Monday, December 21, 2015

Appeals Court Backs FCC on Tower Siting

In what could be seen as a landmark decision that could effectively speed the decision-making process for approving tower construction in America, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Friday agreed with the FCC’s directive to deploy wireless facilities by preventing intervention by local authorities.

Although the FCC rule had won the support of CTIA and PCIA-The Wireless Infrastructure Association, Montgomery County, MD and other counties in March filed suit against the FCC to prevent the commission from carrying out its order and call the new tower siting rule unconstitutional, arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion and otherwise illegal,” reported John Eggerton in Broadcasting & Cable. Continue Reading

Friday, December 18, 2015

2016 Carrier Spending is Iffy

Nervous. That’s what any brass at a company relying on 2016 infrastructure work from the top U.S. carriers ought to be. It appears that the fog of 2015 that has kept carrier spending grounded will drift into the new year as the big four – AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint – continue moving toward less expensive software-driven network while completing wireless upgrades.

The big guys cut capex spending in 2015 by 8.1 percent, notes Scott Moritz/Moritz Dispatch using estimates compiled and published by Bloomberg this week. Moritz and others have suggested, “the belt tightening isn’t over.”
Moritz reports AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson told investors Tuesday “there’s going to be a continual downward pressure on our capital spending.” Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said last week that capital outlay in 2016 will be “in the neighborhood of $17.5 billion,” compared with a $17.5 billion to $18 billion range for 2015. In October, Sprint said it is targeting a $500 million cut in equipment spending next year. Continue Reading

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Product Alert Issued for 10 AES Fall Arrestor

German manufacturer Tractel Greifzug has issued an immediate product alert to the tower industry to stop using its retractable type fall arrestor “Blocfor 10 AES Fall Arrestor.” In an industry-wide email sent produced by partner Enercon late Wednesday, the advice was toPlease see below for a Product Alert regarding Tractel Greifzug’s Blocfor™ 10 AES Fall Arrestor. If you have this product, halt use until you’ve consulted the manufacturer’s instructions.” The alert continued: “Tractel Greifzug has issued a Product Alert regarding their BLOCFOR 10 AES (SAP 123830).” Continue Reading

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

‘Tis The Silly Season In CarrierLand

Boys will be boys and sometimes even CEOs will be boys. And so far, they are not being very naughty and even somewhat nice! Take Sprint’s Marcelo Claure., T-Mobile’s “unofficial” Blog, reported that on Monday, the CEO sent out gift baskets to T-Mobile stores around the country. Filled with cookies, candies and other sweet nibbles, the gifts also came with a card that read: “Our companies compete to take business from each other throughout the year but this is the season of giving. So enjoy these treats from Sprint. Happy Holidays, Marcelo”.
Continue Reading

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Springs Fire District Cell Tower Sparks Controversy

Inside Towers on Tuesday reported how the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals on Long Island, NY pointedly disagreed with its Springs Fire District over an already erected 150-foot communications tower. While none of the equipment had been put on the tower early last week when the two sides met, the Zoning Board voted 4-1 to revoke the tower permits issued in 2014, rejecting the fire district’s argument that the tower is desperately needed at its Fort Pond Boulevard property. And it began making noise that the freshly-built structure might have to come down.

This past weekend, crews mounted antennas on the tower, urged by District Board of Commissioners Chairman Pat Glennon. Glennon told that the tower is a communications tower and that the antennas are needed to improve emergency systems. The zoning board had argued the permit was issued in error by town building instructors and that the fire district as a municipal entity must “submit its application for further consideration by the town to determine if the project warrants exemption from zoning.” For now, Glennon urged crews to proceed, as “commissioners and their attorneys discuss how to proceed following Tuesday’s revocation of the tower’s building permits,” reports Continue Reading

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

NPS Plans to Increase Cell Service in Parks

The National Park Service (NPS) marks its centennial on August 26, 2016 and park officials are scrambling to bring new technology to its more than 400 parks including high-speed cell and WiFi service to such places as the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. More than 275 million visitors enjoy America’s national parks annually.

“We are looking to help people to pick up their own signal when they are there with their mobile device,” NPS Associate CIO Shane Compton told in an exclusive online interview. Compton said the park service is developing a plan that would bring high-speed connections to all national parks by the centennial. Continue Reading

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New 150’ Tower May Be Coming Down In East Hampton, NY

The tower behind a firehouse in the swanky neighborhood of famous writers on Long Island, NY, just went up last spring. Not all the equipment has been installed, but now it may have to come down. The Springs Fire District’s cell phone tower permit was revoked last week by the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals by a vote of 4 to 1.The zoning board said Elite Towers, the company that leased the land for the 150-foot tower, misled the SFD commissioners in suggesting the district was exempt from local zoning review, Continue Reading.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Spectrum Incentive Auction Gets Wings Today

Officially it’s called the House Subcommittee of Communications and Technology and chaired by former broadcast owner Rep. Greg Walden (R-WA) and it’s set to markup bipartisan legislation that aims to promote increased wireless broadband build out. H.R. 1641 was introduced March 26 and gives the FCC the gusto to move ahead with the planned March 26, 2016, airwaves auction and repurpose their commercial use. The 13-page bill also establishes in the Treasury a Federal Spectrum Incentive Fund to be administered by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in consultation with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

“We commend the bipartisan leadership of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology for moving expeditiously in marking up a legislative package that is so integral to America’s economic and technological future,” said the PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association in a statement released late Tuesday afternoon. “Consumer demand for wireless mobile data continues to escalate – with no end in sight. This nation cannot meet that demand and continue to compete in the global marketplace unless we site and deploy greater wireless infrastructure and allocate additional spectrum for wireless communications.” Continue Reading

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

‘Mobile Data Will Soar Some 700 Percent Over Next Five Years’

That’s what Jonathan Adelstein, chief executive of PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association, told readers of the Los Angeles Business Journal on Monday in a 550 ­word essay on the future of connectivity in Los Angeles and its impact on the Southern California economy.

 “HetNet” might sound like slang for the basketball hoops at Staples Center, but it’s really about wireless broadband – and much of Southern California’s economic and technological future hinges on it,” Adelstein wrote. “HetNet” refers to “heterogeneous networks” – the many different ways that mobile data can be transmitted via wireless broadband facilities, from towers and other “macro” sites to small cells and other “micro” sites. Small cells and distributed antenna systems, or DAS, are now integral components in the arsenal of every wireless carrier. They’re also uniquely suited to Southern California’s terrain and population density.” Continue Reading