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Friday, March 3, 2017 Volume 5  | Issue 44
Repack Questions: Is 39 Months Enough Time? Is $1.75B Enough?

The wireless industry wants to get its hands on the spectrum being vacated by television broadcasters as soon as possible and believes the FCC-allotted 39 months for the TV channel repack following the end of the incentive auction is feasible. Broadcasters don’t think 39 months is enough time and they certainly don’t think the $1.75 billion Congress has allotted for reimbursement costs will be enough. That’s what representatives of both industries told lawmakers Thursday during a hearing on spectrum needs of the Communications Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee.

CTIA VP, Regulatory Affairs Scott Bergmann said getting timely access to the 70 megahertz of new mobile broadband spectrum, and an additional 14 megahertz of spectrum for unlicensed uses like WiFi and LTE-U/Licensed Assisted Access services, is critical to the country’s leadership in 5G. Noting that the wireless industry supports a “seamless repacking process” for broadcasters, he also said it’s a long time to wait, which could have consequences. “Three years and three months is significantly longer than the wireless industry has had to wait to begin deploying new services to consumers in recent auctions, and any delay would put at risk 5G development, rural build-out, and be inequitable to those companies investing nearly $20 billion in new spectrum.(Additional hearing coverage continues further down.) Continue Reading

Small Cell Forum and 5G Americas Release Report to Streamline Deployment
Small cells will play an integral part in the future Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) deployments, and therefore the process for deploying small cell technology ought to be as seamless and efficient as possible—this is the takeaway from a recent report, Small Cell Siting and Deployment Challenges in Hyper Dense Networks, released by Small Cell Forum and 5G Americas. The report aims to create guidelines that address regulatory issues that frequently pop up during the deployment of small cell technology.

It reaches the conclusion that small cells should not be subject to specific planning permissions because they are not considered large pieces of network equipment, like macro cell sites. This, according to the report, means the deployment process for small cells should be standardized across all markets to ensure the speedy deployment of the technology.

“No matter what shape the final technical specifications of 5G take, it is clear now that small cells will play a vital role in delivering that experience, and these documents are the first to address the challenges of large-scale deployments of hyper dense networks,” Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas, said in a press release. “Our partnership with SCF continues to allow two of the industry’s leading trade organizations to pool their collective resources and speak with one voice to the importance of dense HetNets to facilitate and support not just next generation networks, but better and more cost-effective connectivity today.”
Siting Regs Suited for Tall Towers, Not Small Cells, CTIA Tells Congress
Asked by lawmakers what Congress can do to facilitate the wireless industry’s deployment of 5G services, CTIA VP Regulatory Affairs Scott Bergmann said easing the siting process could save time and money. The wireless industry invested some $23 billion in network upgrades in the past year. Siting infrastructure, especially across western land owned by the federal government, now takes between two to four years. “If you can make that faster,” that would help, he told lawmakers Thursday during a spectrum hearing of the Communications Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee.

Current federal, state, local, and tribal siting laws were developed “for large cell towers, not small cells,” which he described as the size of a pizza box or a lunch box. That type of infrastructure will be deployed by the hundreds of thousands, said Bergmann. Congress could do a lot to address burdensome local permitting processes and modernize rights-of-way access and pole attachment policies. CTIA suggests “reasonable” shot clocks for new site and co-location permit applications. “Permit fees and other charges for wireless siting should be reduced to reflect small cells’ minimal impact and be limited to the actual, incremental costs to localities for processing these applications,” he said.  Continue Reading
City of Sacramento Partners with Verizon to Offer 5G Pilot Program to Residents
Private-public partnerships will be integral to the rollout of 5G technology, according to the City of Sacramento, which is why it has announced a deal with Verizon to provide a pilot 5G program to its residents during the first half of 2017, according to a press release published on the city’s website.

The City called the agreement “among the first in the nation to deliver super high-speed wireless connectivity to the internet for Sacramento residents.” Verizon also announced it will unveil pilot programs in other metropolitan areas, including Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Bernardsville (NJ), Brockton (MA), Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Seattle and Washington D.C.

“Sacramento continues its emergence as a leader and innovator with this latest partnership with Verizon. This pilot program is one of the first practical implementations of 5G in the nation. It is this type of innovation that will enable residents to experience gigabit speeds that were previously only available via costly fiber,” the City said in the press release.
AT&T, GE to Introduce ‘Smart’ Street Lights to San Diego
A new partnership hopes to take advantage of AT&T’s connected devices to provide smart city solutions. AT&T is partnering with GE to install smart street lights in an effort to ease traffic issues and benefit public safety. Current CityIQ sensors will be combined with connected GE bulbs at each street light, says Engadget. The sensors monitor traffic and can even detect gunshots.

Business Insider reports the technology will be deployed first in San Diego. The carrier will mount 3,200 sensors within the city, and remotely monitor them. As the Internet of Things grows and cities are able to better process the data connected devices gather, smart city solutions is expected to be an enormous market for network operators.

