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Spectrum Incentive Auction Gets Wings Today

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Officially it’s called the House Subcommittee of Communications and Technology and chaired by former broadcast owner Rep. Greg Walden (R-WA) and it’s set to markup bipartisan legislation that aims to promote increased wireless broadband build out. H.R. 1641 was introduced March 26 and gives the FCC the gusto to move ahead with the planned March 26, 2016, airwaves auction and repurpose their commercial use. The 13-page bill also establishes in the Treasury a Federal Spectrum Incentive Fund to be administered by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in consultation with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

“We commend the bipartisan leadership of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology for moving expeditiously in marking up a legislative package that is so integral to America’s economic and technological future,” said the PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association in a statement released late Tuesday afternoon. “Consumer demand for wireless mobile data continues to escalate – with no end in sight. This nation cannot meet that demand and continue to compete in the global marketplace unless we site and deploy greater wireless infrastructure and allocate additional spectrum for wireless communications.”

“PCIA and the wireless infrastructure industry will continue working closely with Subcommittee Chairman Walden, Ranking Member Eshoo (D-CA), and other members of the subcommittee and their staffs in shaping legislation that will spur job creation in every region of the country and keep America at the forefront of technological innovation.”

December 2, 2015 |

A Strong Wireless Infrastructure is Imperative to Public Safety

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With the major mobile carriers updating their 4G LTE equipment and constructing new towers to fill in gaps, people may believe that because cell service is improving then other problems will be solved as well. The FCC has been issuing reports about how location data from 911 calls isn’t being translated to the emergency responders, and delaying their response time. Alcatel-Lucent, French global telecommunications equipment company, discussed the necessity to build a strong public wireless infrastructure in LifeTalk: Public Safety Communications E-Zine. In this article, Bill Schrier, Chief Technology Officer for the City of Seattle, explained why we are unable to use the system that already in place by the major carriers. “The most common question — especially from cash-strapped legislators and city counselors — is, ‘Why can’t we just use the commercial carrier services? They’ve got 3G wireless service offerings with data capabilities. They’ve got 4G wireless offering with significantly more data capabilities. They’ve got these technologies. Why don’t we just use those commercial services? That’s what we do now for nonmission critical applications!’ The answer, of course is that you don’t want to have mission-critical public safety data communications competing with every teenager’s ‘LOL’ message to their friends,” Schrier explains. Instead of solely relying on the commercial services already in place, there should be a plan to keep the lines of communication open should some disaster take place. However, budgets are being cut and the commercial networks aren’t able to handle the influx of users.
Continue reading here

December 13, 2013 |

What Data Do Authorities See When Conducting Cell Tower Dumps?

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Cell tower data dumps have been all over the news these past few days—made a topic of conversation during the investigation of 10-year old Jessica Ridgeway’s murder. Jenna Lee of Fox News spoke to David Kennedy, CEO of TrustedSec, about what the government sees when they take the data received from a cell tower. “They would see everything you did on your phone in those local cell tower areas. They would see everybody you called during those specific times, possible SMS data or your text messages, and GPS locations. All of those can be triangulated and grabbed from those cell towers in a tower dump,” Kennedy said.While not too many people disagreed with the way authorities used this data in the investigation of Jessica Ridgeway’s murder since it led to her killer in a roundabout way, many people are wondering what else this data is being used for. “All of this is being done without a warrant, which means they can go out and pull as much information as they want to with little rhyme or reason to why they need to do it and I think that’s the major concern,” Kennedy explains. When it comes to finding a missing child or locating a criminal, dumping cell towers doesn’t seem too extreme but Kennedy does point out that there should be major oversight on what this data is being used for and who is using it before they can have access to it.
Read more at InsideTowers.com.
December 12, 2013 |

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.”
Read more at InsideTowers.com
November 19, 2013 |

CTIA—The Wireless Association Announces 2014 Board of Directors

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This week, CTIA—The Wireless Association hosted MobileCON 2013 in San Jose, California. MobileCON is a mobile IT and enterprise event designed for the IT executives and professionals. During this event, the CTIA announced their 2014 Board of Directors.

“CTIA’s members provide U.S. consumers with the world’s best wireless service and consistently make significant investments in the U.S. economy. Among the 2014 Board of Directors’ goals is to make certain the U.S. wireless industry remains the world’s leader in innovation so that Americans continue to benefit from wireless telecommunications. One of the key components to this is making sure more spectrum is made available for commercial wireless use. By working together and with the expert guidance of our board, CTIA will work diligently to ensure appropriate public policy that recognizes the need for the U.S. wireless industry to remain the best in the world,” said Steve Largent, President and CEO, CTIA.
The one-year term as board members of the CTIA will begin on January 1, 2014. The Board of Directors will be comprised of:
• Robert Vrij, Executive Vice President and Chief of Global Sales, Alcatel-Lucent
• Charles Townsend, President and CEO, Aloha Partners II, L.P.
• Dr. Guy (Bud) Tribble, Senior Vice President for Software Engineering, Apple, Inc.
• Manny Becerra, Executive Vice President & President of Mobile Services, Assurant Solutions
• Bret Comolli, Chairman, Asurion
• Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO, AT&T Mobility, AT&T
• Thorsten Heins, President and CEO, BlackBerry Limited
• Ron Smith, President, Bluegrass Cellular, Inc.
• Marcelo Claure, Chairman and CEO, Brightstar Corporation
• Slayton Stewart, CEO, Carolina West Wireless
• Wirt Yerger, III, Manager, Cavalier Wireless, LLC
• Pat Riordan, President and CEO, Cellcom
• Steve Largent, President and CEO, CTIA-The Wireless Association
• Jay Shedd, President and CEO, DOCOMO PACIFIC, INC.
• Angel Ruiz, President and CEO, Ericsson Inc.
• Mary Chan, President, Global Connected Consumer, General Motors
• Mike Woodward, President, Emerging Devices, HTC America, Inc.
• S. Douglas Hutcheson, CEO and Director, Leap Wireless International, Inc.
• Jeff Gisoo Cho, Vice President, LG Electronics USA
• Rip Gerber, President and CEO, Locaid
• Eddie O’Brien, VP, Worldwide Sales and Marketing Operator Channel, Microsoft Corporation
• Jeff Miller, Corporate Vice President, Global Sales, Motorola Mobility
• Matt Rothschild, VP Sales and Marketing, Americas, Nokia, Inc.
• James Hyde, President and CEO, nTelos Wireless
• John Giere, President and CEO, Openwave Mobility
• George Appling, President and CEO, Personal Communications Devices, LLC (PCD)
• Richard Ruhl, General Manager, Pioneer Cellular
• Peggy Johnson, EVP and President of Global Market Development, QUALCOMM, Inc.
• Mike Narula, President and CEO, Reliance Communications LLC
• Gregory Lee, President and CEO, Samsung Telecommunications America, L.P.
• John Sims, President, SAP Mobile Services
• Justin E. Hinkle, Chief Operating Officer, Smith Bagley, Inc. DBA CellularOne of N.E. AZ
• Dan Hesse, CEO, Sprint Corporation
• Jeff Gordon, President and CEO, Syniverse
• John Legere, President and CEO, T-Mobile USA
• F.J. Pollak, President and CEO, TracFone Wireless, Inc.
• Kenneth Meyers, President and CEO, U.S. Cellular
• Dan Mead, President and CEO, Verizon Wireless
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 |

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 |
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