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On Tuesday Tom Bartlett, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Tower spoke to his virtual audience viewers in his keynote address.
‘We are more reliant than ever on the strength of our wireless infrastructure,” Bartlett said. “Wireless service firms, infrastructure companies and professional service providers have helped provide distance learning and telehealth services that have helped play a critical role in our country’s economic recovery.”
“From my new vantage point at the head of American Tower,” he said, “I could not be prouder to stand among you at this important moment to help lead our industry forward…This is not our first moment of change. When I joined American tower in 2009, the industry was evolving from 3G to 4G. We now operate 180,000 sites in 19 different countries with around 41,000 right here in the United States.”
Bartlett said 5G is the next frontier and his company intends to deploy a variety of high, low and mid-spectrum assets, some of which have been made available. “We will continue to see deployment of high-band millimeter-wave in densely populated urban areas, mid-band spectrum in suburban areas and focused along highway corridors and low band spectrum across necessary geographies to provide coverage of the network,” he said.
With CBRS and C-band auctions scheduled for 2020 and the FCC continuing to proactively evaluate additional spectrum, Bartlett said he is excited by what lies ahead in the United States and is confident the carriers will have sufficient spectrum available to fuel continued innovation.
Regarding the role of macro towers, Bartlett said they are prepared to underpin the next evolution of the wireless network. “Towers continue to be the most cost effective category in wireless infrastructure in the vast majority of the United States and at the same time have tremendous capacity for additional tenancy and equipment loading in the 5G future,” he said.