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Inside Towers
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 Volume 4  | Issue 171
Recall of Fall Protection Devices Halts Tower Work Across the U.S.              
David Sams, SBA VP of Risk Management confirmed to Inside Towers that they issued a ‘stop work’ order earlier yesterday when the recall of the ubiquitous “safety grab” device was sent out by 3M.  Tower tech workers for SBA were asked to stop any climbing activity unless an alternative method is found that requires 100% tie-off such as twin leg lanyards or a back-up life line. Those methods, however are more time consuming than the ‘safety grab’ which is used throughout the industry.  “We use it,” said Sams.(Editor’s note: Representatives from Crown Castle and American Tower could not be reached at deadline for comment.)

The press release from 3M stated:
“After more than 30 years of use in the fall protection industry, the original Lad-Saf™ sleeve has been replaced by a completely redesigned next generation Lad-Saf sleeve.

Capital Safety/3M recently reviewed the performance of the original Lad-Saf sleeve in the field, including a limited number of incidents involving a serious injury or death in the United States while using the sleeve. Although our review did not reveal product hazard or risk scenarios that would arise in the ordinary and proper use of the product, it did reveal potential misuse scenarios that could result in serious injury or death. The potential misuse scenarios include interference with the braking mechanism (such as entanglement with cords, lanyards, clothing or other materials, or grasping the sleeve prior to or during a fall), or result from the user attaching the sleeve upside down (user inversion). No safety regulator has made a finding that the design of the original Lad-Saf sleeve is defective.

At 3M, customer safety and confidence are high priorities. In light of the reported incidents and potential misuse scenarios, we have discontinued sale of the original Lad-Saf sleeve, and are voluntarily initiating a full recall of all original Lad-Saf sleeves.

Owners / Users of original Lad-Saf sleeves must:
1.Immediately stop using and quarantine all original Lad-Saf sleeves. Affected part numbers are:6100016, 6116500, 6116501, 6116502, 6116503, 6116504, 6116505, 6116506, 6116507, 6116509,6116512, 6116535, 6116540, 6116541, 6116542, 6116500C, 6116500SM, 6116507/A, 6116540b”

FCC Auction Results - Tuesday 8-30-16
Bidding Falls Short of Target Ending Stage One on Flat Note

The FCC said that the failure to meet the $88.4 billion target on Tuesday after Round 27  will put an end to the bidding in the opening stage of the auction process.

"Bidding in the forward auction has concluded for Stage 1 without meeting the final stage rule and without meeting the conditions to trigger an extended round. The incentive auction will continue with Stage 2 at a lower clearing target," the FCC said.

The bidding slowed in Round 25 as supply no longer exceeded demand in eight of the top ten markets, Broadcasting & Cable reported. The FCC's spectrum auction ended Tuesday at Round 27 with the bidding total at $23,058,536,900 or $23 billion net of discounts and bidding credits.

In most of the top markets, supply and demand were on par, suggesting the FCC may have started to find its spectrum price points and may soon have to lower its spectrum sights and return to the reverse auction at a lower clearing target, according to Broadcasting & Cable.

New York, the top market, saw 19 licenses bid in Round 22 with only 10 available. Only 10 licenses were bid for however in round 25, which was a similar occurrence in many top markets.
Auction Proceeds  (as of 5 pm 8/30)
First Component        Target:  $15,896,290,987     $23,058,536,900  (actual)
Second Component   Target:  $88,379,558,704     $22,400,000,000  (estimated)

Reverse Auction
Current Round  Bidding concluded  Clearing Cost as of Stage 1   $86,422,558,704

Forward Auction
Current Round  Round 16  Auction Proceeds as of Round 26     $23,058,536,900
Study Critical of Carriers Highlights Problem Areas
J.D. Power has been studying wireless network coverage for 14 years, and according to The Motley Fool, the study addresses 10 problem areas in coverage: dropped calls, calls not connected, audio issues, failed/late voice mails, lost calls, text transmission failures, late text message notifications, web/app connection errors, slow downloads/apps, and email connection errors. The study gives a geographical score based on 100 connections, the lowest being the best. Six geographical regions were scored, with 43,300 wireless customers participating.

Highlights from the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance Study Volume 2, as reported by The Motley Fool, include:           
  • Urban areas score lowest, with 18- to 34-year-old customers experiencing 17 problems per 100 connections in this area. Subscribers 35 and older only had 10. However, according to J.D Power, millennials use their phones, and subsequently data, more.
  • Wireless customers who experience the most network problems also have the lowest tolerance for outages, dropped calls, slow data and more, with customers in urban areas having the most network problems (17 problems per 100 connections vs. 12 for people living in rural areas and 10 per 100 for those in the suburbs). Continue Reading
New Jersey
It’s Back to School with Wireless Upgrades in Long Hill Township
When some students in Long Hill Township, New Jersey return to school next week, both they and their teachers will have better internet access and phone service.

