May 2020

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In This Issue

 - Source: FSG Smart Buildings
5G Power Systems

Battery System Powers 5G Small Cell Node Equipment Instantly

Utility power hookups can take weeks before energizing, which can directly impact the acti...
The IWCE Network Infrastructure Forum pavilion. - Photo By: Don Bishop
5G Safety

Convention Survey Finds 5G Has Greatest Potential to Create Safer Cities

The International Wireless Communications Expo surveyed more than 597 professionals to ben...
NATE Executive Director Todd Schlekeway (left) talks with FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr at the NATE Unite 2020 convention. - Photo by J. Sharpe Smith
Conferences FCC

Tower Leaders, FCC Commissioner Speak at NATE Unite 2020 Convention

As part of its 25th anniversary milestone celebrations, the association formerly known as ...

U.S. Department of Labor Awards $6 Million Grant to Wireless Industry Association

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has awarded the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WI...
Power Systems Safety Small Cells

Safely Manage Power in Small Cells

As end users continue to demand more data at greater speeds, network engineers and designe...
 - Photo by Michael Coghlan

In the Race to 5G, Utilities Remain Divided on Pole Attachments

There’s no doubt the lure of 5G digitalization is strong. This next-gen network promises t...
Business Safety

How Contractors Can Boost Worker Skills, Dignity and Safety

When Legacy Telecommunications started operating 20 years ago, Jim Tracy said, its busines...

FirstNet Authority Roadmap Technology Domains: The Core

When it comes to broadband network infrastructure, the core is critical. It serves as both...
 - Source: FSG Smart Buildings
Source: FSG Smart Buildings
5G Power Systems

Battery System Powers 5G Small Cell Node Equipment Instantly

An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system powers 5G small cell node equipment by battery within days until utility power is connected and later converts into a long-term battery backup.

Utility power hookups can take weeks before energizing, which can directly impact the activation, commissioning and testing of new small cell node equipment, according to Joe Hill, vice president of solutions at FSG Smart Buildings and co-inventor of the company’s 5G Power Pack uninterruptible power supply. Designed to power 5G small cell node equipment without utility power for an extended period until utility power is connected, the power pack helps to expedite the deployment of 5G nodes.

“Nodes can be powered by battery up to 60 days faster and can ensure a source of backup power for years to come,” Hill said.

Two sizes of power packs support battery runtimes as long as 48 hours. Source: FSG Smart Buildings

The power pack can support both lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries with runtimes as long as 48 hours. FSG can deploy crews to recharge batteries until utility power is connected, install a generator charge-port on the system to support on-site recharges or supply telecom contractors with modular charge stations to service the 5G systems as needed. This ability allows for rapid setup and use of 5G nodes, instead of their sitting dark for two to eight weeks while waiting for local utility power. The difference greatly accelerates 5G access. Small cell operators can add solar panels to recharge the battery packs and extend run time. By including solar panels as part of a 5G small cell installation, companies can benefit from the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Modified Advanced Cost Recovery System (MACRS) for depreciating assets, allowing businesses to greatly reduce the overall cost of their 5G project and reduce lifetime energy costs.

Chris Durocher, vice president of FSG Wireless, said that one of the biggest bottlenecks when it comes to energizing 5G nodes is local utility coordination to provide permanent power. He said that FSG’s power pack has the ability to revolutionize the volume of nodes that can be activated while permanent power is being designed and constructed.

Source: FSG Smart Buildings. FSG is a national electrical, lighting, signage, building controls and technology contractor with 37 U.S. branches. Its wireless division provides turnkey solutions of 5G small cell infrastructure services to telecom contractors and carriers, including site acquisition, design, permitting, procurement, installation and service. For more information, visit www.fsgsmartbuildings.com/solutions/5gpowerpack.

The IWCE Network Infrastructure Forum pavilion. - Photo By: Don Bishop
The IWCE Network Infrastructure Forum pavilion. Photo By: Don Bishop
5G Safety

Convention Survey Finds 5G Has Greatest Potential to Create Safer Cities

The International Wireless Communications Expo surveyed more than 597 professionals to benchmark current technologies and technological challenges facing government, public safety, critical infrastructure and business enterprise users of wireless communications. The report found that 76 percent use LTE devices, and 70 percent plan to use 5G wireless communications eventually.

The cost of sites for 5G antennas ranks high among survey respondents’ concerns.

Although survey results also revealed that respondents believed 5G has the biggest potential to create safer cities above all other technologies such as artificial intelligence and the internet of things, those surveyed also cited cost and lack availability of sites to install 5G antennas as the top reasons for its delayed rollout. Lack of understanding of the technology (32 percent) and regulation were seen as the least important barriers for rolling out 5G across America.

Regulation is among the least of survey respondents’ concerns.

Stephanie McCall, IWCE’s program director, said, “5G promises to revolutionize our industry but there are a number of challenges to it being rolled out. At the same time, it feels exciting to think that, in just a few years, we could see how 5G can change the world as we know it.”

Developed with survey company Explori, the report covers topics including 5G, FirstNet, cybersecurity, safe cities and drones.

Source: International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE).To view the full report, visit government.informaengage.com/Critical-Communications-Industry-Insight-Report. The IWCE convention, conducted annually for critical communications businesses and government agencies, features an exhibit hall with more than 400 exhibitors and a five-day conference program. More than 7,000 individuals attend who are involved with product distribution, government, public safety, critical infrastructure and business enterprise. For more information about IWCE, visit www.iwceexpo.com.

NATE Executive Director Todd Schlekeway (left) talks with FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr at the NATE Unite 2020 convention. - Photo by J. Sharpe Smith
NATE Executive Director Todd Schlekeway (left) talks with FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr at the NATE Unite 2020 convention. Photo by J. Sharpe Smith
Conferences FCC

Tower Leaders, FCC Commissioner Speak at NATE Unite 2020 Convention

As part of its 25th anniversary milestone celebrations, the association formerly known as the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) unveiled a new name and logo designed to honor the organization’s past and position it for a future in the communications infrastructure industry. The organization’s name now is NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association.

The association made the announcement by debuting a brand launch video during the NATE Unite 2020 convention’s awards and sponsorship recognition luncheon in Raleigh, North Carolina.

To view a slide deck showcasing the new NATE brand, visit here.

