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Inside Towers
Friday, September 9, 2016 Volume 4  | Issue 177
Carriers Unveil Progress on 5G at CTIA Conference
The CTIA Conference in Las Vegas brought the major carriers together on Wednesday to share their thoughts on 5G deployment and the road ahead for wireless at a session entitled: “Building the Road to 5G.”

AT&T’s Tom Keathley, SVP, Wireless Network Architecture and Design, said that the commercial deployment of 5G could come sooner than later as AT&T is already in the midst of trials for the new technology.  Keathley said a ratification of the 5G standard Phase One could come as soon as late 2017, although mid-2018 was a more realistic benchmark.

T-Mobile’s Karri Kuoppamaki, VP, Network Technology Development and Strategy, said their own field trials in 5G were moving along smoothly from the lab to on-site testing.  “We’ve been able to see some of the things associated with 5G – millimetre wave, low latency and massive MIMO,” he said.

VP of Technology Innovation and Architecture for Sprint, Ron Marquardt, said over 200,000 people in their Copa America Trials could actually see the technology in ‘real time’ usage.  Adam Koeppe VP, Network Technology Planning for Verizon said their work is supported by the same group of vendors from their Phase One trials. “We could also fix any changes with software,” he said.

U.S. Cellular will begin trials in 28GHz spectrum next week, then progress to a 15GHz trial. “Then maybe we’ll look at a third trial,” said Michael Irizarry, CTO.

Cities Can’t Make The Calls on Pole Regs
Cities can’t ignore federal law and make their own pole attachment regulations. So says Lawrence Spiwak, president of the research group Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies.

He writes in an Op Ed for The Hill, the growing movement among municipalities to enact their own pole attachment ordinances is probably unconstitutional. City governments are doing so to ease broadband deployment at the urging of companies like Google. Such “one touch make ready” ordinances allow new providers to perform the required work in the make-ready process themselves, often without proper approvals, according to Spiwak.

However, the Telecom Act gives the FCC authority to regulate how broadband providers attach their wires to utility poles. “When a new provider seeks space on a pole, for instance, the FCC's rules require it to apply to the pole owner, which in turn will tell the new provider whether other carriers’ facilities need to be moved to make room for the new provider,” writes the expert.

It’s then up to the new provider to coordinate any necessary “make ready” moves with the existing companies. This way, each provider maintains control over its own property. Continue Reading
Remaining FCC Battles Focus on Towers
The FCC plans on bringing major proposals to a vote at the agency’s public meeting later this month, according to Chairman Tom Wheeler. The proposals concern reforms for broadband infrastructure, privacy and set-top boxes.

The former head of CTIA only has a few months remaining in his current post, unless Hillary Clinton wins the presidential election and asks him to temporarily remain as chair while she assembles a new Administration.

A high-profile battle has been brewing over planned reforms to the “special access” market for high-capacity, dedicated internet connections between cell towers and businesses like ATMs, for example. As Inside Towers previously reported, critics say major companies now control the market; they counter the already competitive market.

Wheeler’s privacy proposal would require internet service providers like Comcast or Verizon to get customers’ permission before they use their data for most purposes. Providers say it’s not fair for the Commission to impose stricter regulations when web platforms that also use customer data, like Google or Facebook, have fewer barriers to hurdle under FTC regs, according to the account. Continue Reading
Verizon Hopes to Snag Digital Ad Share With Yahoo, AOL
Dropping billions of dollars over the course of one year is no joke, but will Verizon be laughing all the way to the bank with its purchase of Yahoo and AOL?

In July, Verizon Wireless signed a deal to buy Yahoo for $4.8 billion in cash. This was on top of last year’s deal to buy AOL for $4.4 billion, also in cash. The deals are expected to close early next year. Both businesses combined generate about $7 billion in annual revenue, according to William Cohan in the New York Times.

Verizon threw off nearly $50 billion in cash flow over the past 12 months, and Cohan is questioning whether delving into the world of digital advertising was worth it, given competitors Google and Facebook have market caps of $530 billion and $363 billion, respectively.

Upon closing, the companies will report to Verizon EVP Marni Walden, a contender to replace Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam when he retires. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, credited with creating Google’s online ad sales team, appears to be the man who will run both AOL and Yahoo for Verizon, according to Cohan. Continue Reading
5G May Bring ‘Millions of New Cell Towers,’ FCC Chairman Says
With many townspeople arguing against cell towers citing aesthetics and possible health issues, what will happen when 5G comes calling? FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said at this week’s CTIA convention in Las Vegas that 5G may “deliver speeds up to 10 times faster” than today’s 4G LTE networks, but with that comes a need for potentially “millions of new cell phone towers” to handle traffic.

