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FCC Auction Not Enough Spectrum, Says Sprint CFO

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65a0a7a4-2a5f-4675-86c2-6bc7ea2c4ec0Months ago Sprint made it clear it wasn’t going to bid in the 600MHZ spectrum auction when the FCC oversees the long-awaited sale. And last week the company reiterated its position on standing on the sidelines, according to lightreading.com.

“This auction is at best going to give a block of 2x10MHz spectrum,” Sprint CFO Tarek Robbiati said at the Citi 2016 Internet, Media and Telecommunications Conference. “For a really, really high-speed network you need at least 2x20MHz of contiguous spectrum.”

Broadcasters and their strong lobbying arm, the NAB, have continued to lean on the FCC to expand its 39-month window for conversion after TV outlets sell their spectrum, pressing for up to five years. The request for more time has reached carriers as Robbiati suggested, the spectrum won’t be available for use until 2021, reported lightreading.com. It added that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless also seem lukewarm on the 600MHz auction. All of which has led T-Mobile US Inc. ‘s CEO, John Legere, to suggest that his carrier will be a winner in the upcoming spring auction.

Robbiati also said Sprint will beef up its capacity by focusing on adding small cells, femtocells and distributed antenna systems (DAS), the CFO says.
“What we’re really working on is picking out the partners that we work with,” Robbiati says. He says that there are plenty of alternative vendors at CES that Sprint could talk to,” lightreading.com reported.

January 13, 2016 |

Done Deal, Phoenix Closes on 600 T-Mobile Tower Sites

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06fed6cPhoenix Tower International CEO Dagan T. Kasavana said the Boca Raton, FL company has closed on its deal to acquire 600 T-Mobile tower sites and notes TD Securities served as merger and acquisition advisor and provided financing for the transaction, but he won’t budge on financial details like what it cost Phoenix to buy the towers.

“The closing of this credit facility with Toronto Dominion was crucial to the acquisition of the sites with T-Mobile.  Furthermore, TD’s facility provides additional financing for development and acquisition opportunities in the United States where we want to continue to build momentum after our transaction with T-Mobile.  TD is a market leader in tower financing and we are excited to work with them in our continued expansion in the United States,” Kasavana said.

According to the Phoenix website, Mr. Kasavana graduated from Fairfield University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant. His past work includes Ernst & Young, LLP, both in the area of auditing (1998-2004) and in the area of transaction advisory services (2004-2006). He specialized in providing services to clients in the areas of technology, wireless infrastructure, manufacturing and telecommunications.

Photo courtesy of linkedIn.

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November 17, 2015 |

Tower Industry in Africa Expected to Double: Will US Companies Take Part?

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In 2011, American Tower Corporation entered the South African tower market where they now own 1,621 towers. Chief Operating Officer of Helios Towers Africa, Kevin Koch, spoke at AfricaCom2013 in Cape Town last week and presented an optimistic outlook for the tower industry. According to Richard Cutcher of HumanIPO, “According to HTA figures, there are currently 150,000 towers in Africa of which only 15 per cent are owned by third-party companies such as HTA, Eaton Towers, ATC and IHS. Due to Africa’s rapidly rising and young population, Koch expects the total number of towers to double within five years, while the proportion of those owned by independent companies will double in one year.” American Tower Corporation focuses mainly on the North American tower industry, but is also expanding their international footprint. This may be the perfect time for them to grow their presence in the African region. HumanIPO reported earlier today Bharti Airtel is believed be in discussions over the sale of its 15,000 towers to a third party for US $1.8 billion, while Etisalat Nigeria is also thought to be in discussions over a US $400 million sell-off of its 2,500 towers.
Read more at InsideTowers.com.
November 22, 2013 |

CTI Towers, Inc. Secures $30 Million Debt Financing; Closes First Third-Party Tower Acquisition

