. tower technician survived a 100-foot fall from a monopole in Southeast Austin. He was working on an AT&T project. An unconventional holiday weekend stand-down was ordered by Goodman Networks. Please see: Stand-down 
Frontline's Cell Tower Deaths to air on May 22Let us know your opinion regarding "Cell Tower Deaths"
Frontline's May 22, 2012 investigation, entitled "Cell Tower Deaths", took a close look at a number of problems facing contractors in wireless construction - from climber safety to the pressures placed upon contractors due to thin margins and ambitious deadlines. The 32-minute documentary can be viewed here. ProPublica's investigatory piece is an exhaustive look at the industry. They had been fact finding and fact checking for almost two years for the two pieces.
Their first article, In Race For Better Cell Service, Men Who Climb Towers Pay With Their Lives, appears here.
The second article in their series, Built for a Simpler Era, OSHA Struggles When Tower Climbers Die, appears here.
Let us know how this documentary and the ProPublica articles will help or hurt the industry. Please see: Viewer Comments 
New Emergency Services Locator is first of its kind in the nation.Cutting edge safety tools are a collaborative effort of the industry
Using cutting age technology, the all new Emergency Services Locator (ESL) is the nation's only interactive program that immediately provides fire and law enforcement information as well as the nearest hospital information and a route to it along with a map. There's also an auto-filled new Job Hazard Analysis and a Project Tracker that lets you see where America's jobs are located. Try it once and you'll be hooked! Please see: ESL 
Accurate plumb and tension software is available through Penn-TechPlumb and tension accuracy now available with TPT Contractor©
Contractors and owners will no longer have any reservations that the plumb and tensioning job on a guyed tower wasn't completed to TIA-222 standards. Penn-Tech International's new software standardizes the Plumb and Tension process. See: TPT 
N.J. going after contractors who are not paying higher prevailing wagesN.J. targeting wireless contractors for not paying prevailing wages N.J. has a unique law. Companies doing any tower or other site work on public property over a threshold amount must pay their employees high prevailing wages. A foreman could be required to be compensated $221 an hour. Please see: N.J. Wages 
Connecticut siting bill will impact aesthetics of towersBill will require Connecticut towercos to minimize aesthetic impact
Legislation has passed both houses of Connecticut's General Assembly that will increase municipal oversight during location requests for communications towers.  The bill now awaits Governor Dannel Malloy's signature. Please see: CT Siting 
Clifford BryanIllinois tower contractor killed in motorcycle accident
Well-known and respected communications contractor Clifford E. Bryan, 36, was killed following a motorcycle accident. He owned Communications Builders, Inc. of Carol Stream. Please see: Cliff Bryan 

LightSquared pulls the plug on its ambitious LTE plansLightSquared's future darkens with Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing
LightSquared, the LTE wholesaler that was expected to provide robust industry growth for tower owners, contractors and suppliers with over 40,000 sites, pulled the plug on those ambitious plans with a bankruptcy protection filing. Please see: LightSquared 

FCC issues guidance on antenna registrationsFCC issues guidance on antenna structure registrations
The FCC has released guidance on the December 2011-approved changes in the process required for applicants to file FCC Form 854 and on the new process for the public to file requests for environmental review. Please see: FCC Guidance 
Climber Safety cited in 1 World Trade Center tower changeClimber safety and cost cited for 1 World Trade Center change
It's challenging to identify if the announcement that 1 World Trade Center will not have a radome covering its 408-foot antenna structure was due to climber safety or a $20-million construction savings - or both. Please see: 1 WTC
FCC allows Crown Castle to inspect yearlyCrown Castle gets a second pass on quarterly lighting inspection 
The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau of the FCC granted a waiver from the quarterly inspection requirement for antenna structure lighting monitoring to Crown Castle USA Inc. and AT&T Services Inc. Please see: Crown Castle 
Frontline's Cell Tower Deaths to air on May 22Frontline's "Cell Tower Deaths" rescheduled for May 22
The PBS Frontline investigation, "Cell Tower Deaths" - originally scheduled for Feb. 21 - will air on May 22. Although AT&T has previously stated that they would not go on camera for the documentary, they have instructed their public relations firm to look into tower climber fatalities. Please see: Frontline 
MUTI and SBS join forcesMUTI and SBS join forces to better serve the industry
In a move to expand their customer base and client offerings the owners of Midwest Underground Technology, Inc. and Southern Broadcast Services, Inc. have created a separate partnership, Southern Broadcast Services, LLC. Please see: MUTI-SBS 
Michigan co-location law being tackled on many frontsMichigan co-location bill being attacked, especially the review fee
Michigan's Senate Economic Development committee has approved a bill that pre-empts local zoning when it comes to the co-location equipment on existing towers. It now heads for the Senate floor. Please see: Co-location 
