Tower Upkeep Plays a Big Role When Using Data in Court Cases

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When prosecutors attempt to use cell tower data in criminal cases, there are a lot of important factors regarding the tower that matter. For a long time, the information collected by towers was referred to as “junk science” by law enforcement agencies that saw the unreliability of cell phone tracking in the field. However, with technological advancements this data has been used to convict criminals and secure prison time. Currently, tower data is being used in the case against two men who are charged of killing a California Pinyon Pines family in 2006. The reliability of this technology is being questioned and a lot of what determines reliability deals directly with the towers. Michael Cherry of Virginia-based consulting firm Cherry Biometics Inc. spoke to The Desert Sun explaining, “Factors such as tower maintenance, the use of temporary towers and the load of traffic on the cell network can bounce calls around to different towers. As long as multiple towers are within range, a call doesn’t have to go to the closest tower or the tower with the strongest signal.” In order for police and attorneys to use this information to prosecute criminals, it’s important to maintain the equipment on your towers.
March 18, 2014 |

AT&T Upgrades Network at Broncos Stadium with Largest Cell Site

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We all know what it’s like to be at a game or a concert and want to post a picture to your social media sites and just not being able to connect to the network. This was often the case for AT&T customers who frequented the Bronco’s stadium in Denver, Colorado. AT&T set out to rectify this problem and put almost $10 million into a network upgrade at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. They added the equivalent of 11 cell towers, all dedicated to serving AT&T customers at the Bronco’s stadium. The network equipment is housed in a nondescript building adjacent to the stadium that now serves as AT&T’s largest cell site in the Rocky Mountain region. In August, Russ Trainor, the Vice President of Information Technology, shared that, “I think from where we’re at now we’re at a good point in technology-wise compared to other venues. And we’re still driving, we’re still adding.”
November 19, 2013 |

Florida Cell Tower Battle Lands in Federal Court

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 Vertical Assets, a communications tower construction company based in Atlanta, was denied a permit to construct a cell tower in Panama City, Florida. The 150-foot tower was planned to be erected on West 19th Street and Florida Avenue. However, the Panama City commission unanimously rejected the proposal for the tower saying that there were safety and neighborhood compatibility issues.

Vertical Assets has taken this matter to the federal court because they believe the city discriminated against their proposal and they violated the federal Telecommunications Act. Another company was permitted to construct a similar tower three years ago without having to get the city commission to approve it. Vertical Assets’ tower would have AT&T as its main carrier but they would allow emergency agencies to use the tower at no cost. 
October 17, 2013 |

Parents Have 3 Weeks to Convince Sprint to Move Cell Tower

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The parents of students at Poinciana Elementary School in Collier County, Florida have three weeks until Sprint’s 75-foot tower will be turned on. In those three weeks they are determined to convince Sprint to move the tower to another location away from the school. There is now a sign hanging on the cell tower warning people to stay away from it because the radio frequency emissions may exceed exposure limits. But the FCC, even though they aren’t technically working right now, still have rules in place to limit the amount of RF emissions so people in close proximity to the tower aren’t affected.

Parents gathered at a school board meeting last night to discuss the tower but there’s nothing that the school board can do because Sprint operates the tower and doesn’t want to move it. If Sprint does agree to relocate the tower, it could cost at least $200,000, and it’s still an issue of who would pay for it to be moved. 
October 16, 2013 |

The Need for More Spectrum and Cell Towers Is Apparent During Natural Disasters

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When a natural disaster strikes, whether it’s a hurricane, wildfire, tsunami, or earthquake, they all have devastating repercussions. Among the effects caused by these tragedies are the family members desperately trying to reach their loved ones to see if they were alright. When Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast coast, the FCC reported that nearly 25% of the cell towers had been knocked out. USA Today noted that the limited technology and access to satellite networks inhibited the rescue efforts.
The 2010 earthquake in Haiti also showed how not having a well-developed wireless infrastructure can be detrimental. Haitian engineer, Charles-Edouard Denis, spoke with IEEE Spectrum about the impact of the earthquake on Haiti’s cellular infrastructure.
“Right after the earthquake, the only company that was still working was Haitel, but its network was quickly overloaded. It remained operational mostly because it utilized almost exclusively 30- to 60-metertowers that are built to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes. Digicel and Comcel were not operational at all, and since between the two they have more than 3 million subscriptions, a lot of people could not communicate,” Denis said.
“Most of the people trapped under the rubble were trying to use their phones to call family members to let them know where they were, but the service was not available, and no one came to help them. At a quarter to five in the afternoon, some people were not at work. They left early to either stop at a friend’s house or at a supermarket. So family members had a hard time identifying the location of their loved ones and therefore could not help. Since Digicel has more than 2 million subscribers, this lack of telephone service caused a lot of deaths,” Denis explained.
Not only is there a need for more spectrum, because the demand for mobile spectrum is surpassing the available supply, there is a need for a stronger wireless infrastructure that is able to withstand strong winds in order to better assist people during natural disasters.

Darrell West, director of the center for technology innovation at the Brookings Institution, told USA Todaythat, “We need to make sure that there are strong backups because mobile has become integral to people’s lives, and in a time of disaster sometimes it’s their only lifeline to the outside world.”

October 14, 2013 |

AT&T and American Tower Ask North Carolina City to Allow Towers in Residential Areas

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The major wireless carriers along with the tower companies are working together to build up our wireless infrastructure so mobile coverage is easily accessible. AT&T and American Tower have asked the City-County Planning Board of Winston-Salem, North Carolina to change its ordinance and allow communication towers to be built within residential areas.