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Earlier this week, CTI Towers, Inc., announced that they had secured up to $30 million in debt financing and closed its first-part acquisitions, purchasing five towers from a major wireless carrier. CTI Towers, Inc., is a wireless tower operator with more than 800 towers throughout the U.S.
By acquiring these 5 towers, CTI Tower’s continues to grow outside the Comcast portfolio, where a large majority (230) towers came from. The company is looking to secure towers within regions with high-demand for wireless capacity.
“We remain committed to helping our customers meet deadlines for new cell sites and network deployment,” said Tony Peduto, Chief Executive Officer, CTI Towers. “We will continue to seek strategic acquisitions to fuel growth as the wireless industry responds to the demand for wireless broadband services.” 
CTI Towers has already had interest from the major carriers regarding equipment on the towers to bring their customers better service. The towers CTI Towers acquired are located in North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania. With the demand for mobile increasing dramatically, it’s becoming necessary to expand our wireless infrastructure to deal with these capacity demands.
 “As the personal computing device and smartphone industry took off, we recognized mobile network operators would eventually need to fortify their mobile networks to meet consumer demand for mobile Internet access at scale,” said David Zilberman, Venture Partner at Comcast Ventures and CTI Towers Board Chairman. “We’re excited to see CTI Towers grow its footprint and enhance its ability to deliver even more tower inventory across the country, helping all wireless carriers keep their networks in-stride with consumer demand.”

October 11, 2013 |

PCIA’s Tower CEO Roundtable Provided Great Insights Into The Industry

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The tower industry is expanding quickly in order to keep up with the demand for mobile and broadband technology. Wednesday October 9ththe PCIA’s 2013 Wireless Infrastructure Show gathered the four CEO’s from the major tower companies in the United States. Benjamin Moreland was appointed President and CEO of Crown Castle International in July 2008. Jeffrey Stoops is President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of SBA Communications Corporation. He has been CEO since January 1, 2002. Steven Marshall was named Executive Vice President and President, U.S. Tower Division of American Tower in March 2009. Marc C. Ganzi was the Chief Executive Officer of Global Tower Partners.
These men came together to discuss their thoughts on the future of wireless and the state of the industry. John Adelstein, president of the PCIA, moderated the roundtable and started off asking American Tower’s CEO about their acquirement of Global Tower Partners. “We are absolutely delighted. We are very pleased. They have really great assets and when you combing those with American Tower’s assets we have over 50,000 communications sites,” Marshall said. “We welcome the many members of the team from across the nation to the American Tower team.”
With American Tower’s acquisition of Global Tower Partner’s, Marc Ganzi referred to his current position as “unemployed.” However, Ganzi noted that they have a portfolio of towers in Mexico that they need to get back to work on by building up and buying assets. “Mexico is a market that is growing and it’s a market with a lot of promise,” Ganzi said.
Having all of these CEO’s gathered at the same convention allowed Adelstein to ask them about their opinions regarding the efforts of the PCIA and whether or not they are making a difference in the industry. PCIA has a dedicated Government Relations staff that represents our members’ interests at all levels of government by educating key policy-makers about the critical role wireless infrastructure plays in our nation’s communications network.
Ganzi remarked that, “It’s no longer NIMBY (Not in My Backyard), it’s YIMBY (Yes in My Backyard). People are now saying, ‘I work at home and I need to be connected.’ It’s part of the fabric of how we connect to our families and I think that’s been a mind shift at the local level. We exist to help accelerate the build out and reduce cost. To me, that’s why we worked hard on the hill to get that legislation passed.”
Jeff Stoops of SBA Communications believes that, “On the federal side we’re in pretty good shape. On the state side, there’s always room to improve.”
PCIA and other wireless organizations have been working hard to decrease barriers that make it difficult for the wireless infrastructure to be built. Their efforts are starting to pay off with the federal government restriction the reasons state and local governments can give to veto a tower proposal. 

October 10, 2013 |

1 Source Wireless Expands Into Midwest Enhancing Southeast Regional Operations

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Today 1 Source Wireless announced their successful execution of its expansion into the Midwest. This completion has exceeded 1 Source Wirelesss’ initial projections, easily securing them a $5 million financial capital commitment based on proposed future build-out expansions through 2015. This expansion has greatly enhanced the southeast regional operations, giving top management belief that this development strategy will be replicated in other U.S. markets in the near future.