The new logo was designed to represent technology, communications, connectivity and the future. Its shape forms an A in NATE intended to represent the three grades of deployment work: above grade, at grade and below grade.

The descriptive part of the name, “The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association,” expresses the evolving nature of work conducted by the organization’s members. The work includes construction, installation, maintenance and services associated with broadcast and wireless macro towers, small cells, distributed antenna system (DAS) networks, in-building wireless solutions, fixed wireless applications, rooftops, water towers, public safety networks, utility infrastructure collocations, cable, fiber deployment, data centers and unmanned aerial systems. The logo of the newly renamed NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association.

NATE Chairman Jimmy Miller said the change marks the beginning of a new era of excellence for NATE that will allow the association to share its story with a larger audience and serve to position the association for future growth and influence in the communications infrastructure ecosystem. “NATE is simultaneously committed to our steadfast mission of safety and quality while leading the charge for an industry moving at the speed of tomorrow,” he said.

A cofounder of NATE and its former chairman, Kevin Hayden, president of Hayden Tower Service in Topeka, Kansas, said that he found it exciting to watch NATE grow from humble beginnings and see how it has evolved. “I am enthusiastic about the new brand and appreciate how the current leadership of the association is committed to staying true to NATE’s roots while maintaining a vision for the future,” he said.

Dish Network’s Wireless Play

The leaders of tower companies adversely affected by the drop in T-Mobile spending during the last six months said they are excited about the integration of the T-Mobile and Sprint networks that will follow the merger of the two companies.

But the nationwide 5G wireless communications network buildout by Dish Network probably will commence first, according to the speakers at the session, “The View From the Top: Perspectives from Industry CEOs.”

“As tower owners, we are pretty pumped up [about the merger], but it is going to take a couple of quarters to transition,” said Danny Agresta, CEO of APC Towers.

Tony Peduto, CEO of CTI Towers, said: “Anyone with towers is saying, ‘This is great,’ but the question is when will it be great?” He predicted that Dish Network will launch its network late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter.

Dish Wireless, which is expected to sign a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreement with T-Mobile, is now a bona fide fourth carrier that must build out a network using some 50,000 macro towers at a reported cost of $10 billion. And, according to Peduto and Agresta, the carrier is positioned to begin that surge.

“Dish has done an amazing job in terms of getting data from tower companies,” Peduto said. “Both Danny and I have submitted information, and it has gone through a scrub. From my company’s standpoint, Dish will come out of the blocks first. They have license-preservation step that must be completed to keep their spectrum. They are going to start deploying relatively quickly.”

Agresta said Dish has all the ingredients to “bake the cake.” With the T-Mobile MVNO deal, Sprint’s towers and U.S. prepaid wireless businesses Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, he predicted Dish is ready to go.

“Dish has 400 job openings listed on its website,” Agresta said. “They have acquired all different types of data from all different types of tower companies and will be ready to roll soon.”

Merger’s Benefits

Speaking at the convention, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, fresh from a tower climb and sporting a gray Patagonia pullover and tan work boots, said the approval of the Sprint/T-Mobile merger was a big win for the wireless industry in general and for the tower industry in particular. He spoke onstage with Todd Schlekeway, NATE’s executive director.

“The combination of adding new sites with Sprint’s spectrum and Dish Wireless’s commitment to bringing online a 5G broadband wireless network is going to be good news for the tower industry,” Carr said.

Carr said he recognized that the tower industry has been hurt by slowdowns in buildouts caused by the uncertainty from the protracted merger approval process.

“It’s no secret that Sprint was effectively dead man walking at this point,” Carr said. “They had hit the pause button on a lot of tower tech contractors. They weren’t building, expanding or, even to some extent, maintaining the network they had. It wasn’t good for Sprint customers either.”

It’s no secret that Sprint was effectively dead man walking at this point. FCC Commissioner Brendan CarrCarr said that the combination Sprint and T-Mobile will speed the deployment of 5G and also spur expansion of RF coverage to rural areas.

“The [New T-Mobile] has committed to building out 5G to 99 percent of the U.S. population on an accelerated basis,” Carr said. “That bridging of the digital divide was going to be very difficult for us to do otherwise. On top of that, we have Dish Wireless as another entrant into the wireless market, and it is committed to building internet infrastructure.”

FCC Spectrum Allocations

Carr also talked about the effect of new spectrum on deployment of 5G technology on towers. The FCC just completed the auction of more than 14,140 licenses in the 37-GHz, 39-GHz and 47-GHz bands, totaling 3,400 megahertz of spectrum. Before that, in 2019, the FCC auctioned nearly 6,000 licenses for frequencies at 24 GHz and 28 GHz.

“We freed up more high-band spectrum than any other country in the world,” Carr said. “That’s where you get the super-fast fiber-like speeds. One of the keys to 5G is pushing a lot more spectrum into the commercial marketplace.”

Traditionally, wireless service has been provided on spectrum below 1 GHz, what is now called low-band spectrum, for 5G purposes. Through advances in technology, the FCC has allocated mid-band spectrum [2.5 GHz to 6 GHz] and high-band spectrum [24 GHz, 28 GHz, 37 GHz, 39 GHz, 47 GHz] to be used for next-generation mobile service, Carr said. “We put a plan into place to free up spectrum in all three spectrum bands [low, mid and high], and we are firing on all cylinders,” Carr said. “We are in the process of freeing up more mid-band spectrum, including 3.5 GHz spectrum that will be auctioned this summer.” The FCC will vote later this month on whether to auction the lower 200 megahertz in the C-Band [3.7 GHz to 4.2 GHz].

Carr contrasted the FCC’s all-of-the-above approach to the approach taken by China, which is allocating 5G exclusively on mid-band spectrum. “They have freed up no high-band spectrum, but that is the spectrum you need for truly fiber-like speeds,” he said.


U.S. Department of Labor Awards $6 Million Grant to Wireless Industry Association

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has awarded the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) a $6 million grant to expand apprenticeship in the telecommunications industry. The grant program, Apprenticeship: Closing the Skills Gap, is designed to support large-scale expansions of apprenticeship. In partnership with the Power & Communication Contractors Association (PCCA), WIA will use the grant to train a 5G wireless communications workforce, an integral part of winning the global race to 5G. Five institutions of higher education have already committed as technical partner schools. More than $9 million in matching support from industry supplements the grant, including cash and in-kind contributions from WIA, PCCA, Ditch Witch, FS3 and participating employers, for a total commitment to apprenticeship of $15 million in a public-private partnership.