The Board of Education approved $208,000 in May to upgrade the wireless infrastructure for grades K-8 in the school district. Administrators also expect Long Hill to receive more than $40,000 in FCC E-Rate funding.

DynTek Services completed the wireless upgrade, which also included a new Voice over Internet Protocol phone system that’s expected to save $11,400 in maintenance costs and eliminate more than $4,000 a month, reports the New Jersey Hills Echoes-Sentinel.  Continue Reading

August 30, 2016 at Close


North Carolina
Spirit Communications Races to Connect 215 Towers with Fiber
The installations represent the cooperative efforts of a Southeastern communications company and a national wireless carrier. Spirit Communications issued a press release on August 9, detailing the expansion. The towers are centered in large metropolitan areas of North Carolina – Charlotte, Winston Salem, Greensboro, Durham, and Raleigh. All fiber is expected to be installed by 3rd quarter of 2018.

Bob Keane, President and CEO of Spirit Communications, described the extent of the modifications. He said, “The additional fiber network in the major cities of North Carolina will allow for last mile services for enterprise, government and carrier customers. In these five major metropolitan North Carolina cities, Spirit will add in excess of 650 miles of high count, metro fiber to their existing footprint of over 8,500 miles.”

Spirit is headquartered in Columbia, SC, and specializes in data transport services, long haul high bandwidth, tower site construction, management and rental services. It claims its extensive digital fiber optic network can reach areas in the Southeast typically unavailable to most carriers.
Cell Service Comes to Seattle Transit Tunnels
Vital statistics: $250,000 down, $7,500 per month
Seattle Transit is beefing up cell service in its tunnels beginning this week.

Mobilitie is the installer and is paying transit agency Sound Transit $250,000 plus an additional $7,500 a month, according to a recently signed deal.

T-Mobile customers will enjoy the benefits first, with Verizon and AT&T joining the tunnel service next month, followed by Sprint, in a phased rollout, reports The Seattle Times. Mobilitie is expected to recoup its upfront costs and make a profit through licensing deals with the carriers. Continue Reading


Globe Telecom on ‘Fast Track’ of LTE Rollout
Globe Telecom is creating a stronger presence in Manila, and Filipino residents with mobile internet should reap the biggest benefits. Globe has announced that by the end of 2016, it will add 500 more LTE 700 MHz cell sites in metro Manila. Rappler reported that the cell sites were acquired “through a co-use agreement with San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) Bell Telecommunications, following the sale of SMC’s telco assets.”

Joel Agustin, Globe senior vice-president for Program Governance-Network Technical Group, told Rappler that the company is “fast-tracking the rollout of LTE service nationwide using the 700 MHz frequency” and that the move should “substantially improve the mobile internet experience of customers in the region.” Globe also now has access to allocation in 800 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2600 MHz bands in addition to the 700 MHz.

The co-use agreement includes deployment of 4,500 “multiband, multimode software defined radio base station equipment to 95 percent of total municipalities and cities in the Philippines,” according to Rappler.

Those particularly affected include business districts and highly-urbanized, populated areas.

NATE Unveils RF & Antenna Identification Safety Video                            
The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) released a RF & Antenna Identification Safety Video as part of the Association’s 2016 Climber Connection campaign.

The video outlines the FCC guidelines for maximum permissible RF exposure limits in both controlled and uncontrolled environments. The segment also features testimonial footage of a tower technician discussing the thermal and health effects of RF exposure and articulating the importance of antenna identification when assessing RF hazards. Additionally, the video includes best practice tips on working safely around the different types of antennas that are found on today’s communication structures.  Continue Reading


Carolina Wireless Association, 3rd Quarter Educational Event
September 22, 2016 6:00pm - 9:00pm, U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC)
Registration is $60 per person and includes event admission, two drink tickets and appetizers.  A cash bar will also be available as well as the opportunity to enjoy USNWC's weekly concert, River Jam, until 10:00 pm.

The Whitewater Center has a variety of restaurants on the grounds for your convenience.  One item of caution! The nearest hotels are in Charlotte and Belmont.

APCO's Emerging Technology Forum: What Does the Future of Public Safety Look Like?
November 1-2, Seattle, WA
Find out by joining us in Seattle, WA, November 1-2, for APCO's Emerging Technology Forum where industry leaders meet to talk about the future of public safety communications. Find out more here

Latest posting from the FCC 8/30/16

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Ericsson Field Service Operations – Telecom Tower Technician I

Ericsson is currently looking for experienced Telecom Tower Technicians to join their organization in multiple cities across the United States. More information about the job is available here.

B+T – Tower Technician

B+T is looking to hire a Tower Technician responsible for completing on-site field work activities associated with each field service project. Click here for more information. 


Aluma Tower Trailer being used by National Forces in Brazil during the RIO 2016

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