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SBA Communications Expands in Brazil after Acquiring 2,007 Additional Sites

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Yesterday, SBA Communications announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement with certain subsidiaries of Oi SA, which is one of Brazil’s largest telecommunications service providers. SBA will acquire 2,007 tower sites in Brazil and once the transaction is complete, Oi will enter into a long-term lease agreement with SBA with monthly lease payments for antenna space on each of these sites. The transaction is expected to close on or before March 31, 2014 and SBA will pay approximately R$1.525 billion, which is around USD $645 million at the current exchange rate. “We are very pleased to acquire these high quality assets and expand our relationship with Oi,” commented Jeffrey A. Stoops, SBA’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “These are very good sites, concentrated in the most populous areas of Brazil, with demonstrated attractiveness to tenants. With this acquisition, we will have established SBA as one of the largest and most capable independent tower operators in Brazil, a market which we believe is very attractive and will produce strong growth in the future.”
Read more at InsideTowers.com.

December 5, 2013 |

What Problems Could the Connected Car Cause Cell Phone Towers?

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Last week at the PCIA’s 2013 Wireless Infrastructure Show, the Connected Car was a topic of discussion. As the wireless industry continues to expand, industry leaders are looking for new ways to bring wireless technology to every aspect of our lives including time spent in the car. It’s not news that people enjoy using their phones in the car. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that, “31% of U.S. drivers ages 18-64 reported that they had read or sent text messages or email messages while driving at least once within the 30 days before they were surveyed.”

Many wireless carriers such as AT&T and Verizon, along with many insurance companies, have started campaigns to urge people to not text and drive. The Connected Car aims to lower the rate of texting and driving while bringing you access to more wireless technology while you are in your car. Iain Gillott of iGR discussed the features of the Connected Car in a webinar yesterday.
The Connected Car would have a built-in LTE connection to the macro network that can connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot that is within the vehicle. Passengers will be able to access a wireless signal over the LTE connection. Gillott noted that, “We spend a lot of time in our cars as a society.” He says in the webinar that approximately 20% of Americans spend more than 60 minutes per day in the car.
While having access to technology like this on the road seems like a fantastic idea, what will it do to our networks and macro sites? “In-car data use increases bandwidth demand at peak network times and it adds to the network congestion problem,” Gillott explains.

Because the vehicle is moving, small cells will not work for cars so our macro networks will become congested. This is a challenged that supporters of the Connected Car face. Although this new technology is an opportunity for our mobile network infrastructure to grow, it’s not always easily achieved. It’s possible that our networks will be slow and over-capacity because of the Connected Car before more cell sites can be built to accommodate the influx in demand

October 16, 2013 |

Verizon Communications to Report Earnings Tomorrow

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Tomorrow, October 17th, Verizon Communications will report their third-quarter earnings. Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Francis J. Shammo will present results on a webcast beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. Access instructions and presentation materials, including Verizon’s earnings release, will be available at7:30 a.m. on Verizon’s Investor Relations website, www.verizon.com/investor.

Verizon Communications is the world leader in delivering innovation in communications, mobility, information and entertainment. We provide superior broadband, video and other wireless and wireline services to consumers, businesses, governments and wholesale customers across the globe.
October 16, 2013 |

TE Connectivity Enhances Mobile Services At MLB Stadiums

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TE Connectivity announced that their DAS products are helping Major League Baseball stadium owners and service providers deliver top-notch mobile service to customers during baseball games. TE’s InterReach Spectrum Fusion, and FlexWave Prism DAS products have been deployed at Arlington, Citifield, Target Field and Yankee Stadium.
Baseball fans expect a first-class experience when attending games, and part of that is being able to use their mobile wherever they are in the stadium whether they’re monitoring other league news, sharing updates with friends, or voting on the player of the game,” said Joseph Mullin, senior vice president of DAS engineering at InSite Wireless Group, LLC, the neutral host operator that deployed the TE DAS serving major mobile operators at Target Field in Minneapolis. “TE’s DAS products give us the broad wireless coverage and capacity we need to deliver mobile services from major operators to all subscribers in a stadium like Target Field.”