Curricula and Training

The grant will provide the necessary funding to design curricula and deliver training to develop qualified applicants for placement in middle- to high-skilled jobs nationwide that will accelerate 5G deployment for America’s 5G Apprenticeship Initiative. WIA will lead the program, and the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship (TIRAP) program, of which WIA is the national sponsor, will deliver it. TIRAP is a public-private partnership with the DOL that is the first and only multi-employer apprenticeship effort focused on developing the 5G workforce.

America’s 5G Apprenticeship Initiative will engage a consortium of public and private partners with 33 small and mid-sized employers committing to create more than 5,500 new apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships. These industry-driven, competency-based apprenticeships will target veterans; transitioning service members; military spouses; women; people of color; unemployed, underemployed, and incumbent workers; and other underrepresented populations.

 Jonathan Adelstein Tim Wagner Brendan Carr Eugene Scalis

Technical Partner Schools

Five committed technical partner schools include: State Technical College of Missouri, Terra State Community College (Ohio), Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, Monroe County Community College (Michigan) and Somerset Community College (Kentucky).

“WIA is thrilled to win this grant to provide a foundation for 5G skills training through apprenticeship,” said Jonathan Adelstein, WIA president and CEO. “It will help equip America’s future workforce with the skills needed to build next-generation wireless networks to lead the global race to 5G. Apprenticeship allows Americans to earn while they learn, and once they complete training, they will have access to good-paying jobs with a defined career path. We can’t let the road to 5G be blocked by the lack of a trained workforce. We thank PCCA for its partnership and leadership in establishing programs at schools. Winning the race to 5G is a national imperative, and we thank the DOL and Secretary Scalia for recognizing that a properly trained workforce will help America win this race.”

Tim Wagner, executive vice president of PCCA, thanked the DOL for recognizing a great need and taking decisive action. “This grant will greatly accelerate the good work that PCCA’s Education Committee and Education & Research Foundation have undertaken to tackle the broadband industry’s critical workforce shortage,” he said. “PCCA and its foundation are now poised to help train the workforce necessary to realize the promise of the nation’s 5G network. All of PCCA thanks Sellenriek Construction for having the vision to involve State Technical College of Missouri in their workforce solution and Mark Bridgers for conceiving the idea of a standardized curriculum and for moving the ball forward with the PCCA-affiliated schools. And I would like to thank Jonathan Adelstein, Grant Seiffert and the WIA staff for their diligence and expertise at navigating the federal grant domain.”

Career Path

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said he is thrilled that the DOL recognized the critical role of tower technicians, linemen and other 5G workers in building the U.S. information infrastructure and that it has provided new resources to expand that workforce. “The training offered at technical schools and through apprenticeships gives students a path up towers and into the middle class with only a couple of months in the classroom,” he said. “These careers support families and our nation’s critical infrastructure. Congratulations to WIA for being selected for the grant and its leadership in 5G workforce training.”

DOL Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said in a press release that that these grants will further the Trump administration’s efforts to expand apprenticeships. “For Americans who want an alternative to the traditional bachelor’s degree, apprenticeships are a way to learn valuable skills that lead to good paying careers,” he said. “Companies across the country tell me that their greatest challenge today is finding the skilled workers they need. This funding will bolster America’s competitiveness by adding more skilled workers to fill millions of open jobs today and in the future.”

Source: Wireless Industry Association


May 2020

Site Name: Slim Twins

Tower Owner and User: Amren Illinois

Height: 250 feet

Year Constructed: 1951

Location: St. Elmo, Illinois

Photography by Don Bishop

Power Systems Safety Small Cells

Safely Manage Power in Small Cells

Transtector power distribution cabinets with a compact, configurable design offer superior surge protection.

As end users continue to demand more data at greater speeds, network engineers and designers must seek ways to deliver high service levels efficiently, reliably and cost-effectively. The move to 5G wireless communications and other advanced network topologies means that this demand is greater today than it’s ever been.

Small cells appear to be the answer to this challenge. Loosely defined, a small cell is a relatively low-power radio and antenna installation that can be placed on poles, the sides of buildings, street lights or other existing platforms. A small cell can also be a fully configured system, integrated with other necessary on-street equipment or facilities, whether indoors or outdoors.

Pole-mount small cell cabinetPole-mount small cell cabinet. Most significantly, a small cell represents a more efficient and versatile method for delivering service compared with typical macro cells, often large cell towers. As a complement to the macro network, small cells help to improve coverage and increase capacity in specifically targeted areas. With small cell installation blocks apart rather than miles, the need for uniformity and repeatability is significant. According to research by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), 80 percent of future wireless network installations will be small cells.1 The Small Cell Forum estimates a 50 percent uptick in small cell installations overall as 5G networks come to life, adding that of the operators they surveyed, 40 percent “expect to deploy between 100 and 350 small cells per square kilometer” through the mid-2020s, according to a story in RCR Wireless News. One of the leading tower operators in the United States exemplifies the growth of small cells, with more than 60,000 small cell sites on air or under contract today, despite the relative youth of the application compared to macro cell sites, according to a story in FierceWireless.

Whatever the source, the general consensus is clear: Of all the applications and topologies in the communications world, small cells are among the fastest-growing, helping to deliver the services and data users demand through a dynamic network design.

Small Cell Challenges

Within the small cell installation, as in other locations, power plays a mission-critical role. Safe distribution of power to equipment and reliable protection against surges (e.g., lightning strikes, equipment issues or other anomalies) can be the difference between seamless service delivery and lost revenue.

Concealment application in the base of a street lamp. Yet when it comes to power distribution and protection, small cells present a broad yet unique set of challenges, including some of the following:

Limited space for equipment, often on poles or in a base. By definition, a small cell is, in fact, small. In addition to housing equipment that delivers services (radios, antennas, etc.), fitting power management within a pole-mount configuration, on the outside of a building or in an indoor closet or service room can be difficult.

One size does not fit all. Ideally, network engineers can standardize on a single small cell configuration and deploy it repeatedly throughout the network. Unfortunately, in most communications networks, this isn’t always the case. Required equipment may have varying load configurations, and power demands may differ from market to market. Simple, flexible solutions are best, but they’re not always possible.

Power quality and grounding. Some small cell installations may face power quality issues, or grounding may be a specific challenge given the physical setting.

