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Google & Qualcomm Lead Women Enhancing Technology Group

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At the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting last week, the Institute of International Education announced that they were launching a new CGI Commitment to Action called Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech). This action is aimed at helping girls enter and succeed in technology careers. To achieve the goals that they have outline, the IIE recruited Google and Qualcomm Incorporated to lead the initiative.
“WeTech is driven by our partners’ shared vision of getting more women into the tech pipeline, from entry level to the C suite,” said Trish Tierney, Executive Director of IIE’s Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives. “This is good for business and good for society. Career success will enable women to gain respect and influence in their offices, in their families, and in their communities.”
In the United States, the percentage of computer science bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees awarded to women has declined from 32 percent in 2002 to 21 percent in 2012, and women make up only 18 percent of computer science bachelor’s degree recipients. Among Fortune 500 technology companies, women represent fewer than 14 percent of corporate officers and board of director positions. (Source: CGI Press Release)

“We are pleased to be part of this collaboration which supports women and girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education,” said Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and President of Global Market Development for Qualcomm. “STEM skills serve as the building blocks for the next generation of scientists, inventors, engineers, and entrepreneurs, and it is our sincere hope that, through programs like WeTech, women around the world will continue to enter technology fields and become great inventors.”

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 |

Wireless Backhaul is an Essential Component of the Next Generation of Wireless Services

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Wireless backhaul is going to be a big topic at the PCIA’s 2013 Wireless Infrastructure Show in Hollywood, Florida next week. Tuesday starts off with a presentation on Small Cell Installation: Location, Power, and Backhaul. The issues regarding small cells are where and how they will deployed. In order to understand the wireless network, you can use the chart below to visualize the structure:
The core network provides a number of services to customers who are connected by the access network.  The backhaul portion of the chart makes up the links between the core network and the smaller edge networks. The individual links comprise the bulk of the edge networks.
Wireless backhaul services are similar to wireless subscription services in that the vital infrastructure component is highly impacted by state and local regulatory policies. PCIA is working to facilitate the coordinated use of wireless backhaul systems including allocating additional spectrum for backhaul use and fostering innovative designs of backhaul antennas in the build out of wireless networks and their supporting infrastructure,” the PCIA explains.
The session next Tuesday at 10:45 am at the Westin Diplomat will discuss who is going to install these small cells, where they’ll be located, how the backhaul will be provided, and are delays likely to occur because of these issues? Make sure to check with Inside Towers next week to see what’s going on at the 2013 Wireless Infrastructure Show.

October 1, 2013 |

Inside Towers Publication & Database To Be Introduced at 2013 Wireless Infrastructure Show

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Visit us at Booth #202 to Learn About Inside Towers’ Daily Newsletter & Tower Database!
We are pleased to announce that it will exhibit at the 2013 Wireless Infrastructure Show, the industry’s premier event focusing on mobile infrastructure for 4G and beyond. The three-day conference and trade show at Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, Florida on October 7-10, will gather nearly 2,000 technology and telecom executives, policy-makers, financial analysts and national media.
Inside Towers is written for the wireless tower industry. There is plenty of news and information for wireless, but there is very little news targeted to towers specifically. There is no other available source of daily tower news and information written for the tower owners, managers, and supporting businesses.
In addition to offering attendees a first look at our daily newsletter, we will also be showcasing our Inside Towers Database. Inside Tower’s database of tower owners is seamlessly updated to the FCC’s ASR database.  It features a user-friendly interface to look up towers and tower owners, and the ability to customize lookups and export the results.
Wireless Infrastructure Show attendees represent all facets of the wireless ecosystem, from carriers and tower companies to engineering firms and equipment manufacturers. The broad array of participants makes the event important for generating new ideas and creating new partnership and growth opportunities for deploying next-generation wireless networks.

Inside Towers will be at booth #202 in the Exhibit Hall on the third floor of the Convention Center at the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, Florida. Exhibit Hall Hours are Tuesday, October 8, 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. and Wednesday, October 9, 10:30am – 2:30 p.m.

October 1, 2013 |

American Tower to Participate at ISI 2013 Real Estate Conference

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Today American Tower Corporation announced that their CFO, Tom Barlett, will participate in the “Specialty REITs” panel discussion at the ISI 2013 Real Estate Conference in New York, New York this Thursday, October 3rd.