Sensors, smart lights, smart meters, and other devices used to monitor infrastructure, population, and public services will all need to be connected wirelessly to share information. Right now, lack of funding and privacy concerns have slowed deployment for these systems. While San Diego expects to save $2.4 million in energy costs from the smart street lights, many smaller municipalities consider such devices a luxury that are too expensive to integrate at this time.
Eco-Site Gets $50M in Financing and Plans on Building More Towers
Big plans are underway for tower manufacturer, Eco-Site Inc., in 2017. Chief executive officer, Dale Carey, explained how the company will use its $50 million credit line procured from Guggenheim Partners to meet the ever-growing demands for wireless connectivity. The company operates towers for Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, and has built more than 150 towers since its inception in 2012.  An Eco-Site spokesman Dan Gauss said, “The company is focusing on real-estate solutions in the most desirable areas to meet carriers' network needs, including build-to-suit tower projects, co-location opportunities and densification solutions.”

Triangle Business Journal explains in addition to adding more towers to the company’s portfolio, 10 to 15 employees will be added to the staff to manage new additions. Eco-Site already raised $80 million in equity financing, and operates in 30 states. Most of its towers are concentrated in the Midwest. Guggenheim Corporate Funding, LLC is acting as administrative agent and lead arranger for the credit line, and Casey expects his company will request additional equity capital before the end of the year.
Dems Fight Withdrawal of Rosenworcel’s FCC Renomination
UPDATE The White House has withdrawn nominations to regulatory commissions made in the last days of the Obama administration, including that of former FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. Democrats have vowed to push back.

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), ranking member of the Senate Commerce Communications Subcommittee, said during Thursday’s spectrum hearing (see earlier story) he was “appalled” at the action. “I hope the White House will re-nominate her and the Senate will keep its commitment to confirm her, as we should have done a year ago.”

Rosenworcel, who began working at the agency in 2012, left the FCC at the end of the year when her term expired. The Democrats’ expectation was that once Trump took office, he would pair her nomination with a Republican choice and they would jointly go through the confirmation process, Inside Towers reported at the time. Continue Reading

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March 2, 2017 at Close


Who Will Win the Race to Provide Multi-operator Small Cells?
Will multi-operator small cell solutions make the process of towerco-led small cell deployment more efficient?

As towercos increasingly look to diversify their offerings to MNOs, and distributed networks become more and more necessary in urban network densification in advance of 5G, the business case for providing small cells as a service could be accelerated with multi-operator small cell solutions. Who are the current leaders in the development of multi-operator small cells, and what business models could they facilitate?

Akin to the multi-tenancy model, multi-operator small cell solutions can enable towercos to generate incremental revenues by offering small cells as a service. By choosing a multi-operator solution, installation of small cells is made more efficient, investments are future-proofed, and a myriad opportunities are opened up for towercos to position themselves as the ideal neutral host for operators looking to densify urban outdoor networks and improve indoor coverage. Continue Reading

Let’s Get More Fiber to America’s Heartland    
By Russell A. Moore,  general manager and chief operating officer of Big Bend Telephone Co
READER OPINION DISCLAIMER:  This section allows others to contribute their opinions. The content does not necessarily represent the views of, or endorsement by Inside Towers.

Fixing America’s bridges, roads and tunnels is a major priority of the new Trump administration. Congress is already discussing plans for new infrastructure investment funding mechanisms, an effort that businesses and government are closely watching. A bipartisan group of 48 U.S. senators, including Texas Republican John Cornyn, believe it is essential to include funding to expand broadband projects in these new programs, to embed 21st century connectivity in new improvements to America’s infrastructure.

This week, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation dug into initial thoughts about framing an infrastructure program. As our policymakers gear up for action, the broadband industry is urging Congress to build a simple roadmap to truly deliver on the promise of universal connectivity for all Americans, one that leverages programs that are working, removes regulatory barriers and channels investment to areas of the country that lack meaningful access to broadband services. Continue Reading

CTX – the C Spire Tech Experience

April 27, 2017, Oxford, MS

CTX – the C Spire Tech Experience - is set for Thursday, April 27, beginning at 2 p.m. in The Pavilion, the new $96.5 million multipurpose arena on the Ole Miss campus.

"As the region's technology leader, we're uniquely positioned to bring to life an event at the intersection of culture and technology," said C Spire CEO Hu Meena. The one-day event will feature a trio of renowned speakers at the forefront of technology and culture, including Dr. Brian Uzzi, a Northwestern University professor and artificial intelligence expert; National Football League CIO Michelle McKenna-Doyle and Randi Zuckerberg, founder of Zuckerberg Media and former CMO at Facebook.

To register:

Latest posting from the FCC 3/1/17, Inside Towers’ companion Buyer’s Guide has over 3,500 listings in 130+ categories. Each month we will be featuring one of our primary categories. This month, we’re highlighting Construction. Within this category are subcategories:

Should your company be in this category?
See if you’re listed and if you only have a basic listing, find out why you should upgrade here.

Our featured enhanced listing of the day in this category (among others) is Charles Industries! Check out their listing by clicking below and enhance your listing today.
Idaho Falls, Idaho contributed by Garrett Messler @_bmx_boy_12 via Instagram.

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