Compliance — general and local. Meeting code requirements for small cells often goes beyond UL and NEC standards (which should always be incorporated). Local codes, covenants and physical footprint requirements may create additional challenges.

Safety is a must. From installation to ongoing service, safety is always paramount with power. Providing safe access while maintaining security is a priority.

Requirements and Standards

So how does power distribution fit into a small cell site? Looking at a typical small cell, power equipment must accommodate the following:

  • Accept AC utility power directly from the utility transformer or meter, requiring a service entrance rating and provisions for a neutral-ground bond to meet code.
  • A main circuit breaker to provide a single shutoff point for system power, with the option for an external power disconnect.
  • Incorporate a field-configurable combination of branch circuit breakers that can evolve with the load requirements for system equipment.
  • Integrate surge protection to safely and reliably protect all downstream system equipment from lightning and utility transients.

Other active equipment in the small cell can include radio gear, antennas or additional equipment that drives wireless capabilities to end users, manages traffic and performs other functions. But without properly managed AC power, this equipment is subject to downtime.

Within the small cell, several industry standards are crucial, in addition to any local building codes or other requirements in place for the specific location and installation.

  • Panelboard: UL 67
  • Main disconnect: UL 98
  • Circuit breakers: UL 489
  • Surge protection: UL 1449
  • NEC: NFPA 70E, NEC 100, NEC 230, NEC 250, NEC 285
  • IEEE: Sections C62.41.1, C62.41.2, C62.45, C62.33 and C62.35

Perhaps most significantly, a small cell power box must be UL 67 listed and include a UL-rated disconnect to be service entrance rated. This critical standard ensures safety, with overcurrent protection, a main breaker, fused disconnect, proper short-circuit rating, and available neutral and ground bonding.

Pole-mount small cell power configuration.Pole-mount small cell power configuration.

A Typical Small Cell

Because of the variety of small cell applications, not every installation requires the same feature and capability sets. However, in general terms, there are several power and cabinet related requirements that broadly apply to small cells.

  • Compact footprint — standard 9-inch width
  • Mounting flexibility — external pole-mount, internal integrated pole-mount, wall-mount, etc.
  • Configurability — options can be selected to meet specific site requirements
  • Multiple input voltages — 120 Vac and 120/240 Vac as required
  • Field-configurable branch breakers — allows for breakers to evolve with site over life cycle
  • Support for up to 13 equipment loads
  • Field serviceable — safe access to power
  • Safety — external power shutoff feature option available
  • Compliance — meets NEC code, and is suitable for use at service entrance
  • Availability — industry best lead times support site rollout planning
  • Technical support — access to experts to ensure designers and installers deploy the ideal solution

The Transtector Power Solution

Transtector Systems addresses all of these requirements with its line of small cell AC power distribution cabinets (SC-2MMA9 Series). These field-configurable systems are service entrance rated, with 120 Vac or 120/240 Vac input voltages, a main disconnect, an external shunt trip button for emergency power shutoff and configurable power management equipment inside the cabinet to meet the wide-ranging demands of small cells.

Many small cell applications use two power boxes — one for electrical disconnect and one for distribution. Transtector cabinets combine this functionality into a single, safe solution to streamline installation and minimize risk. This design also eliminates the cost and space use of additional disconnect equipment; the combination cabinet meets all key industry standards. Several significant features set the cabinet apart from other systems.

Field Configurability

The Transtector cabinet incorporates a branch breaker system that is truly field-configurable. Technicians can easily install or replace a circuit breaker if requirements change using only a screwdriver, compared with cumbersome traditional DIN rail configurations. Installation involves no contact with or removal of the power buss, which in some cases voids UL compliance. Expansion, equipment evolution or other changes are simple.

Additionally, the cabinets support the industry’s broadest range of circuit breaker values, with 1-A to 25-A options available. This enables safe power distribution to a comprehensive variety of equipment types, and flexibility to meet virtually any requirement. In many cases, OEM radio manufacturers mandate specific breaker amperages in the range of 1–10 A in order to maintain the factory warranty. Typical field-configurable QO-style breakers offer 15 A as the smallest amperage, which does not support this OEM requirement. The Transtector SC-2MMA9 series cabinet provides four breaker amperages in the 1–10 A range in order to right-size a breaker for each radio.

Field-configurable branch breakers enable staged implementation through the site’s life cycle. Users need only pay for breakers required at the time of site commissioning, rather than additional breakers not required or defined. The simple access design minimizes time to support future collocation installations, as well as equipment configuration changes, thereby resulting in the lowest total cost of ownership through the complete life cycle of each site.

Superior Surge Protection

Each cabinet features integrated Transtector surge protection devices (SPDs), specifically I2R 75K series SPDs. These UL 1449 4th Edition (Types 1 and 2) rated components feature 75 kA maximum 8/20 μs lightning surge protection for best-in-class capacity. A short-circuit current rating of 200 kA provides more than ample protection for small cells. In addition to UL, each SPD meets key IEEE and NEC standards for long-term reliability and minimized degradation.

Additional Important Factors

It’s difficult to overstate the significance of a service entrance rating in small cell power distribution applications. Put simply, the cabinet must meet UL requirements for safe acceptance of power from the utility, with a single disconnect in case of emergency. Without this, safety is at risk; by integrating this capability into the distribution cabinet, users can save valuable space and reduce costs. Transtector cabinets can also feature an exterior emergency power shutoff button if required. The service entrance rating also contributes to the significance of grounding. Without proper neutral and ground bonding, safety can easily be compromised. Transtector small cell AC power distribution cabinets integrate these capabilities into the configured solution.

Finally, the cabinet’s compact form factor is a must, given the nature of small cell installations. Transtector engineered each cabinet to fit inside equipment poles (or bases) when concealment is required. The standard 9-inch width provides flexibility for physical location — whether on a street lamp pole, a wooden utility pole, hidden on a building side or elsewhere. The dynamic design enables a scalable, repeatable deployment process to increase efficiency and minimize the potential for error.1. 100A main breaker
2. 10 populated 120V field configurable branch breakers 7-20A
3. 2 open 120V field configurable branch breakers 20A
4. 240V 2-pole branch breaker 20A
5. 120/240V surge protection
6.Neutral, ground bars

Sample Configuration

Extensive configurability means that there is a Transtector small cell AC power distribution cabinet that fits the specifics of virtually any application. As an example, Transtector engineers recently developed a cabinet configuration deployed in the Chicago metropolitan area.