In addition to 5G, which is predicted to make its entrance by 2020, Google is looking toward wireless broadband that will also require additional towers or “some sort of relay equipment to beam signals to homes and offices,” Consumer Tech Radar reported.

There are about 200,000 towers in the United States, according to Wheeler. 5G will require densification, meaning more small cells, mid cells, pico cells and metro cells, Chris Pearson, president of the 5G Americas wireless trade industry association, told

While it is unclear how fast 5G will be (Ericsson has tested 5 Gbps; Samsung at 7.5 Gbps), it is understood that local government approval of towers is sluggish, which may hamper communities from receiving 5G. Wheeler suggested that wireless carriers share towers in the future to reduce density. "If we're talking about thousands of antennas in a city, and you've got four carriers, and we are serious about leading the world in 5G deployment in our very large and spread out country, we ought to explore creative options on how best to build that infrastructure," he told

September 8, 2016 at Close

Eton Park Capital Management Sells SBA Shares
Lowering its stake by 38.02 percent, the company sold 694,000 shares of  SBA Communications Corporation, reports Trade Calls. The sale leaves them with a total of 1,131,507 shares, valued at $131,616,894 as indicated in a disclosure report filed with the SEC on August 15. SBA still accounts for approximately 3.96% of Eton’s portfolio.

Other hedge fund activity around SBA includes Blackrock Fund Advisors reducing its stake, selling 608,417 shares, valued at $226,429,326 and Neuberger Bergman Group selling 34,059 shares bringing them down to 743,755 shares valued at $84,683,944.

Conversely, Stockbridge Partners increased its investment, adding 273,818 shares for a total of 1,923,738 shares, valued at $223,769,204 while Summit Securities Group added 3,538 shares valued at $411,540, according to Trade Calls.

Unanimous Moratorium Ceases Cell Tower Activity
An emergency moratorium was approved 6-0 on Tuesday by the Camas City Council regarding any new wireless telecommunications facilities within city limits. According to the Camas Post-Record, the ban extends until August 7, 2017, allocating time for the council to thoroughly review and potentially adjust the current wireless telecommunications ordinance.

The moratorium states, “The City Council desires to review its zoning and use codes related to wireless communication facilities for consistency with the vision, goals and policies established through the Camas 2035 comprehensive plan.”

The moratorium also set a Planning Commission hearing on November 15, pertaining to approval of a wireless communication facility. Subsequent to the hearing, a report will be compiled, outlining proposed amendments. Public hearings will begin May 16, 2017, in front of the Planning Commission followed by the City Council on June 19, 2017. Continue Reading

New Jersey

No Need to Call For Help, Just Text
You probably wouldn’t ask an intruder to ‘hold on a second’ while you dial 9-1-1. Emergency situations are often unpredictable and making a phone call isn’t always convenient. Luckily for New Jersey residents, a statewide text-to-911 program was rolled out on Wednesday, reports The four major wireless carriers have made the service available on towers across the state.

A video detailing the process explains, “Text messages are used to do almost everything these days, so it only makes sense that you should be able to use texting to get help in any emergency situation that requires police, fire or emergency medical services.”

The program is also beneficial to those with issues hearing or speaking. According to, residents can recruit help simply by sending a text to 911 without any spaces. They are asked to include a brief description of the scenario, an exact address or landmark if a precise address isn’t available. In response, dispatchers will provide instructions or ask further questions.

Since dispatchers can communicate better over the phone, a voice call is still the encouraged method of emergency contact.
North Carolina
Public Land Lease Makes for Easy Money in New Hanover County
Vital Statistics: County leases a portion of 1,500 acres of public land for cell tower construction and receives an estimated $5.6 million in the first 10 years of the agreement.
New Hanover County commissioners will review Milestone Communications’ proposition to lease public land for cell tower construction.

The idea has been met with ‘cautious optimism,’ according to WECT. “I think generally at the beginning all of us thought, ‘Gosh that’s a great revenue stream, might offset taxes and things that we have to pay for, let’s look at it a little closer.’ But as we started peeling back the layers of the onion a little bit, we thought wait a minute, what are we giving up, and are we competing with the private sector? If we are, we need to take a long and hard look at if it’s the right thing to do,” said Commissioner Woody White.

Commission Chair Beth Dawson is concerned the lease would eliminate other potential uses for the land such as county schools or parks but has been assured the tower placement wouldn’t deter such opportunities. 

New Hanover County’s Chief Information Officer Leslie Chaney explained, “If a site was selected as a potential location for a tower, the county would work with Milestone to make sure that the request was in keeping with the aesthetic of the location and would not interfere with the continued use of the site.”

WECT noted that if the proposal is accepted, Milestone would market the land to wireless carriers and pay for tower construction. The proposal could bring big money to the county and will be considered again later this month.


