Annual PCIA Conference Highlights Growing Network Investment

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Jonathan Adelstein, CEO of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (PCIA) isn’t exactly satisfied with AT&T and Verizon’s declaration that their LTE networks are nationwide. “The idea that they’re tailing off is overstated,” Adelstein said. “They say that they’ve built out these networks, and you look at a map, it’s not about coverage anymore, it’s about capacity. There’s more work to be done. I call it the wireless data crunch purposely—some people call it the spectrum crunch—but spectrum is just one of the ways carriers can deal with the problem,” he said, noting that the infrastructure vendors near and dear to PCIA are offering a variety of tools to help improve capacity and coverage. With the annual PCIA conference in Orlando going on through Thursday, Adelstein is looking at the data-crunch as an important topic of the show. “At this show, we’re looking at all different aspects of the industry, you’re seeing co-locations picking up speed, small cells, DAS, Wi-Fi,” Adelstein said. “The use of data is going up so quickly that the carriers are scrambling to keep up with the demand from their customers, which is a good problem to have, but they’re looking at every tool at their disposal right now to deal with that and it requires enormous CapEx.” It’s that CapEx that Adelstein points to as a sign of health, noting that forecasts put carrier spending over the next five years in the $35 billion range, or about $5 billion per year. “Who wouldn’t want to be in a business that you know is going to grow 10X in the next 5 years? We’re very fortunate,” Adelstein exclaims.

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