For small cells there, the construction engineer required a compact solution that could be conspicuously mounted externally on an existing pole structure and be used as service equipment to directly receive utility power without the need for a separate disconnect box.

The AC power requirements for these sites included 10 individual pieces of equipment that operate at 120 Vac, as well as a power-hungry rectifier designed to operate much more efficiently at 240 Vac. Surge protection was also specified to protect and support the reliability of each installation, as well as to follow the recommendations of the communications equipment suppliers.

Making use of the flexibility of the Transtector SC-2MMA9 series cabinet, engineers created a service-entrance rated configuration with the following specifications:

  • 100 A main circuit breaker
  • Combination of ten 7 A, 10 A, 15 A and 20 A 120 Vac branch breakers
  • 20 A/240 Vac two-pole breaker
  • Integral 120/240 Vac split-phase SPD to protect all power feeds

This configuration still leaves two available branch breaker positions open for field-configurable future expansion if required.

Meeting Power Requirements

Network topologies are ever-evolving as end-users demand more data and services, and network administrators work to ensure safe, reliable operations. Power is often at the heart of many of these challenges.

Small cells represent a break from traditional network architectures and require innovative solutions for power distribution and surge protection. Transtector Systems engineered its small cell AC power distribution cabinets specifically for these applications. When commissioning and deploying a small cell, network engineers must address the questions and challenges of service delivery, specifying equipment that consistently and reliably delivers optimized functionality. When it comes to small cell power, questions to consider include:

  • Is the current power architecture meeting code? Are all industry standards met?
  • Is the power cabinet — more specifically, are the branch breakers — truly configurable? Can future changes realistically be met?
  • Does the power cabinet provide the flexibility to meet load requirements for a variety of equipment?
  • How reliable is the surge protection? Does it meet a sufficient rating standard?

Whether the interface is 5G node or a DAS network, the application is labelled a small cell, femtocell, picocell or microcell; the physical location is a light, utility or concealment pole in a transport hub, urban downtown region, business park or elsewhere, Transtector small cell AC power distribution cabinets provide the flexibility, reliability, safety, and lowest total cost of ownership that today’s networks require.


  1. CTIA, 2019, www.ctia.org/the-wireless-industry/infographics-library.
  2. Kinney, Sean. “Report: 50% Increase in Small Cells between 2018 and 2020.” RCR Wireless News, 12 Dec. 2017, www.rcrwireless.com/20171212/network-infrastructure/report-finds-major-increase-in-small-cell-deployments-tag17.
  3. Dano, Mike. “Editor’s Corner-What the Small Cell Market Looks Like in 2018 (Hint: It Looks Good).” FierceWireless, Questex, 30 July 2018, www.fiercewireless.com/wireless/editor-s-corner-what-small-cell-market-looks-like-2018-hint-it-looks-good.

Dan Rebeck is product manager at Transtector. Visit www.transtector.com.

 - Photo by Michael Coghlan
Photo by Michael Coghlan

In the Race to 5G, Utilities Remain Divided on Pole Attachments

5G wireless communications offers potential rewards for utilities, a larger role for wireless carriers, an improved quality of life and, in energy and transportation, significant cost savings.

There’s no doubt the lure of 5G digitalization is strong. This next-gen network promises to usher in new levels of connectivity and digitalization, opening the door for wide-scale adoption of the internet of things (IoT) and all the new technologies that promise to offer whole new levels of advanced industry and business practices.

But implementing 5G at scale will require extensive collaboration among carriers and electric utilities, local communities, state and local permitting agencies, regulators and technology integrators. According to CTIA’s report, “The State of Wireless 2018,” the number of deployed small cells is predicted to increase from 86,000 in 2018 to more than 800,000 by 2026. Carriers’ ability to attach new network facilities to utility poles will be critical to this effort.

“To enable broadband providers to enter new markets and deploy high-speed networks, access to poles must be swift, predictable, safe and affordable,” stated the FCC in 2018. “Pole access also is essential in the race to deploy fast 5G wireless service, which relies on small cells and wireline backhaul.”

To help promote broadband deployment, the FCC has reformed the regulatory framework that governs pole attachments to speed the process and reduce the cost of 5G attachments. But even with regulators on board, industry data from Black & Veatch’s 2020 Strategic Directions: Smart Utilities Report survey shows that utilities remain divided on how they view attachments on their infrastructure and the opportunities for them with 5G. (Visit www.bv.com/2020-smart-utilities.)

Opportunity … or Something Else?

According to Black & Veatch’s annual survey — which polled more than 625 qualified utility, municipal, commercial and community stakeholders — roughly half (49 percent) of respondents said that they see 5G attachment as an opportunity, encouraged by the lure of improved communication capabilities, upgraded infrastructure and the chance to forge new partnerships with carriers (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Utilities’ perception of 5G attachments on their infrastructure as published in Black & Veatch’s 2020 Strategic Directions: Smart Utilities Report.

But of those who responded otherwise, the group was split between those who view such attachments as a requirement (27 percent) and those who see them as a challenge with limited commercial value (25 percent). These responses raise questions about which communities would truly benefit. For example, Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin states its position on its website: “We have concerns about safely accommodating wireless attachments on our poles and are skeptical that 5G technology actually will be deployed in the small communities most municipal utilities serve.” (Visit www.meuw.org/advocacy.)

Meanwhile, several communities and environmental groups have documented their opposition to 5G attachments, citing aesthetics and health concerns.

Managing Applications

The work to implement 5G at scale has only begun, and momentum is expected to pick up, particularly between 2020 and 2021, as we anticipate mass standards-based 5G rollouts with delivery of a fully optimized 5G standard by 2022.

Figure 2. Utilities’ perceptions of their preparations for the increased volume of pole attachment applications related to 5G and fiber broadband.Source: Black & VeatchIf momentum continues along this path, telecom industry organization GSMA estimates that we could reach 100 million 5G connections in the U.S. by early 2023, and more than 190 million 5G connections by 2025. (Visit www.gsmaintelligence.com/research/.) With numbers like these on the horizon, electric utilities anticipate seeing an influx in the number of 5G and fiber broadband attachment applications, and nearly half (48 percent) of survey respondents said they are actively preparing.