Cox invests in InSite Wireless GroupCox couldn't grow in wireless, but sees a towerco opportunity
Cox Communications has said that it will contribute approximately 150 towers as part of an even greater investment by its parent in InSite Wireless Group LLC of Alexandria, Va. Please see: Cox
Expectations for tower site revenue prove to be too highHigh income expected by governments from towercos is waning
It's no longer a walk in the park for governments expecting high lease income from towercos. Ask Miami-Dade County, Fla. A bid to place towers at 22 county parks went unanswered because their minimum bids were too high. Please see: Miami-Dade 
Tower Tech receives seven years for vehicle accidentSeven drinks, seven years and one important tailgate session
A North Carolina tower tech was sentenced to seven years in jail following an accident that severely injured an Iowa police officer. The tragedy can be used for a tailgate session since vehicular safety is equally as important as 100% tie off. Please see: 
Pilot clips American Tower  structure's guy wire, but survivesCrop duster pilot survives crash after clipping guy wire
A crop-duster pilot didn't walk away from a serious accident, but miraculously only suffered a broken arm, collarbone and severely injured his leg after he crashed at the base of an American Tower tower in Lakin, Kan. Please see: Crop Duster 
Jim Cramer's newest flame is SBA CommunicationsCramer's romancing the steel of American Tower is cooling
CNBC's popular "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer has had a love affair with American Tower Corporation since 2009, but it looks like his infatuation is cooling. His newest flame is SBA Communications. Please see: Cramer 
T-Mobile towers could be acquired by GTP, Mobilitie or TowerCoFinancial media sells other potential T-Mobile tower suitors short
Every time that T-Mobile's towers go back on the bidding block financial writers and analysts highlight only three players that appear to be capable of making the approximately $3 billion deal. But there are many more, according to one investment banker. Please see: T-Mobile 
National Association of Tower Erectors San Antonio, Tex. ConferenceNATE lives up to its reputation for providing the top-rated show
What has become known as the highest rated industry event for the tower and wireless infrastructure community again didn't fail to disappoint attendees last month in San Antonio. There are hundreds of pictures. Please see: NATE 
ERI and IOSHA agree to an $18,000 fine and a new business ventureERI and IOSHA agree to an $18,000 fine and new business venture
ERI Installations, Inc. and IOSHA have reached an agreement where ERI's fines and safety violations have been greatly reduced. Their settlement requires them to offer gin pole training to other contractors. Please see: ERI 
FallTech full body harnesses being recalledFallTech full body harnesses are being recalled
FallTech is recalling many of their full-body harnesses with a quick connect - bayonet style - buckles. On an unknown number of harnesses the male and female halves may have been improperly paired, possibly resulting in unfastening of the buckle while the harness is in use. Please see: 
Crown Castle International versus Orion LogisticsCrown Castle's peek at contractor's full set of books is disallowed The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that Orion Logistics, LLC, does not have to testify at a supplemental proceeding where Crown Castle intended to examine Orion's assets to determine if money was transferred by the tower construction contractor to evade paying a judgment. Please see: Orion 
Clovis Prince is sentenced to 30 years in prisonAT&T cell site developer sentenced to 30 years for bank fraud
Former cell site build-to-suit and project management entrepreneur Clovis Prince was sentenced to 30 years in prison and is required to pay restitution of $13,640,425. Prince is now stating that his indictment was racially motivated and there was a conspiracy between American Bank of Texas and prosecutors. Please see: Clovis Prince 
FCC cits two broadcasters for a total of $33,000FCC issues $33,000 in fines following weak excuses
Ignoring what sounds like the dog ate my homework defense, the FCC fined two broadcasters a total of $33,000 for violations. One $8,000 fine was for a broadcaster's tower being three miles from where it should have been. Please see: FCC Fines 
North Carolina monopine requires additional branchesNorth Carolina town polices monopine branch totals
American Tower received a dressing down from the Oak Ridge, N.C. Town Council for not providing their expected skirt of branches on a recently constructed monopine, and officials voted to move forward with enforcement procedures. Please see: Monopine 
1 World Trade Center soliciting Empire State Building broadcastersBattle of Manhattan's tallest collocation titans is advancing
The 1,776-foot tall 1 World Trade Center owners want to install a broadcast facility in an effort to pry off radio and television station antennas currently broadcasting from the 1,454-foot Empire State Building. Please see: 1 WTC 
Cause of Georgia monopole fire is still underterminedMonopole fire's cause remains undetermined
The cause of a St. Simons Island, Ga. 150-foot monopole fire is still unknown, according to fire officials. It appears that the fire might not have been ignited by welding since a 911 call wasn't made until an hour after sunset. Please see: Monopole
