Last Week's News

Program Offers $100M in Funding For Wireless Development

Revolutionizing the wireless environments ecosystem was the topic of discussion at Wednesday’s WIA Infrastructure Show session. To kickstart the plan, a $100 million fund has been established by a blending of science and industry. The Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program is a joint effort by the National Science Foundation and a wireless industry consortium to create city-scale testing platforms to accelerate fundamental research on wireless communication and networking technologies.

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Effectiveness of mmWave Technology as Cable Replacement Questioned

During Light Reading’s recent Big Communications Event, panels discussed a topic very relevant to the wireless industry today—the usage of fixed wireless 5G technology and mmWaves in delivering services to consumers. In particular, panelists discussed the pros, cons and challenges of 5G as a replacement to fixed cable, reports lightreading.com.

For years, ISPs have been using high-band millimeter waves to deliver internet service to consumers over unlicensed and millimeter wave spectrum, with very high download speeds.

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Health Concern Debate Continues for Crown Castle and Garden City Residents

Since 2010, Garden City residents have been voicing their concerns at board meetings regarding the proximity of cell towers to homes, schools, and playgrounds, citing health hazards. Residents are petitioning Crown Castle to relocate the equipment and infrastructure, reported Garden City Life.

The residents are concerned about possible health-related side effects, even submitting a letter to Garden City Life stating, “Crown Castle currently owns cell antenna equipment and infrastructure throughout Garden City residential areas.

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FCC on Small Cell Siting, RF Levels – ‘We’re Working On It’

U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) recently wrote FCC Chairman Ajit Pai about the nearly 300 applications for small cell infrastructure deployment that Montgomery County, just outside Washington, D.C., officials have received. He’s working with the county to address constituent concerns about potential health risks and wrote to ask for guidance on local zoning flexibility.

“Considering the quantity and proximity to residences of these small cell antenna applications,” Delaney asked if federal law supports denial based on aesthetic concerns.

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C Spire and Phazr Team Up for 5G Trial with Millimeter Waves

The world of 5G is becoming clearer before our eyes. Wireless carrier C Spire and equipment manufacturer Phazr, for example, recently teamed up to test millimeter wave base station technology, which could prove vital for future 5G networks, especially those in rural areas, reports IEEE Spectrum.

Wireless signals are typically below 6 GHz, but high millimeter waves will prove important for the development of 5G technology due to the spectrum remaining empty. Currently, Phazr’s high-frequency wave base stations make it possible to deliver internet service to homes and businesses in rural areas, which prevents the need for companies to expand their underground fiber networks.

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FCC’s Clyburn: “Broadband Will Bring More Jobs”

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn at yesterday’s WIA Wireless Infrastructure Show expressed her hopes “that our workforce has the skills necessary for the jobs of today, the opportunities to successfully compete for the jobs of tomorrow, and more clearly reflects the great diversity of our country.” She said, “Broadband is where we must all start. To have an educated, competitive workforce in this century and beyond, we must ensure that everyone in our communities truly has access to broadband service, for all of the infrastructure builds in the world will not enable access if the service is not affordable.”

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Music, Charity and Wireless in Concert Over Autism

Last night was Music Movement’s 2nd Annual Charity concert, featuring top country artist Josh Turner, Billy Dawson and the Wireless All-Stars. Once again, Music Movement has hosted its concert in conjunction with WIA and the Wireless Infrastructure Show, and with the generous contribution of Title Sponsor, Vertical Bridge.

The goal of Music Movement is to positively impact the lives of young people with autism and other learning differences by developing and funding music-centric programs such as therapy and unique experiences.

Last night’s show honored guests including David Fomin and Kyle Baker. David Fomin will be the recipient of a scholarship for a year’s worth of music therapy. The Fomin family lives in Boca Raton which is also headquarters to Vertical Bridge. It was through a chance encounter with his father that his story was discovered by the Music Movement team.

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O’Rielly Discusses His Pain Points on the FCC Agenda

WIA 2017 Wireless Infrastructure Show

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly seemed disappointed that a year later, he’s still discussing the need to address “twilight towers”, i.e, communications structures built between 2001 and 2005 that did not go through the section 106 review process required by the National Historic Preservation Act.

“There was one issue in particular that I had great hopes for when I last spoke to this group,” O’Rielly said at the WIA conference yesterday. Still, he said he appreciated the audience’s efforts “to talk to interested parties and willingness to negotiate a solution for the estimated 4,300 twilight towers,” saying his goal is to “put an end to the twilight towers issue once and for all.”

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Key Note Speakers Lead the Way at WIA

WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein and FirstNet CEO Michael Poth address the general assembly at the WIA Wireless Infrastructure Show in Orlando

With two of three FCC Commissioners scheduled to make an appearance at the WIA Wireless Infrastructure Show in Orlando and a video from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, with apologies for not being in attendance, the tower industry’s major conference flexed its political muscle yesterday. Clearly the association and the industry has the attention of the federal government.

In absentia, Pai thanked the members of WIA for helping the FCC form polices and giving them the incentives to streamline the deployment process.

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Tower Industry Top Execs Give Their “View From the Top”

In a general session at yesterday’s Wireless Infrastructure Show entitled “The Giants of Vertical Real Estate,” the panel’s general consensus was that the outlook for the future is good and getting better.  The five-man panel consisted of Steven Marshall, Executive VP and President, U.S. Tower Division, American Tower, Jay Brown, President and CEO of Crown Castle, Jeffrey Stoops, President and CEO of SBA, Alexander Gellman, CEO of Vertical Bridge and David Weisman, President and CEO of InSite Wireless Group.

The session, moderated by WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein responded to a short-answer, rapid-fire series of topics on the FCC Auction, 5G, FirstNet, Small Cells, Smart Cities. “On our worst day we have good growth,” said Crown’s Jay Brown, drawing nods and smiles from the group.  New innovations, FCC deregulation and programs all seemed to point to positive growth for the tower industry, its upper tier being no exception.

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