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Nebraska Tower Collapses

Yesterday, a Viaero Wireless tower collapsed in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, with two workers atop the structure. Thankfully, both men escaped with their lives after a wind gust caused a section of the tower to shift, contributing to the collapse. Scottsbluff Fire Chief Dana Miller said one of the men fell 10 feet and the other fell more than 20 feet when the tower collapsed. Viaero Executive Vice President Mike Felicissimo released a statement saying, “two Viaero workers were injured today in an accident that occurred in Scottsbluff. The men were working on an antenna array that was lying on the ground when a wind gust caused the section to move.

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Now What?

The AWS-3 spectrum auction is finally over and ended with total proceeds of $44.9 billion, way more than initially expected. Jonathan Chaplin of New Street Research noted. “The final price supports our positive thesis on sources of wireless capacity (towers and spectrum) and cautious thesis on the carriers. On the first, the carriers have spent roughly double what anyone expected, which should indicate that they place a very high value on marginal capacity.

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Wells Fargo 2015 Outlook on Towers

Wells Fargo Senior High Yield Telecom / Cable Analyst, Davis Hebert, provided outlook on the tower industry for 2015, “We believe that slower new tower builds and elevated disconnects from Clearwire, MetroPCS and Leap could take some wind [out] of the tower companies’ sails in 2015. However, we still expect organic growth to be in the mid-single digits for the tower companies, which should continue to benefit from price escalators, spectrum deployments and amendment activity.” Hebert also noted that small cells could be the next catalyst for the companies, especially Crown Castle. CCI has worked for the past few years building out their small cell and DAS technology in Glendale, Arizona, for this Sunday’s Super Bowl. This is only one example of the advances the company has made with the new technology.

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How Will the Repacking Timeline Affect the Tower Industry?

The net proceeds of the AWS-3 spectrum auction have the industry, and FCC, curious as to how much the 2016 incentive auction will bring in. That’s not the only question surrounding the auction. Another big concern is the time frame for repacking and deploying the new spectrum: 39 months. Will the FCC take submitted comments into consideration and lengthen the time frame? NATE finds this timeline particularly worrisome. In a letter to the FCC back in April, Todd Schlekeway, NATE Executive Director, wrote, “The challenge for broadcast and tower owner companies is how this repacking will roll out.

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Sun, February 1, 2015
    

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