Cell tower shooter has to pay Verizon $45,000Second trial finds cell tower shooter guilty
A Wisconsin resident was charged with causing an estimated damage of $45,000 to a tower. He appealed his conviction, but lost in his second trial. But he's now up against some serious charges. Please see: Tower Shooter
Self supporting communications tower is the tallest in the world.World's tallest communications tower celebrates completion
Erection of the Tokyo Sky Tree, the world's tallest self-supporting tower, finished two months late because of the quake that struck Japan last March. Engineers were required to do an antenna stretch to maintain the title. Please see: Sky Tree 
Montana man severely injured after fall from towerFall from tower severely injures Montana man
A 30-year-old Montana man suffered severe trauma injuries after falling 20 to 30 feet off a communications tower onto a roof in downtown Bozeman. The rooftop structure is owned by Big Sky Mobile. Please see: Tech Injured 
TriStar sues American Tower for unfair competition, false advertisingLawsuit: ATC uses illegal tactics with landowners in negotiations
In what is expected to be a protracted and expensive lawsuit for both parties, TriStar Investors is accusing American Tower of unfair competition and false advertising. An offered deal by TriStar was reportedly turned down by ATC. Please see: TriStar 
PCIA applauds billPCIA hails bill that speeds access, spurs investment
PCIA applauded the passage of legislation that will enable wireless infrastructure providers to upgrade and expand existing facilities efficiently and cost-effectively. Please see: Legislation is a victory 

SBA's Mobilitie tower buy might hurt in a possible pursuit of T-MobileSBA's Mobilitie buy might hamper a T-Mobile bid
Tower operator SBA Communications Corporation will buy more than 2,300 tower sites in the US and Central America and some antenna assets from Mobilitie LLC for about $1.09 billion. It may hamper them in a pursuit of T-Mobile. Please see: SBA 

Frontline petition asked for the program to be airedThe film shoot that wasn't heard or seen around the world
Frontline trumpeted "Cell Tower Deaths" on its PBS stations, but the eight-months-long investigation was unexpectedly canceled. A petition which has captured over 500 signatures is requesting that the documentary be aired. Please see: Frontline

New design requirements for Florida towersFlorida's tower design requirements will change next month
If you're getting ready to permit a structure in Florida, it's important to note that the 2010 Florida Building Code will go into effect March 15, 2012 and the changes will require engineers to convert an Ultimate Design Wind Speed to a Nominal Design Wind Speed. Please see: 2010 FBC 
Insanity might be defense of murderer of tower ownerMurderer of tower owner might try an insanity plea defense
Lynn Hajny, who is facing charges in the grisly murder of John Aegerter, president of Air Page Corp., a Wisconsin two-way shop and owner of a number of communications towers, might use an insanity defense. Please see: Insanity plea 
Cell tower frond almost skewers Texas motoroistFaux cell tower palm frond nearly skewers Texas motorist
An El Paso, Tex. motorist was nearly impaled when a frond fell from a T-Mobile faux palm tree cell tower and almost speared his head by inches, causing minor scratches on his face and embedding glass particles in his eye. Please see: Nearly fatal frond
Frontline and ProPublica Cancel Tower Deaths InvestigationFrontline unexpectedly yanks "Cell Tower Deaths" investigation
A spokesperson for Frontline informed Wireless Estimator that PBS has rescheduled its "Cell Tower Deaths" program until a later date, but could not offer any further information as to when it might appear or the reason for its removal from its previously scheduled Feb. 21 air date. Please see: Investigation on hold 
Frontline ProPublica Cell Tower Deaths InvestigationCarriers and contractors under scrutiny in "Cell Tower Deaths"
Two media heavyweights, Frontline and ProPublica, will present their joint investigation on February 21, looking at complex layers of subcontracting used to insulate the carriers against liability as well as the hidden costs for ambitious build out schedules. The two media outlets started looking at the problems in 2010. Please see: 
FCC axes LightSquared network plansFCC axes LightSquared's network plans; troubling for many
The FCC has said that it will not approve LightSquared's proposal to build a national 4G-LTE network, after testing showed that the network would interfere with most existing GPS devices - presenting an unwelcomed Valentine's Day gift to the wireless construction and siting community. Please see: LightSquared
RCA concerned about FCC's Mobility Fund reverse auctionRCA cries foul over FCC dead zones eligible for the Mobility Fund
The FCC has established the Mobility Fund in order to close the gaps that exist in the nation's mobile wireless service, but the Rural Cellular Association says it is designed to reward large carriers like AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless. Please see: Map 
Mike Rowe elevates the tower construction industryMike Rowe elevates the tower construction industry
Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe featured a tower erection project in North Dakota. It was also a celebration for the wireless construction community since the episode accented the positive and professional aspects of the industry. Please see: Mike Rowe 
Troubled Arizona man lured down from tower with two burgersNaked climber is lured down by two McDonald's burgers
A tower climber ascended a 228-foot tower in downtown Los Angeles without a safety harness as well as no shoes, socks or any other apparel. After six hours he decided to let police have it their way and came down for two burgers. Please see: Climber 
Nextel to decommission 30,000 cell sitesNew Orleans will see the first removal of 30,000 Nextel sites
The Network Vision plan is in the process of reducing Nextel's network from 68,000 cell sites to 38,000. They've provided a new web page detailing those sites and the dates they'll be removed. It will be beneficial for tower contractors and tower companies. But tower owners might see it hit their bottom line when it's done. Please see: Nextel 
Forty Percent of companies with deaths did not receive OSHA finesForty percent of employers receive no fines following a death
A review of 80 tower construction and worksite-related fatalities investigated by OSHA from 2003 through 2011 identified that 40% of the deceased's employers did not receive fines after the investigations were closed. Please see: Tower Worker Fatalities 
Connect-It Wireless expands in Florida, offers new catalogConnect-It welcomes in 2012 with a new facility and catalog
The Jupiter, Fla. manufacturer and distributor recently moved into its new facilities with a greatly expanded warehouse, fabrication plant and outside storage facilities. It also has a spacious will-call desk and inside sales facility. Please see: Connect-It 
Court agrees with shot clock time framesCourt upholds FCC's shot clock time frames
A federal appeals court has upheld a decision limiting the time it should take governments to consider cell tower siting applications. The court said the shot clock provides communities with a "reasonable amount of time." Please see: Shot Clock 
FWT expands into OhioFWT announces its expansion into Ohio
FWT, one the leading manufacturers in the design and fabrication of custom steel structures for the utility and telecommunications industry, has announced its expansion into Ohio through the purchase of a plant in the Village of Hicksville. Please see: FWT 
FiberTower assets up for saleFiberTower's assets up for sale after revenues plunge
Wireless backhaul carrier FiberTower, with 3,354 sites deployed in 13 major U.S. markets, is in the process of looking for a buyer of its assets as the company's revenues free fall, losing about $180,000 per month. Please see: FiberTower 
40 Watt PIM testing offers real world conditionsAnritsu's new PIM unit simulates real world conditions
One advantage of the new MW8208A is its 40 W testing, compared to alternative methods that only measure at 20 W. It simulates real-world power that activates the PIM that might not otherwise be activated by 20 Watt systems. See: Anritsu PIM 
$6 million settlement for tower tech familiesSettlement of $6 million expected for tower techs' families
Barnhart Crane and Rigging Co., Inc. of Decatur, Ga. has agreed to a $6 million settlement to the families of two men who died last year after falling from a McClellan, Ala. guyed tower. Please see: Settlement 
Governer Christie inks new collocation billNew Jersey streamlines its collocation process
New Jersey legislation to simplify the zoning process for collocations was vetoed by its governor, but the senators who authored the bill agreed to his amendment and it immediately was inked into law. Please see: NJ Collocation Bill 
Crown Castle International buys competitors' landLand grab continues with Crown Castle deal
Crown Castle has entered into an agreement to acquire from Wireless Capital Partners, LLC a portfolio of ground lease related assets for approximately $180 million in cash and the assumption of approximately $320 million of debt. Please see: Leases
Tower tech paid to install stolen coax and then steals itPaid to replace stolen coax, tech steals it the following day
Texas sheriff’s deputies arrested a tower technician and his son while they were reportedly stealing coaxial cable and recovered about $30,000 worth of transmission lines. Please see: Father Doesn't Know Best 
Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs to feature the tower erection industryErectors expected to have a cleaned up image on Dirty Jobs
At NATE'S annual conference in San Antonio on February 7 there will be a number of social events competing for attendees' attention. Add to the mix media personality Mike Rowe, the popular host of the Discovery Channel series Dirty Jobs. Please see: Rowe 
New Texas certificate of insurance lawNew Texas law prohibits insurers from adding client's wish list
If you're expected by your customer to add all sorts of contract verbiage to your certificate of insurance in Texas, your insurer or agent can expect to pay a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation if they comply. Please see: New COI 
Mexican drug cartel aided by U.S. bought telecom productsMexico tries to dismantle telecom system aiding a drug cartel
The Zeta wireless network was built out in most of Mexico's 31 states and parts of northern Guatemala in a record six months in 2006. The system is still successful with only one subscriber. Please see: Mexico 
Cell Tower Construction 
Site Pro 1 Inc.