FCC Sorting Through License Transfers for Proposed T-Mo-Sprint Deal

The FCC is tackling the nitty-gritty aspects of the proposed T-Mobile acquisition of Sprint. The telecoms asked for agency permission to transfer Sprint’s licenses, authorizations and spectrum leases to T-Mobile. They’d also like the agency to okay the pro forma transfer of T-Mobile’s licenses, authorizations and spectrum leases to the combined company, should the deal be approved. Continue reading

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Crown Q2 Raises Outlook for Full Year 2018

“We delivered another terrific quarter of results, and remain on track to generate attractive growth in cash flows and dividends per share for the full year 2018,” said Jay Brown, Crown Castle’s Chief Executive Officer. “Over the past two decades, we have built and acquired an unmatched portfolio of more than 40,000 towers and 60,000 route miles of dense, high capacity fiber in the top U.S. markets, where we see the greatest long-term demand from multiple customers.  With the positive momentum we continue to see in our towers and fiber segments, we remain dedicated to investing in our business to generate future growth while delivering near-term dividend per share growth of 7 percent to 8 percent per year,” Brown said. Continue reading

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More Spectrum Needed to Deploy Rural Broadband

 

From left: Tom Stroup, Claude Aiken

Experts from several industries told lawmakers yesterday it will take several solutions to bridge the digital divide in rural areas, but they have one thing in common — they need access to more spectrum. Broadband can be delivered through a variety of technologies, including fiber, cable, mobile or fixed wireless, satellite, or any combination. Macro towers and small cells are an integral part of broadband delivery, witnesses testified. Continue reading

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Installer Calls Repack “Overwhelming”

“From an installer standpoint we are overwhelmed,” says Vertical Technology Services CEO Owen Garland, referring to the TV channel repack. His company is one of the few that have the expertise to climb tall TV towers and handle their large, heavy antennas.

As the September 14 testing period for those stations in Phase 1 of the repack creeps closer, and planning and construction for Phases 2 and 3 is underway, Garland said last week, “the worst tower case” is working with a wraparound panel antenna. Continue reading

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iHeart’s Towerco Creditors Want More Control of Debt Liens

UPDATE  Only months after iHeartMedia filed for bankruptcy, their unsecured creditors, with tower companies accounting for over $5.5 million of that amount, are taking issue with the current compensation structure set out by the Federal Bankruptcy Court of Southern Texas.  The unsecured creditors’ committee after performing, in their words,  “a thorough investigation,” questioned the validity of several liens and wants the court to let them prosecute claims against the senior creditors. Continue reading

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First Nationwide WEA-EAS Test in The Works

FEMA wants to conduct the first nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system this September. The proposed date of the live test is September 20 (with October 3 as a backup).

A 87-character test message would be originated at 2:18 p.m. and sent to participating commercial mobile carriers. Continue reading

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CTIA Survey Shows It’s Been a Great Decade for Cell Site Growth

CTIA® yesterday released its Annual Wireless Industry Survey, which found the industry is beginning the transition from 4G to 5G wireless networks with significant growth in cell sites and data-only devices. That growth and continued demand for everything wireless contributed to Americans using an unprecedented amount of mobile data in 2017.

Several key wireless trends are illustrated in the survey: One key finding shows that the U.S. wireless industry is building wireless networks for tomorrow’s 5G services. To further extend coverage and prepare for 5G, a record 323,448 cell sites were in operation at the end of 2017—a 52 percent growth over the last decade. Analysts project that wireless carriers will need to deploy roughly 800,000 modern wireless antennas – small cells – in the next few years, and we are starting to see that investment now.

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Vertical Bridge Says It’s Still Owed for Cumulus Tower Leases

While Cumulus Media emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 4, with $1 billion less debt on its balance sheet, some creditors claim they are still owed money. Vertical Bridge tells the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York it’s still owed several thousands of dollars for unexpired tower leases.

In an objection to “Debtor’s Second Notice of Satisfaction of Claims,” filed by CM WIND DOWN TOPCO, INC. and its affiliates, Vertical Bridge told the court: “The Debtors represent they have paid the ‘cure’ necessary to assume certain leases and therefore the claims or scheduled amounts identified should be expunged.” Continue reading

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FCC Tells Tribes ‘No Delay’ in Lifeline Changes

The FCC won’t delay implementation of changes to its Lifeline program despite a court challenge brought by Tribes, wireless resellers and others. It’s not clear when the changes would go into effect because they must still be approved by the Office of Management and Budget.

In November of 2017, the FCC voted to tighten restrictions on who could qualify for a $25 a month subsidy of telephone and internet service, including Tribal residents, in the name of curbing waste, fraud and abuse of the Lifeline program. Continue reading

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Christmas in July: Township Nets $2M Upfront in Restructured Lease Deal

SBA Communications will pay Lower Makefield township $2 million upfront under a restructured lease agreement, reported Bucks Local News. Under the agreement, the township will receive a lump sum payment of $2,020,000 from SBA and a 35-year lease on the site. Currently, the township receives annual lease payments in addition to a share of the revenue from the carriers that have co-located on the tower. Continue reading

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