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 |

Verizon Cell Service Has Been Restored in Most of Colorado Flood-Ravaged Areas

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When cell sites became inaccessible due to the flooding and washed out roadways in Colorado, Verizon Wireless worked overtime to restore cell phone service. They have placed a temporary cell site on wheels (COW) in Lyons, Colorado until the permanent cell sites can be repaired.
Verizon crews used a helicopter to reach flood damaged facilities in Estes Park to fully restore service by Saturday evening.  Microwave transmission facilities were installed to carry voice and data traffic from area cell sites to the company’s switching center, bypassing miles of damaged fiber lines,” according to Verizon’s press release.
Verizon Wireless service status by community as of Sunday morning:

  • Estes Park – Equipment and crews airlifted in; full service restored
  • Lyons – Temporary cell site activated; full service restoral pending
  • Boulder – Two sites previously lost commercial power; full service restored
  • Longmont — No cell sites out of service
  • Greeley and Fort Collins – No cell sites out of service
  • Thayne, WY – Full service restored

September 16, 2013 |

Gogo Announces Unveiling Of New In-Flight Technology With Virgin America

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Gogo, who is the world leader of in-flight connectivity and wireless in-flight digital entertainment solutions, has announced that they will be hosting a live Webcast along with President and CEO of Virgin American, David Crush. While mobile technology on airplanes has been a no-no for many years, some wonder if it really will interfere with the airplane signals and some wonder how this is possible.
Gogo uses an Air-to-Ground network that consists of cellular based networks that is made up of more than 160 towers in the United States and Canada. These towers are different than most of the towers constructed these days. Instead of having the signals pointed at the ground, the towers point their signals toward the sky so the aircraft can pick up the signal through a receiver that has been installed on its underside. Then the data signal is distributed throughout the cabin.
Now, is this technology safe? Many people have thought that using mobile phones and wireless technology will interfere with the airplane’s signals. On their website Gogo explains that, “Before allowing our service to be used on board the plane, all aspects of its use were rigorously tested by Gogo and our airline partners and certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).”
Webcast Details
  • To attend the Webcast and add it to your calendar, register at
  • The Webcast will be streamed from Gogo’s blog. The link will be emailed to you upon completing registration.
  • The event will take place at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 11
  • Gogo CEO, Michael Small; Virgin America President and CEO, David Cush; and Gogo’s CTO,Anand Chari, will be making the announcement and available for questions after the event.

August 28, 2013 |

Smart Phone Users Believe They Shouldn’t Experience Data Issues

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According to Statistic Brain last year, the United State had a total of 190,000 cell phone towers, which is a huge increase from the 900 that were reported in 1985. While cell phone towers are increasing in number, it’s been difficult to keep up with the demand of mobile subscriptions leaving some networks overwhelmed and unable to deliver optimum cell coverage.
In a recent study released by Vasona Networks, they revealed that most smart phone users expect operators to provide flawless access with zero downtime or quality issues. According to Vasona Networks, “sixty-four percent of consumers responding to the survey cited ‘good performance all the time’ as a reasonable expectation from their mobile data service provider. Just 36 percent of subscribers still think it is reasonable for there to be ‘hiccups in performance,’ ‘unavailability for extended periods’ or ‘unavailability in certain places.’”
Even though consumers expect to receive flawless service all of the time, most of them are against the placement of cell phone towers in or near their residential area. However, you can’t have spectacular cell services with no tower around. The maximum range of a cell phone tower is 21.7 miles (Source: Statistic Brain).
“Mobile Internet performance is becoming increasingly important for consumers and this survey indicates just how high a bar subscribers are setting for their service providers,” says John Reister, vice president of marketing and product management for Vasona Networks. “Our findings indicate that it is no longer sufficient for mobile operators to offer a good experience most of the time across most of their network. Today, if every cell isn’t delivering great performance, subscribers are being let down.”

Many of the major cell are concentrating on Distribute Antenna Systems (DAS) to help boost service areas in high traffic areas where constructing a cell tower isn’t possible. DAS helps address the exponential network traffic growth at large venues and other hard to serve areas, such as sporting and entertainment venues, hospitals, college campuses, airports, hotels, conference centers and more. (Source: AT&T)

August 28, 2013 |

Permanent Structure Being Considered To Help With Border Control

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A mobile surveillance tower sits on top of a hill east of Nogales, AZ, manned by a Border Patrol agent who keeps a watch on the border fence below. Currently, the tower sits in the bed of a pickup truck but it may be replaced with a permanent tower.

