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 |

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 |

Proposed Cell Tower in Wisconsin Angers Parents

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The parents of students who attend Bethesda Elementary in Waukesha, Wisconsin are upset over the proposal regarding a cell tower being built on school property. This cell phone tower could bring the School District of Waukesha between $30,000 and $70,000 in annual revenue. However, the parents are only concerned about the location of the tower site being right next to the playground at Bethesda Elementary School.

At a town meeting, some of the residents spoke out against AT&T’s proposed 100-foot cell tower due to health concerns and the proximity to the elementary school. AT&T has been working nonstop to bring their customers the best cell phone service they can offer. AT&T 4G LTE is now live in 424 markets and covers 240 million people. AT&T 4G LTE is expected to cover nearly 270 million people by year-end 2013.

October 4, 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 |

Tower Construction on Hold Due to City’s Lawsuit Against County

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The county officials of St. Louis, Missouri have put off construction on an emergency cell tower due to a lawsuit that the city of Sunset Hills filed against the county. The city filed the lawsuit on September 4th to get a preliminary injunction against the construction of the communications tower.  The county owns the land where the potential site is for the tower to be built.
“As proposed, the emergency communications tower would be one of roughly 25 towers being located throughout the county as part of St. Louis County’s new emergency communications network.  In its suit, Sunset Hills claims St. Louis County lacks the authority to construct and operate the tower within the city without approval from city officials,” the Callreported.
The city officials want the county to look for other locations that would be better for the cell site. The judge has schedule a trail Friday to determine the outcome.

October 2, 2013 |

AT&T Expands 4G LTE Into 13 More Markets This Week

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AT&T is on a roll and they don’t plan on slowing down when it comes to upgrading their networks across the country. The company has expanded their 4G LTE network into 13 additional markets this week in order to bring their customers the fastest and most reliable mobile technology they can provide. AT&T’s 4G LTE technology is now available in:
  • Mt. Pleasant, MI
  • Dublin, GA
  • Lake Charles, LA
  • Picayune, MS
  • Selma, AL
  • Putnam and Green Counties of Atlanta, GA
  • Brenham, TX
  • Cordele, GA
  • Wright and Carver Counties of Minneapolis, MN
  • Vero Beach, FL
  • Brookhaven, MS
  • Natchez, MS
  • Port Angeles, WA

“To support the growing demand for mobile broadband, AT&T invested more than $1.8 billion in itsWashington network during the past three years, and made more than 1,250 wireless network upgrades in the state last year alone,” said Bob Bass, Washington President, AT&T. As a result, we turned on 4G LTE throughout the state during the past year and are now pleased to include Port Angeles.  Our 4G LTE network will help give our customers more data and faster service on state-of-the-art devices.”

This launch is part of AT&T’s Project Velocity IP (VIP), a three-year investment plan announced last fall to expand and enhance its IP broadband networks. Through this investment, AT&T is supporting its customers’ growing desire for high-speed Internet access and new mobile, app and cloud-based services.

October 2, 2013 |

American Tower Completes Acquisition of Global Tower Partners

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Yesterday, October 1st and only about a month after the announcement of this deal, American Tower Corporation announced that they have completed the acquisition of Global Tower Partners. The majority of GTP was owned by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners with the minority partners including Dutch pension fund manager PGGM and management.

American Tower acquired GTP’s 5,400 domestic towers, 800 domestic property interests, management rights to over 9,000 domestic sites that are primarily rooftop assets, as well as their 500 communications sites in Costa Rica. Also with these assets, American Tower also assumed approximately $1.5 billion of GTP’s existing debt. American Tower paid approximately $3.3 billion in cash in order to complete the acquisition. Following the closing, American Tower had total liquidity of$1.9 billion, which included cash on hand and remaining capacity under its existing revolving credit facilities.

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,” Jim Taiclet, Chairman, President and CEO of American Tower said in a previous press release. 

October 2, 2013 |

FCC Proposes Action to Improve Wireless Reliability During Disasters

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Last week, the Federal Communications Commission released a report proposing an action to improve the wireless network reliability during disasters. They plan to do this by, “requiring wireless service providers to publicly disclose the percentage of cell sites within their networks that are operational during and immediately after disasters,” the FCC explains.
The FCC does understand that some wireless service interruptions may be unavoidable during emergencies but the goal is to minimize the number of interruptions. “For example, Superstorm Sandy disabled approximately 25 percent of cell sites in the affected region, with more than 50 percent of cell sites disabled in the hardest-hit counties, yet not all wireless networks were equally impaired,” the report noted. It was also mentioned that the practices that these wireless service providers use could play a role in the variation of the reliability of the structure during natural disasters.

“The FCC’s proposal would require wireless service providers to submit to the FCC, for public disclosure on a daily basis during and immediately after disasters, the percentage of operational cell sites for each county within a designated disaster area. Information yielding these percentages is already included in voluntary reports that wireless service providers submit to the FCC daily during disasters, albeit on a presumptively confidential basis and as part of a larger set of data,” the report explained.
September 30, 2013 |

Wilson Electronics Introduces New Cellular Signal Booster

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Today, Wilson Electronics introduced a new product specifically for certified installers. The CI 2070 boosts all carriers’ signal, including all 4G technologies, as well as 3G and 2G voice and data. This booster will support LTE and other cellular technology to provide reliable cell coverage indoors up to 80,000 square feet.

“The CI 2070 is Wilson’s first 4G cellular signal booster designed specifically for the installer market,” said Blake Seese, Wilson’s custom integrator (CI) director. “It delivers greatly enhanced voice and data coverage in buildings where it’s deployed. For our certified installers, the CI 2070 also provides a new revenue source by helping solve customers’ cellular reception problems in virtually any type of building.”

This new device allows the installer to customize the signal amplification on each of the five frequency bands. This allows an optimized signal boost to match the precise coverage requirements of each building where the CI 2070 is installed. Although this device is powerful, it’s small in size, weighing about 3 lbs.

Wilson Electronics helps people solve the number one issue facing the cellular industry: dropped calls and poor signal strength. They deliver cell phone booster solutions for mobile, building, and machine-to-machine (M2M) data transfer situations. As provider of North America’s top-selling line of cell phone signal boosters, Wilson designs and manufactures a wide variety of amplifiers, antennas and related components to improve communications for cell phones and cellular data devices.

September 23, 2013 |

AT&T Completes Acquisition of Alltell’s Assets Over the Weekend for $780 Million

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After the FCC approved AT&T’s acquisition of Alltel’s assets, AT&T went ahead with the completion of the transaction and closed the deal over the weekend for a grand total of $780 million. AT&T acquired wireless properties in six states, including spectrum licenses, network assets, retail stores and approximately 590,000 subscribers. The Alltel network covers approximately 4.5 million people in mainly rural areas in Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina.

“We welcome Alltel customers to the AT&T family, and we think they will love everything they can do on our superfast 4G network,” said AT&T Georgia President Sylvia Russell. “We’ve invested more than $4.5 billion in our wireless and wired networks in Georgia since 2010, including more than $675 million in the first half of 2013.”

AT&T plans to immediately begin work upgrading the Alltel network to their latest 4G LTE technology and hope to have this task completed by the summer of 2014. AT&T expects its 4G LTE network to reach 300 million people by the end of next year.

September 23, 2013 |
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