TE’s DAS solutions deliver the required capacity with minimal deployment time and expenses. The mobile network capacity provided through the TE DAS systems helps eliminate dropped calls, slow browsing, and other issues that visitors to large events typically experience. 
“As we gear up for the playoff season, fans expect quality mobile services inside of stadiums,” said Peter Wraight, vice president and general manager of Wireless at TE Connectivity. “Our DAS products are an important part of making that happen for major mobile operators.”

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 |

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 |

Will We See You in 2014?

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Earlier this week, hundreds of people across the United States and even a few from across the pond visited Hollywood, Florida to attend the PCIA’s 2013 Wireless Infrastructure Show. Our team at Inside Towers had a great time, learning a lot about what’s going on within the industry and meeting some wonderful people.
The Wireless Infrastructure Association, announced that the Wireless Infrastructure Show, the premier industry event focusing on the companies, equipment and technologies that enable next-generation wireless, will move to the spring beginning in 2014. The event will take place May 19-22, 2014 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida. We hope to see you all there to talk more about the issues and trends facing the wireless industry.
“The Wireless Infrastructure Show continues to grow in size and scope, reflecting the increasingly broad array of businesses that are active in expanding wireless networks—from carriers and OEMs to chip manufacturers, Wi-Fi providers and end-users. We are committed to doing whatever it takes to maintain that growth by providing an unparalleled opportunity for industry players to connect at a meaningful, world-class springtime event,” said Jonathan Adelstein, PCIA President & Chief Executive Officer.
Who attends? 
40% – Infrastructure Providers

20% – Carriers

20% – Professional Services

10% – Financial

10% – Others

October 11, 2013 |

NATE Announces 2013-2014 STAR Initiative Participants

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This week at the PCIA’s 2013 Wireless Infrastructure Show in Hollywood, Florida the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) announced the member companies who have been approved to participate in the NATE STAR Initiative Program for the 2013-2014 year. The NATE STAR Initiative was designed to help companies operate safely while recognizing tower erectors who voluntarily adhere to higher standards. The NATE STAR Initiative emphasizes Safety, Training, Accountability and Reliability by asking participants to commit to requisite levels of training, site safety audits and the implementation of safety programs while adhering to industry best practices.
“NATE Start Initiative Participants are among a growing community of NATE members who demonstrate a commitment to the highest level of tower safety,” said Senior Staff Associate Shelly Trego. “Thanks to the leadership and attention to detail by the participants, the implementation of the practices defined by the STAR Initiative will continue to increase the level of safety and vigilance in the industry.”
New this year, the participants will receive rate discounts on designated training courses offered on the soon to be unveiled NATE Exchange. The NATE Exchange will be a website allowing companies to connect with the most up-to-date training courses that are offered throughout the industry.
To view a complete list of the 2013-2013 STAR Initiative Participants, please click here. NATE believes in “Safety from the ground up” and works to provide a unified voice for tower erection, maintenance and service companies.
“Safety never ends,” Chairwoman of NATE, Pat Cipov explained at the Women’s Wireless Leadership Forum event earlier this week. “The solution is certain: we are all responsible for safety and we need to make sure each employee goes home at the end of the day.

October 10, 2013 |

Why Are The Major Tower Companies Focused On North America?

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At the PCIA’s 2013 Wireless Infrastructure Show in Hollywood, Florida earlier this week the four CEO’s of the major tower companies gathered to discuss hot topics within the industry. John Adelstein wanted to know why the focus of these companies is mostly domestic.
“We’ve built a foundation in the US and try to deploy US mobile into emerging markets. We look at the financial risk and the economical risks involved with those markets. There are usually no tower companies in emerging markers, but this is our home base and we’ll always look to enhance our infrastructure and further develop here in the U.S. as well as internationally,” Steven Marshall, Executive Vice President and President, U.S. Tower Division of American Tower.
Ben Moreland, CEO and President of Crown Castle, explained that, “The North American market is the most attractive market in the world. We’ve added over 7,000 sites last year. We’re certainly looking into other markets in North America. We’ve looked at South America and Eastern Europe but we’re going to stay with our strategy to become a leader in the North American market.
Jeff Stoops of SBA Communications noted that, “We decide where we want to capitalize the company. It’s all about creating the most value for our public shareholders.”
It was agreed upon that the tower industry is a global industry, but deciding which markets to expand in depends on the goals of the companies and whether or not it makes the most sense financially for the public shareholders and the company at large. 

October 10, 2013 |
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