Of those taking specific action, 17 percent have created a group specifically to address 5G and fiber applications; 16 percent have created new processes to help streamline the application process; 12 percent have enlisted “aggressive support” from leadership; and 4 percent have hired additional staff to help manage the volume (see Figure 2). But the remaining 52 percent said they plan to process applications as before, without implementing any additional considerations.

Regional Perspectives

Survey results varied by region. The West and the South responded the most optimistically, with more than half (57 percent) of respondents from both regions viewing 5G attachment primarily as an opportunity (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Regional differences in how utilities perceive 5G pole attachments.Source: Black & Veatch

But of those that disagreed in the South, 28 percent said they see it as a challenge with limited commercial value, while 15 percent view it as a requirement. This is unsurprising, given that Southern utilities tend to be highly conservative when it comes to rate-setting.

A good percentage of the Northeast responded that they see also 5G attachment as an opportunity (47 percent), followed closely by requirement (40 percent), with 13 percent responding that it is a challenge with limited value. The Midwest was relatively moderate in its split, with 39 percent viewing 5G attachment as an opportunity, 31 percent seeing it as a challenge and 29 percent considering it to be nothing more than a requirement.

Communication and Collaboration

Knowing 5G implementation is a divisive issue that relies on the full participation of all stakeholders, how can carriers and utilities work better together? The quick answer: Project success relies on each party understanding the other’s culture.

It is no secret that carriers and utilities have very different cultures, each with its own approaches, methodologies and strategies. For example, carriers tend to move fast, especially when it comes to 5G implementation. Our increasingly digital way of life is already straining 4G networks, and demand for additional capacity isn’t slowing any time soon. As a result, carriers are working to expand their networks as quickly as possible, both to meet customer demand and to get ahead of the competition. But utilities, on the other hand, are extremely process-driven. Backed by more than a century of processes, utilities must adhere to regulations, and rate-setting remains a critical factor when it comes to making strategic decisions and deploying new technologies.

Several examples of successful partnerships already exist, showing that it is possible for carriers and utilities to navigate a collaborative path. For example, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon have all successfully launched standards-based 5G deployment plans in more than a dozen major U.S. cities, and T-Mobile recently announced that it will roll out its nationwide 5G network in early December 2020. How can other players see similar success? Survey data shows that utilities remain divided on attachments. Successfully shifting this mindset will come down to two things: communication and collaboration.

Carriers must communicate with, and across, the utility to help them recognize and understand the opportunity presented. This means demystifying how the revenue will work, specifically when it comes to cost savings. For example, carriers willing to cover the expense of replacing utilities’ aging assets with new and upgraded infrastructure will save utilities and municipalities money on replacement and upgrade costs. Typically, utilities do not have to build anything; they merely must be willing to partner with the carriers.

And when it comes to collaboration, carriers need to take a holistic approach, which means getting everybody into the same room — the team promoting 5G, the regulatory and customer management teams and the carrier team that handles 5G attachments. Working across siloes will be critical to build utility buy-in. Even within the utility itself, leadership needs to empower these teams to make decisions related to 5G implementation.


The advent of 5G holds benefit for many different groups. Carriers would see their role grow and expand across the IoT ecosystem. Utilities would reap the rewards of upgraded infrastructure and more seamless communications. Communities that embrace 5G could see improved quality of life bolstered by higher revenue and employment. And industries such as energy and transportation could see significant cost savings.

To get to this future state, carriers and utilities must agree to work together, and communication and collaboration will be critical to this effort. Only then can 5G deliver its promised innovations.

Gary Johnson is a regional sales director with Black & Veatch’s telecommunications business, where he helps utilities achieve a smarter, more intuitive grid through telecommunication and automation solutions. Scott Nichols is a regional sales director responsible for building and maintaining client relationships, leading project execution work teams and serving the needs of utility partners. Visit www.bv.com.

Business Safety

How Contractors Can Boost Worker Skills, Dignity and Safety

Jim Tracy finds value in credentialing workers and setting paths for long careers in evolving wireless infrastructure jobs.

When Legacy Telecommunications started operating 20 years ago, Jim Tracy said, its business was climbing towers. Today, only a small part of the business involves climbing towers.

Speaking during the session “Tower Services: Evolving to Meet Today’s Carrier Needs” on Jan. 30 at the AGL Local Summit in Seattle, Tracy said that a large part of his company’s business now involves making sure that Legacy has hardened sites with redundancy and a technological advantage compared with competitors.

Tracy, the company CEO, said Legacy operates business units focused on telecommunications towers, standby power services, access to remote facilities, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and small cells. Tracy also is an executive adviser to Enertech Holdings, where he runs the acquisitions arm of the company. Enertech Holdings’ member companies provide turnkey wireless infrastructure services, including macro towers, small cells, DAS, microwave, structural engineering, utility towers, technology upgrades, civil services, tower modifications, generator services and project management.

Jim Tracy, CEO of Legacy Telecommunications, in the company’s training facility in Gig Harbor, Washington.Photo by Paige Phillips

Todd Schlekeway, executive director of NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association and the session moderator, asked Tracy to talk about Legacy’s evolution and how its new facility helps the company. Tracy, a past chairman of NATE, said Legacy’s new headquarters in Gig Harbor, Washington, has one outdoor and two indoor training towers, together with a power bay and a room dedicated to splicing fiber-optic cable and installing connectors.

“If you can make the muscle memory work in the perfect environment of a training tower, you probably have a better shot at making it work in the field,” Tracy said. “The investment in training becomes not an option, but instead it is a minimum function of what we do as employers. The wireless carriers cannot afford to have their equipment fail to boot up and work. We are transporting important messages including 911 calls. We are the people who make 911 work.”

Tracy said that communications infrastructure contractors must offer better options for carriers to use for their wireless network access points than those offered by towers or small cells. “Small cell does not mean cheap cell, because the costs are what the costs are,” he said. Money-saving options he identified include the use of strand mounts and power over Ethernet, instead of cutting up sidewalks or trenching for fiber installations in downtown areas.

Pointing to the increasing use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones), Tracy said a photogrammetry option allows measuring the diameters of poles commonly used for small cells. He said small cells that installers now place 500 yards apart are most likely to be placed closer at 250 yards and even 100 yards apart as the carriers densify their networks.