American Tower is a leading independent owner, operator and developer of wireless and broadcast communications real estate. American Tower currently owns and operates over 56,000 communications sites in the United States, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Ghana, India, Mexico,Peru, South Africa and Uganda. 

October 1, 2013 |

Text to 911 Now Available in Southampton County

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For Verizon customers in Southampton County, Virginia the option to text 911 in an emergency is now an available option if you are in close range of the Southampton County cell phone tower. Text to 911 is becoming a popular feature for those residents who are hearing or speech impaired or anyone who finds themselves in a situation where it is too dangerous to speak to the 911 operator.
“The safety of residents and visitors in Southampton County is our number-one concern,” said Southampton County Sheriff Jack Stutts said in a release. “Text to 911 could be a life-saver, especially for people who might otherwise not be able to make a voice call. I congratulate my staff members for their work in establishing this service and for setting an example for other public safety professionals.” (Source: Tide Water News)
Southampton County is the second public safety answering point in Virginia to accept Text-to-911.Public safety is a top priority. We assist public safety organizations in their efforts to get residents the help they need in emergencies.  We do this by providing enhanced location information to emergency call takers so they can more effectively route calls for emergency assistance,” Verizon explains.

Text to 911 is not available everywhere, but the major wireless carriers are hoping to expand this program in order to assist as many people as possible and increase public safety. 

September 30, 2013 |

$38 Million Tower Construction Bid: Inexperience or Fraud?

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The tower industry is growing at a quick pace, which is encouraging people to jump into this business whether they know the ins and outs of the tower business or not. In 2007, the Lewis County Commission of West Virginia was awarded, “a one-time $8.4 million Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) grant by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration for interoperable radio network supplies including mobile tower and microwave radios, and mobile and satellite radio gateways,” according to the Special Report by the WestVirginia Legislative Auditor.
Once the county received the PSIC grant, they realized that the restrictions of the grant made constructing a tower very difficult and the money went entirely to equipment. So in 2008, the Legislature allocated $10 million from the State Lottery Commission surplus to improve the interoperability communications in West Virginia.
“Dave Coffman, Chief Deputy of the Lewis County Sheriffs’ Office (since elected Sheriff of Upshur County) invited Mr. Gonzalez to speak with him about the possibility of constructing a tower in the Lewis County town of Roanoke. Together the two met with the Lewis County Commission about the possibility of the application for a DMAPS grant. The Lewis County Commissioners at that time and Chief Deputy Coffman understood this grant would only be used for the Roanoke tower. The Lewis County Commission applied for a DMAPS sub-grant and was awarded the amount of $307,347 in sub-grant 08-SR-03 to construct the Roanoke tower on July 31, 2009,” the report explained.
So this is when things got complicated. The Lewis County Commission issued an advertisement in the Weston Democraton July 8th and July 15th of 2009. Three vendors responded to the ad and met at a pre-bid meeting and tower site visit on July 20, 2009. The Lewis County Commission opened the bids and held a bid review at their July 27, 2009 meeting. Mr. Gonzalez, Lewis County 911 Director Bill Rowan, and then-Lewis County Chief Deputy Coffman reviewed the bids for the Commission. The report explains that the Lewis County Commission relied on the experience of Mr. Gonzalez, Sheriff Coffman and Mr. Rowan to help ensure the bidders met the correct qualifications. Mr. Rowan had no previous experience dealing with tower construction bidding and Sherriff Coffman had no technical knowledge regarding microwave or antennas.
After the bid review process, it was decided that Premier Construction had the lowest big and the Lewis County Commission immediately entered into contract with the company.  Once the contract was in place, the Legislative Auditor was unable to obtain the bids for the other companies involved in the process. The reason this has become a major focal point is because the local government didn’t bid the contract out as required by the Government Contract Act.
The Competitive Bidding Act requires, in part, that: “The state and its subdivisions shall, except as provided in this section, solicit competitive bids for every construction project exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars in total cost: Provided, That a vendor who has been debarred pursuant to the provisions of sections thirty-three-a through thirtythree-f, inclusive, article three, chapter five-a of this code may not bid on or be awarded a contract under this section. All bids submitted pursuant to this chapter shall include a valid bid bond or other surety as approved by the State of West Virginia or its subdivisions.”