“Consumers are relying on their wireless devices today for communications, shopping, and accessing information, and will rely on them even more in the future,” said Clifton Metcalf with AT&T. “To meet consumers’ demands for reliable connections, better mobile coverage and faster mobile speeds, wireless carriers must erect various types of antennas in multiple locations.”
If the City-County Planning Board allows this ordinance to pass, then companies will be permitted to construct cell phone towers in residential areas as long as they are concealed. This will help increase the mobile coverage in the area. Access to mobile broadband is becoming increasingly necessary as people switch from landlines to mobile devices. More than one of every four American homes (26.6%) deserted their landline telephone service and now rely exclusively on wireless service. (Source: Wireless Substitution) and CTIA—The Wireless Association reported that, “U.S. wireless data traffic grew 123 percent from 2010 (388 billion megabytes) to 2011 (866.7 billion megabytes).”
Members of the wireless industry, such as AT&T and American Tower, are working with cities, states, and federal governments to reduce the restriction companies must face when proposing to build a cell tower in residential and sometimes even commercial areas.

October 14, 2013 |

Wireless Isn’t Going Anywhere—Invest Now

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Even though it seems that everyone is connected through mobile phones, there are approximately 1 billion people in the world that do not own a cell phone according to Kerry McQueeney of the Daily Mail. This means that wireless services aren’t going anywhere. They will continue to expand until they reach remote parts of the globe connecting people in a way they never thought possible. If you are looking at investment opportunities, you should consider the wireless tower industry.
Communication towers are being constructed all over the world, especially in the United States, in order to meet the demand for mobile communication. So much of our daily life takes place online, which many people now access via their cell phones. Without these communications towers, accessing this technology on the go wouldn’t be possible.
Tim Beyers of the Daily Finance strongly urges you to invest in American tower. “Analysts see American Tower growing its earnings base by about 25% annually over the next five years,” Beyers notes. It was estimated that there were 6.6 billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide at the end of 2012, and this number has been increasing approximately 9% each year. This trend suggests that the need for mobile broadband and communications is only going to increase. More and more devices, like tablets, are being connected to the 3G and 4G mobile networks in order to access the Internet anytime, anywhere.
“I’m not expecting a let-up anytime soon. Why? There’s just too much business online. A June study published by eMarketer put total 2013 e-commerce sales at $1.2 trillion for the full year, with emerging markets such as Indonesia experiencing the fastest growth. The entire Asia-Pacific region is on track to produce $388 billion in online sales, up 23% year over year,” Beyers explained.

With so much information moving online along with the ability to communicate with people across the world, watch TV, listen to music, and purchase almost anything you could ever want the wireless industry isn’t going anywhere for the time being. The top tower companies in the United States will continue to build up their infrastructure in order to keep up with demand. 

October 14, 2013 |

Dead Spots May Soon Be Fixed With AT&T Tower in Helena-West

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AT&T has proposed constructing a tower at property owned by the Boys & Girls Club of Philips County in Helena, Arkansas. AT&T has had many complaints of poor cell phone service in this area and they are looking to build a permanent tower. While waiting for this tower to be built, AT&T is hoping to receive authorization to place a temporary 60-foot tower on wheels in the selected location to improve service immediately.

The planning commission will conduct a public hearing at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 at the city hall on Perry Street for the purpose of receiving comments and or questions regarding the installation of a permanent cellular tower.

October 4, 2013 |

City in Washington is Working on New Rules For Cell Towers

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The officials of Yakima, Washington are working on implementing new rules for cell phone towers. The new ordinance that is proposed will be looked at in November by the Planning Commission. The proposal calls for new cell phone towers in the area to be disguised. A lot of residents all over the country protest cell phone towers being constructed because they don’t like the way they look. This is why Yakima officials are trying to find a compromise to keep members of the community happy while still maintaining good cell phone reception.

“Cell phone towers won’t be able to be built in neighborhoods unless the neighbors approve,” Ben Shoval the chairman of Yakima’s Planning Commission told KIMA.
 If the members of the neighborhood doesn’t approve then the cell towers will have to be at least 300 feet from the homes. The goal of this proposal is to protect the historic community of Yakima, while still providing adequate cell service for residents.

October 4, 2013 |

AT&T Upgrades DAS in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium

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With the beginning of fall comes the start of football season, which brings many people to the jam packed stadiums to watch their favorite teams play. While this is a favorite American pastime, it can also be stressful if you get separated from your group and have no cell phone service. This often happens when thousands of people are packed into a sports arena all trying to use the same network. This is why AT&T has upgraded their 4G LTE Distributed Antenna System in Arkansas’ Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
“When our customers head out to the stadium to cheer on the home team, we want them to have a great network experience throughout the game no matter what they’re doing – whether that’s making a call, checking email, downloading apps or surfing the Internet,” said Ed Drilling, president of AT&T Arkansas. “With initiatives like Project VIP, we’re continuing to invest in the wireless network, and providing enhanced wireless coverage at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium is just one way that we’re investing in Arkansas.”
The upgraded DAS installation includes many strategically-placed antennas that will distribute AT&T’s wireless network coverage throughout the stadium. DAS has the ability to provide enhanced, consistent wireless coverage to customers in indoor or outdoor spaces where geographical limitations – terrain, building construction, etc. – or crowd density might otherwise prevent an optimal wireless experience.

“Fans want to be able to immediately share those special moments during Razorback games with friends and family – whether that’s by sending a photo, a video, a text message, or making a call,” said University of Arkansas Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long. “As part of our efforts to enhance the overall Razorback game day experience, it is important we engage our fans through their wireless device. We appreciate AT&T’s significant investment and commitment to providing Razorback fans with the best possible wireless experience.”

October 4, 2013 |
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