Friday, July 23, 2021

All Apple iPhones to Go 5G in 2022

 All of the iPhones sold by Apple next year will be 5G-capable, including its budget handset, according to a Nikkei Asia report. Apple’s commitment to 5G comes with the elimination of new 4G phones, sources told Nikkei Asia. Even the OEM’s cheapest handset, the iPhone SE, will go 5G and sport Apple’s premium A15 processor and Qualcomm's X60 modem chip, the Asian publication added.

There will be no more iPhone Mini next year, after the premium smartphone failed to catch on, according to media reports. Apple’s first 5G iPhone entered the market in 2020, preceded by Samsung Electronics, Oppo, Xiaomi and Huawei Technologies, which introduced 5G-capable phones in 2019.

Nonetheless, Apple’s complete commitment to 5G will be good news for the carriers, which are pushing 5G phones as a way to get more customers on their networks. The more 5G phones the carriers can offer, the better, it appears. Continue Reading

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Verizon Picks Up Its Network Build Pace

By John Celentano, Inside Towers Business Editor Declaring that its operations are “quickly resuming pre-pandemic norms” compared to a year ago, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) Chairman and CEO Hans Vestburg comments in the company’s 2Q21 earnings call, “We are executing on our multipurpose network strategy and producing positive results in each of our five growth vectors, recording strong second quarter results. We are also expanding our 5G Ultra Wideband and 5G Home markets.”
In that call, the company reported 2Q21 consolidated service revenues of $28.2 billion, up nearly 6 percent over the $26.7 billion in 2Q20. Adjusted EBITDA increased by the same rate to $12.2 billion. For 1H21, free cash flow amounted to $11.7 billion, down nearly 15 percent on a year-over-year basis.

The company ended the quarter with 117.3 million retail postpaid connections and close to 4.1 million retail prepaid connections. The total 121.3 million total retail connections were up over 1 percent YoY. VZ leads all U.S.-based mobile network operators in retail connections; its Consumer markets account for 78 percent of that total. Continue Reading

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

AT&T, Developer Plan to Bring Smart City to D.C. Development

By J. Sharpe Smith, Inside Towers Technology Editor  

AT&T and JBG Smith, a mixed-use property developer, have entered into a letter of intent to provide smart city amenities to the neighborhoods of Crystal City, Pentagon City, and Potomac Yard, known collectively as National Landing, near the center of the Washington, D.C., metro area, according to a press release.
The first network infrastructure deployments are planned for the first half of 2022, and will expand with development of the community.

The AT&T agreement is the next step for JBG Smith, which spent $25.3 million on four Priority Access Licenses (PAL) totaling 40 megahertz in Arlington and three PALs (30 megahertz) in Alexandria in the FCC Citizens Broadband Radio Service last fall. The licenses span more than 16.2 million square feet in National Landing and Potomac Yard, where JBG Smith is the largest holder of existing and developable real estate. Continue Reading

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

DISH, AT&T Agree Over Network Services, Spectrum Sharing

 By J. Sharpe Smith, Inside Towers Technology Editor After its relationship with T-Mobile went south earlier this year, DISH Network has signed a Network Services Agreement (NSA) with AT&T, making the carrier the primary network services partner for DISH mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) customers. The agreement will affect customers of DISH’s retail wireless brands, including Boost Mobile, Ting Mobile and Republic Wireless, in addition to the new DISH 5G network. 

DISH agreed to pay AT&T at least $5 billion over the course of the ten-year term deal. When the agreement ends, DISH will be able to continue to use AT&T’s network service to support MVNO customers for up to two years, according to Cowen Research.

“The new deal seems to reflect some of the frustration DISH has shared of late with T-Mobile, including T-Mobile’s planned shutdown of Sprint’s 3G CDMA network, as well as their bickering over the fate of the 12 GHz band,” Cowen analysts said in a report. Continue Reading

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Phoenix Tower Expands Its Footprint Across Malta and Cyprus

 Phoenix Tower International (“Phoenix”) announced yesterday it has closed its agreement with Monaco Telecom to purchase over 830 wireless towers and acquire newly constructed wireless towers over six years across Malta and Cyprus through a build-to-suit (BTS) program. The acquisition, according to Phoenix’s CEO Dagan Kasavana, makes them the largest tower infrastructure provider in both countries.The partnership established with Monaco Telecom through this deal will see the operator occupy the sites for at least twenty years. 

In Malta and Cyprus, Phoenix will operate the neutral host independent tower model to facilitate increased coverage expansion for all wireless operators and ultimately increased connectivity for the populations of both countries. 

Phoenix also expanded its European footprint in Ireland and France through further tower acquisitions that closed in the last month and are now being integrated into the established operations in each country. This brings the total added, year to date, to 274 sites. Continue Reading

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

FCC Targets October 29 to Start “Rip & Replace”

 By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief The FCC voted Tuesday on final measures required to launch its “Rip & Replace” program, meant to reimburse carriers for the removal, disposal and replacement of untrusted network gear from Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE. The U.S. believes that equipment poses a national security risk.

During the meeting, FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced the agency is targeting October 29 as the date to begin accepting applications from carriers. “That means carriers can start planning for applications and new networks,” she said. 

That’s sooner than the timing requested by manufacturers Ericsson and Nokia, though they, and lobbying organizations representing smaller carriers — such as the Competitive Carriers Association and the Rural Wireless Association — had urged the Commission to have the paperwork finalized as soon as possible, Inside Towers’ Intelligence reported. Continue Reading

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Exclusive: Sources Tell Inside Towers an Infrastructure Funding Deal Includes Wireless

 By Leslie Stimson Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief It appears that an agreement is emerging on the broadband section of the infrastructure package in the Senate. The staff of a dozen or so Senators involved in the bipartisan infrastructure plan have met over the past two weeks and reached the outlines of an agreement.
In particular, the group seems to have coalesced around a 100 Mbps download/20 upload for the minimum build standard, which can accommodate fixed and mobile wireless, with a possible priority for projects that can achieve higher speeds, according to unnamed sources close to the wireless industry. They tell Inside Towers first that wireless can meet the speed requirements of 100/20 and will thus be eligible to apply for some $65 billion in subsidies; they also provided Inside Towers with documentation to back up their claims. 
Previously, much of the infrastructure language being discussed by lawmakers favored wireline connectivity, and symmetrical upload and download speeds such as 100 Mbps, Inside Towers reported. By setting a symmetrical 100/100 speed requirement, wireless would have been cut out of that money, according to the sources. Continue Reading