The question is: was this fraud or simply a mistake? Either way, the Lewis County Commission broke the law by not soliciting competitive bids for this project and only placing a small ad hidden in the newspaper. 

September 27, 2013 |

xG Technology’s New Cognitive Radio Networking Equipment Has Passed FCC Testing

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xG Technology Inc. delivers cognitive radio network technology that meets the world’s rising demand for reliable and affordable wireless broadband, while making more efficient use of scarce spectrum assets. With the amount of broadband spectrum dwindling, products like xG’s xVM and xAP are useful in the radio network.
The xVM (xMax Vehicle Modem) has received FCC certification by way of a Grant of Equipment Authorization so it is authorized to be sold in the U.S., while the xAP (xMax Access Point) is waiting for the final paperwork to be completed by the FCC. It is expected to be received soon so all the required FCC testing will be completed.
“The xVM seamlessly connects smartphones, tablets, notebooks and other devices to the Internet via an xMax cognitive radio network,” xG Technology explained in a press release. “While primarily developed for vehicle usage, the xVM may also be externally mounted in fixed locations like parks or other outdoor areas to provide WiFi and wired Ethernet access for use in monitoring, surveillance, machine-to-machine (M2M) and other applications.
The xAP is different from the xVM because it is a compact base station that communicates wirelessly with xG’s xMod and xVM to create an all-IP, high-capacity, high-performance wireless access point that will be able to deliver wide area coverage when there is significant interference.

“We are extremely pleased to have the xVM so closely follow the xMod in receiving FCC approval for commercial delivery and use,” said John Coleman, CEO of xG Technology. “The xVM’s rugged design is well-suited for deployment in public safety, homeland security, utilities and military applications. Now that all xMax radio products have successfully passed FCC testing, we will soon deliver product to customers, once we receive final certification paperwork for the xAP in the coming few days.”

September 25, 2013 |

Mobile Experts Expects to Deploy Over 16 Million DAS Nodes

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Mobile Experts, who specialize in radio electronics for both handsets and infrastructure, plan to deploy over 16 million DAS nodes by the end of 2018. The company released a 5-year forecast for their Distributed Antenna System today. There has been speculation that DAS is going to grow very quickly over the next few years.
“Multiple operators in North America are doubling or tripling their DAS spending plans”, explained Joe Madden, Principal Analyst at Mobile Experts.  “In China, DAS spending is down 20%, but in the USA it’s up 30%. There are radical changes going on, which in the end will be incredibly lucrative for DAS neutral hosts, installers, and system integrators.”
Through their research, Mobile Experts predicts that the number of DAS nodes will double in the next three years and by the end of 2018 more than 50% of DAS networks will include small cells and Wi-Fi. Their five-year forecast illustrated  the trends in Wi-Fi and public safety adoption, along with LTE services.
“The DAS market will more than double in size over the next five years, with a dramatic increase in the combination of DAS with Wi-Fi, public safety radio, and LTE networks. People wonder how small cells will find access to backhaul.  In fact, the clear answer is to use a fiber-based DAS system in many public buildings,” Madden explained.

Mobile Experts provides insightful market analysis for the mobile infrastructure and mobile handset markets.  Research topics center on technology introduction for radio frequency (RF) and communications innovation.

September 25, 2013 |

Crown Castle CFO to Present at the Deutsche Bank 2013 Leveraged Finance Conference

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Crown Castle International announced that their CFO, Jay Brown, will present on Tuesday October 1, 2013 at 5:20 EST at the Deutsche Bank 2013 Leveraged Finance Conference.  The live audio webcast link and presentation for the conference will be available on Crown Castle’s website at http://investor.crowncastle.com, where it will also be archived for replay.

The aim of the conference is to gather the most important issuers, investors and sponsors to discuss the themes that will shape businesses. The conference is held in Scottsdale, AZ from September 30, 2013 to October 2, 2013. Crown Castle owns, operates and leases towers and other infrastructure for wireless communications. Crown Castle offers significant wireless communications coverage to 98 of the top 100 US markets and to substantially all of the Australian population. 

September 19, 2013 |
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