Workforce Development

Referring to the Millennial Generation, commonly defined as those born between 1981 and 1996, Tracy said it presents a large group of loyal, hardworking people who want to be mentored and coached. He said it is important to let them know that jobs involving wireless infrastructure construction and maintenance offer a career path. “This is the only job where you get to start at the top and work your way down, and make a little bit more money,” he said. “It is a fabulous career path, and for pretty much every person in this room, wireless has given you everything you have.”

With a couple of years’ experience, Tracy said, tower climbers probably will earn significantly higher pay compared with opportunities in other career paths. He said it is a career move for people who seek opportunity and who are technologically capable.

Schlekeway raised the subject of worker certification through testing by the National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA), an organization that does not conduct training, but instead offers certification programs with rigorous accreditation requirements. Candidates take a standardized NWSA written exam via computer-based testing, a field-based practical exam, or both to achieve certification. In its published information, NWSA says its certification card is a source of pride for telecommunications workers and will raise the bar on safety and quality. Tracy said that having NWSA certification cards gives workers dignity.

“The industry has roughly 30,000 tower climbers and telecom workers who, previous to NWSA, did not have a portable credential,” Tracy said. “There is pride and dignity in having earned that portable credential.”

The Importance of an NWSA Card

NWSA certification helps employers too, Tracy said. When employers help workers earn the credential, it says to them that the employers want to invest in them. “It says to them, ‘I don’t want to invest in my card in your pocket; I want to invest in you, both personally and individually.’ That way, even if we don’t get along next week, you can take that card and you can go to someone else’s shop and show what you know how to do with a national ANSI-accredited standardized credential.” ANSI is the American National Standards Institute.

This is the only job where you get to start at the top and work your way down, and make a little bit more money. Jim Tracy; CEO, Legacy Telecommunications; executive adviser, Enertech Holdings; and past chairman, NATELegacy has hosted an NWSA practical examiner workshop at its new training facility that was open for attendance by other contractors. “It’s good for our industry,” Tracy said, “so we want to make sure we have open practical examiner workshops at our facility.”

Tracy’s company also pays for its employees’ time spent qualifying for commercial licenses to drive Legacy’s trucks, which sometimes can be as large as a 16,000-pound truck with a 16,000-pound capacity trailer. “The cost to get a Class A commercial driver license (CDL) with a hazardous materials endorsement is about $6,000, without paying the employee’s time to do it,” he said. “Again, it is about dignity — we invest in employees because they have to drive rigs capable of doing the necessary work. Credentialing doesn’t start and stop with the NWSA; it starts with the NWSA and continues from there.” Although Legacy continues to perform work on macro towers — a part of the business Tracy said he expects will continue — he said there is a gradual shift in the focus of the business to small cells and distributed antenna system (DAS) networks, especially for in-building wireless. As a result, he said, most of Legacy’s workers start on the tower, depending upon their age and what division of the business they are going into.

More and more, though, Legacy’s employees are going to work in the company’s DAS and small cell division. With that, Tracy said, the level of training has scaled back, simply because these employees really need to know more about fiber-optic cable, about site commissioning and provisioning radios, and about attaching everything from Ethernet to pole hardware. However, he said, even though the tower portion of the business is becoming less relevant, employees still must achieve proficiency with it.

Enterprise Resource Planning

Legacy has established a field service center through its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and systems, Tracy said. With the robust real-time reporting capability that the ERP provides, he said, the company knows exactly where every truck and employee is. Thus, when a customer calls with an urgent matter, Legacy can draw employees from the nearest locations.

“Our field service center then makes sure that there is a climber qualified in rescue on each site and that we don’t pair two older workers on one site and pair two younger workers on another site,” Tracy said. “It is easy to avoid possible mistakes through the intellectual application of data supplied by a computer. The ERP is very helpful.”


When it comes to attracting prospective employees in rural areas to jobs in wireless communications facility construction and maintenance, Tracy said, it is less a matter of geography and more a matter of demographics. He said he is hoping for more government legislation to support community colleges. He said that he appreciates the fact that community colleges and the trade schools are actively marketing their course in the high schools.

“There are so many things that our industry can bring to the table, but we have to communicate through the channels that already are reaching young students,” Tracy said. “I’d love to get them in the ninth grade because they don’t have any other options as far as shop class and that kind of thing anymore.” Tracy said that when it is possible to pass the word about wireless infrastructure work through the community colleges and trade schools, it also is possible to provide the colleges and schools with scholarship money, adjunct instructors and the curriculum.


FirstNet Authority Roadmap Technology Domains: The Core

A dedicated, evolving FirstNet Core is necessary to ensure the FirstNet wireless network can support mission-critical levels of availability, reliability, priority and security.

When it comes to broadband network infrastructure, the core is critical. It serves as both the brain and the nervous system of a network, providing the technical enablers that network functions are built upon. When you use your smartphone, the core is the reason you can make a phone call, send photos and texts, use mobile applications and perform many other tasks.

The First Responder Network (FirstNet) Authority formed a public-private partnership with AT&T to execute on public safety’s vision for the FirstNet public safety broadband wireless network. This included the construction of a dedicated, robust, highly available and redundant distributed core infrastructure. The FirstNet Core is the first-ever nationwide LTE packet core infrastructure to be built and designed specifically for public safety. The FirstNet Core enables public safety functions and capabilities through its design, creating a differentiated experience for public safety subscribers.

Designed for Public Safety

Launched in March 2018, the FirstNet Core is built on physically separate, dedicated infrastructure. By design, it separates and differentiates all public safety traffic from commercial user traffic and supports public safety features such as quality of service, priority and preemption.

“The FirstNet Core is huge for public safety,” said Gary McCarraher, a FirstNet Authority senior public safety adviser, a 40-year veteran of the fire service and a former fire chief for the Franklin Fire Department in Massachusetts. “Having a physically separate core means that when network resources are needed most — for life safety public safety services for communities — first responders on FirstNet do not have to compete for bandwidth with non-public safety users,” said McCarraher.

The FirstNet Core also provides the security and resiliency public safety users need and expect. It is geographically redundant and monitored by a dedicated security operations center with a team of dedicated personnel who monitor the FirstNet network constantly.

In addition to supporting these critical functions, the core is continuing to evolve to support emerging mission critical services such as FirstNet push-to-talk and, in the future, enhanced location-based services. The FirstNet Authority is also working to ensure the FirstNet core maintains parity with industry, so that public safety personnel are able to take advantage of emerging technologies and capabilities.