NTC Blames Government for Poor Connectivity
It’s easy to point fingers when there’s an issue and oftentimes the telecom companies get the brunt of the blame for subpar internet connectivity. However, on Wednesday, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) sent the blame back around, suggesting the ‘lack of government investment in information and communications technology (ICT),’ is at the core of the Philippines’ problem, according to GMA News.

Aside from the fact that local governments require as many as 32 permits before a company can start building a cell site which may take years, NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba pins the lack of government investment as the primary issue.

“In the Philippines, if you ask us how much the government spends on telco infrastructure, the answer is zero,” said NTC Commissioner, Gamaliel Cordoba.

GMA News noted that despite the setbacks, a report by the International Telecommunications Union showed some improvement in Philippines’ ICT ranking and a United Nations’ 2016 report indicated a high e-government development index (EGDI).  

T-Mobile Trade-In: Let Us Upgrade You
Apple officially announced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7S Wednesday. While the overall design is similar to its predecessors, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S, there are quite a few changes including water resistance, a dual-camera system, stereo speakers, no headphone jack and a darker black color scheme, reports The Verge.  Preorder begins September 9, while regular purchase will start September 16.

While some will inevitably choose to hang on to their current phone, many are anxious to get their hands on latest and greatest device, which is typically revamped every two years, according to

Upon Apple’s announcement, T-Mobile offered a trade-in plan, “Starting September 9, at 12:01 AM PST, all new and current T-Mobile customers can pre-order a new iPhone 7 from T-Mobile and get up to $650 in monthly bill credits over 24 months when they trade-in their iPhone6 or new model. Want a different model or more memory? Just pay a little more upfront.”

"From the Floor" At CTIA Super Mobility 
Explore the exhibit floor virtually via the videos below 

FCC's Broadband Data Services Actions Could Harm Your Investment
By Bruce Kushnick, New Networks Institute, reprinted by permission from Seeking Alpha
BDS is the new telecom battleground as the companies that control network access services control America's wireline and wireless communications. 

The proposed BDS deal by Verizon and INCOMPAS (the association of telecom competitors) leaves billions of extra expenses charged to competitors and stifles potential growth.  Verizon and AT&T have been able to cross-subsidize their other lines of business, including wireless, due to control of the wireline network infrastructure.

Are wireless competitors such as Sprint being overcharged $0.5 billion to $1 billion annually for access?  Consumer Federation of America finds that the market concentration of the BDS market cost consumers and the U.S. economy $150 billion since 2010.

Over the last few years the FCC has been conducting a series of proceedings to fix "special access" services, now called "broadband data services" (BDS) and the agency is supposed to be making some announcements and changes over the next few months.

BDS is one of the best guarded and most misunderstood topics in telecom today - and the most essential for the future as everything from 5G to IoT to fill-in-the-blank depend on these formerly hidden networks, this critical infrastructure. Continue Reading

Northeast DAS & Small Cell Association’s 2016 Toronto Symposium
October 25, 2016 | 2:00-9:00 PM | Chateau Le Jardin Conference & Event Venue
8440 Highway 27, Woodbridge, ON, L4L 1A5
NEDAS is heading back to Toronto to expand and develop the Het-Net ecosystem in Canada.

The event will feature inspiring panel discussions, presentations, lightning talks and networking opportunities to educate and embolden attendees about the trends and challenges of adopting in-building wireless solutions.  Register here.  

HUBER+SUHNER Introduces New Innovation at CTIA
HUBER+SUHNER, a global leader in connectivity solutions is debuting its new universal weather protection (UWP) boot for RF connector systems this week at CTIA Super Mobility in Las Vegas.

The UWP boot involves jumpers installed between antennas and remote radio heads. The groundbreaking boot protects against weather, contamination and corrosion, according to the press release. The UWP can replace unreliable tape and alternative boot solutions that require assembly. The UWP boot is dependable, practical and offers multi-cable compatibility in terms of jumper suppliers and cable sizes.

Fritz Landolt, Business Unit Manager FCO at HUBER+SUHNER expanded on installation priorities, “To satisfy the next generation of bandwidth hungry data users, we need solutions that combine ease of installation, robustness and efficiency, all while reducing costs. Our future-proofed installation solutions are globally accepted by system vendors and mobile operators alike as the best-in-class products in terms of ease of installation, robustness, and efficiency.”

HUBER+SUHNER also offers the new Quick-Fit Plus which simplifies the assembling process and the MASTERLINE Ultimate SC, a compact fiber optic cable system used to deploy plug and play solutions for the next generation of remote radio heads.

HUBER+SUHNER will be be demonstrating interactions of SOLID active boxes with SENCITY antennas. Check them out at CTIA booth 4132 to find out more.

Latest posting from the FCC 9/08/16
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. 

Texas tower contributed by tower tech Thomas Ribando.

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