1 Source Wireless specializes in the development of wireless tower communication facilities. They have participated in the development of over 350 tower sites nation-wide over the past 15 years. Some of their services include: site identification, site acquisition, regulatory and compliance, planning and zoning, architectural and engineering, maintenance and repairs, as well as construction. 

October 3, 2013 |

Spokane Valley Cell Tower Theft Will Cost Company $17,500

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Copper wiring is being stolen from cell phone towers in many cities so the thieves can sell the copper for profit.  Recently, someone stole the copper wire from a Spokane Valley cell tower that will cost the business $17,500 to replace. As of 1:45pm EST today, the price of copper per lb. was  $3.2975.
An employee of the company, which houses equipment for AT&T, Nextel and Cricket, alerted sheriff’s deputies Tuesday to a burglary occurring sometime during the last two weeks,” according to The Spokesman-Review.

Copper wiring was also taken from the ground and the building itself. A grounding bar used to protect workers and equipment from high voltage, stamped with a “Do Not Recycle” notice, was also stolen.

September 19, 2013 |

Maryland Public School Posts Cell Phone Tower Fact Sheet

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The sheet comes after recent discussions surrounding a cell phone tower at Piney Orchard Elementary School. To download a PDF of this fact sheet, please click here. 



Fact sheet on cell towers and Anne Arundel County Public Schools (Credit: AACPS)


September 17, 2013 |

Alabama City Considers Building Own Cell Tower To Improve Service

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The city of Orange Beach, Alabama is considering constructing a cell phone tower to improve the cell service in the nearby area. The city’s telecommunications committee is working on a tower-sitting ordinance.
“There is an increasing demand for cell towers because as I understand it the faster speeds mean that the footprint that is covered is smaller so in order for our residents to continue to get the best of the best there will have to be more towers,” Councilman Al Bradley said. “If there’s going to be a tower, which there will be, we’re recommending — and really to just give you a heads up — that the city construct and own a tower.” (Source: AL.com)

The cost to the city to construct a tower will be around $300,000 to $350,000, but the city consider this a wise investment since the demand for cell phone service is only increasing. The city will also be gaining revenue from the tower that will benefit the police, fire, and other emergency communications. 

September 12, 2013 |

American Tower Agrees To Acquire Global Tower Partners for $4.8B

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Today American Tower Corporation announced that they have entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of the outstanding common membership interest of MIP Tower Holdings, LLC, which is a private real estate investment trust and the parent company of Global Tower Partners. The purchase price was approximately $.4.8 billion. The purchase price is expected to be paid with approximately $3.3 billion in cash and approximately $1.5 billion of existing indebtness.
GTP owns and operates approximately 5,400 domestic towers, 800 domestic property interests under third-party communications sites, and has management rights to over 9,000 domestic sites, which are primarily rooftop assets. In addition, GTP owns 500 communications sites in Costa Rica.
Jim Taiclet, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Tower, said: “GTP has constructed and acquired an outstanding U.S. portfolio of tower, rooftop and land assets, which is highly complementary to that of American Tower. Moreover, GTP’s management of these assets has been excellent, as confirmed through our rigorous due diligence process. GTP’s towers boast a high quality customer base, a strong position with respect to ground ownership and lease terms, and additional structural capacity available to facilitate future leasing activity.
With all four major domestic wireless carriers engaged in aggressive multi-year 4G LTE deployments, we believe our acquisition of GTP solidifies our path to achieving our strategic goals related to growing our AFFO over the next five years.”
American Tower Corporation expects to close this transaction by the fourth quarter of 2013. The company believes that by acquiring high quality assets with strong existing cash flows there will be significant opportunity for future growth. The strong leasing momentum is expected to continue at a steady pace due to the data demand growth and the 4G LTE deployments.

                                                                                                                                           
September 6, 2013 |
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