Curt Prendergrast of the Nogales Internationalreported that, “In order to make that a reality, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seizing small pieces of land east of Nogales, spawning frustration among the owners of the seized land that stretches like a snake from the end of Royal Road into the river valley.”

Residents in this area aren’t please with the DHS’s decision to seize private land and this isn’t the first time that they have done this. In 2008, the Department of Homeland Security sued nine landowners to gain access to portions of their land that they found necessary to construct the border fence. The tower will potentially be built on the highest points of the Carmencita Ranch, so it will be visible anywhere on the property  The owner of the ranch, Tony Sedgwick, believes this will deter developers from buying the land. 

August 27, 2013 |

Madison County Cell Tower Complete And Available To Rent

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Now that the Madison County E-911 Communications Center completed their $23 million communication upgrades, their new cell tower has space to lease. The city’s goal is to improve the wireless Internet and cellular services.
Ned Campbell of the Utica Observer-Dispatchreported that, “For those companies, renting tower space costs much less than building a new one and allows them to avoid going through local zoning and planning boards at a time when municipalities are trying to keep new towers at a minimum.”

The county is currently reviewing a lease with Verizon Wireless, who is looking to lease space on one of the new towers in the area.

August 27, 2013 |

North Carolina Employs Tracking Technology To Keep Students Safe

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When you send your child off to school, it can be nerve-wracking especially those first few weeks when school is back in session. In school districts across North Carolina, a new wireless technology is being used to provide real time information about the school buses: their location, their speed, and whether or not they stop at railroad crossings.
This technology, powered by Synovia, uses Cellular Vehicle Tacking, which is when a tracking method uses the cellular network infrastructure to determine the location of the transmitter. Synovia partners with wireless companies to provide this service to schools, law enforcement, and even commercial companies.
This wireless technology is giving parents the peace of mind that their children have arrived safely to and from school. North Carolina school districts are using Synovia technology on Verizon’s network to provide safe and efficient student transportation this school year.

“Parents entrust us each day with the safety of their children, and this solution aids in our ability to manage a fleet of 300 school buses on a daily basis with advanced monitoring capabilities,” said Scott Denton, transportation director for Durham Public Schools. “I now feel as if I’m riding alongside each of our drivers— morning and afternoon.”

August 27, 2013 |

AT&T’s Newly Acquired Towers Won’t Increase Coverage in Wisconsin

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AT&T announced that they acquired 32 towers in northeast Wisconsin to boost coverage; however, this is not entirely the case. The towers that AT&T purchased are not going to increase network coverage because they already had equipment on these 32 towers.
The Peninsula Pulse reported that, “The equipment AT&T purchased on those 32 towers were already servicing the company’s customers, but was owned by a company called Bug Tussel Wireless. AT&T made a purchase, but that won’t have an immediate effect on coverage because the company bought equipment it was already using.”
While residents of these northeast Wisconsin counties believed that their AT&T service would be increased, that’s not exactly case just yet. AT&T is going to integrate and update the equipment on the sites that they purchased.
“It’s going to take us time to integrate and update the sites,” AT&T representative, Jim Greer, said. “From the second we sign the deal it doesn’t make an impact, but over time you’ll see a significant impact.” (Source: Peninsula Pulse)
August 26, 2013 |

Problems With Sprint At Minnesota State Fair Upset Patrons

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The Minnesota State Fair began last Thursday and will run until Labor Day on September 2nd. If you’re roaming the park enjoying the attractions, animal exhibits, the shows or parades then make sure to keep track of your group or you may have trouble reuniting with them, especially if you have Sprint.

Sprint brought in a cell phone tower to increase network coverage during the fair, but it hasn’t been working properly and technicians are now waiting for the parts to be delivered in order to fix it. The network was working just fine until the late afternoon when crowds showed up with their smart phones, which ended up overwhelming the network. Sprint is working to get this problem under control but until they fix the temporary cell tower, coverage will be spotty. 

August 26, 2013 |

Stock Information For SBA Communications Released

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Here is the stock information for SBA Communications Corp (NASDAQ:SBAC) for the week of 08/19/2013:
August 26, 2013 |
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