The Core Roadmap Domain

As part of its efforts to ensure FirstNet continues to evolve to meet public safety’s critical communications needs, the FirstNet Authority included the core as one of the six key domains in the FirstNet Authority Roadmap. The roadmap is designed to guide the growth, evolution and advancement of the nationwide public safety broadband network.

Through hundreds of engagements with thousands of stakeholders in 2019, the FirstNet Authority heard from the public safety community that quality of service, priority and preemption were key functions of the network. The core was often at the foundation of those discussions, as it is what makes QPP and other elements of the roadmap possible. Now, we are midway through our engagements with public safety on the roadmap for 2020, and the FirstNet Authority Public Safety Advocacy team has conducted 534 roadmap engagements. Of those, more than 40 percent addressed the FirstNet Core in some aspect. Additionally, approximately one-quarter of the engagements addressed priority services.

It became clear from these conversations with public safety leaders that a dedicated and evolving FirstNet Core is necessary to ensure the network can support mission-critical levels of availability, reliability, priority, and security. Based on this feedback and research regarding technology trends, the FirstNet Authority continues it work on the two priorities within the FirstNet Core domain:

  • Explore distributing the core and cloud-based operations to additional locations with content closer to users.
  • Explore evolving the core to address foundational needs for next generation technologies (for example, 5G wireless communications).

These priorities take into account the technology advances happening today. As commercial providers worldwide begin to transition to 5G, it is strategically important that the FirstNet network keeps pace with these advances. Doing so will ensure public safety is able to take advantage of the potential of 5G when it is ready for public safety.

Benefits to Public Safety

5G will have a number of benefits for public safety users. First responders will see improved data rates — which means things go faster; improved latency — which means the network responds faster; and access to new spectrum, which will bring more capacity and significantly improve throughput. These 5G features will mean a lot more devices can run on the network, and 5G is expected to bring about the adoption of massive IoT capabilities, such as biometric sensors, motion sensors, cameras and many other things unimaginable to us today.

Although 5G is just starting to be deployed commercially, the FirstNet Authority is proud to be driving innovation in 5G for public safety users through our participation in 3GPP standards body work. In addition, in an effort to prepare the network for these advances, in September 2019, the FirstNet Authority Board passed a resolution approving the FirstNet Authority to pursue investment in initial generational upgrades to the FirstNet Core to enable 5G network capabilities. Our work in this area continues.

With a solid foundational core, public safety’s network will continue to evolve to meet the needs of first responders and support innovative new technologies to help them serve their communities. For more information on the core domain and its relation to the other five roadmap domains, visit www.firstnet.gov/roadmap and listen to the Public Safety First podcast episode, “Inside the FirstNet Core.”

To engage with a FirstNet Authority public safety adviser in your area or to schedule a roadmap engagement, visit www.firstnet.gov/public-safety/your-advisor.

Chuck Shaughnessy is a FirstNet Authority senior adviser, and Erickson Trejo-Reyes is a senior core architect.


Product Showcase

Power Systems

Cable Tension Measurement Tool


RDI’s CableView™ Tension Meter is a revolutionary cable tension measurement tool. The system is completely non-contact, utilizing a camera to measure the tension of guy wires. The tool uses industry approved methodologies and removes human error by relying on precision measurement from video. It is easy to use, safer, saves time, and provides more accurate/repeatable results than the current industry standard.


Coaxial cable, Connectors and Cable Assemblies

Times Microwave Systems

Times Microwave Systems designs and manufactures high-performance coaxial cable, connectors, and cable assemblies for use in wireless systems. Products include flexible, low loss 50 Ohm LMR® coaxial cables, low PIM SPP™ jumpers for DAS, EZ connectors, installation tools, and accessories. Times LMR® coaxial cable is considered the standard for flexible low loss coax cable. Other products cover military-aerospace, shipboard high-performance flexible, semi-flexible and rigid coaxial cable assemblies, connectors, and delay lines. Times Microwave Systems is the leader in the design and manufacture of coaxial cables for RF and microwave applications.


Two-Hole Washer for Ground Lug to Buss Bar


New from Bondwasher: Our 2-hole lug washer line now includes the NEW BLOCKWASHER. Like the famous 2-hole Bondwasher, our new washer is used for the installation of a ground lug to the buss bar. The only difference is Blockwasher has 2 tabs, one on each end and is installed on the bolt head side of the buss bar opposite of the Bondwasher. The “Tabs” keep the bolt from turning, just as the lock washer keeps the nut from turning. Using both the Bondwasher and Blockwasher as a system ensures the integrity of the ground lug to buss bar connection. An additional bonus of using the Bondwasher System is easier and faster installation, as the Blockwasher Tabs act as a tool to hold the bolt head while tightening the nut with a wrench.


Plug-and-Play DC Power Supply


CommScope now offers PowerShift® — the outdoor wireless industry’s first intelligent plug-and-play dc power supply. PowerShift® is designed to simplify installations and save CapEx, increase RRU uptime on battery backup, expand cable lengths and standardize cable sizes, build future-ready infrastructure to accept higher-powered radios, improve the cost-effectiveness of RRU upgrades, provide engineering flexibility in system design, reduce space and weight load issues, and decrease tower leasing costs. In addition, PowerShift® is easy to install or retrofit.


Uninterruptible Power System

Phoenix Contact

Phoenix Contact’s new QUINT DC UPS is the first industrial UPS platform to provide real-time information about a battery’s health over standard industrial networking protocols, such as EtherNet/IP™, PROFINET, EtherCAT®, and USB. With this data, the user knows the state of the UPS system before there is a problem. This enables a proactive approach to battery management and lowers the total cost of ownership. The QUINT DC UPS is an intelligent modular solution that provides critical system backup to supply loads in the event of mains failures. The UPS supports several different battery technologies (VRLA, lithium-ion, and super-capacitor.)


Company Showcase

Engineering & Infrastructure Consultants

Concordia Group

Since 2001, Concordia’s in-house engineering staff & in-house construction tower/civil crews have been zoning, leasing, permitting, designing, building: Raw lands, colos, rooftops, and small cells. We integrate site acquisition, A&E, and construction.

FDH Infrastructure Services

FDH Infrastructure Services and its broadcast division, Stainless, are industry leaders in engineering, nondestructive evaluations, and construction services for critical infrastructure. A trusted partner through every stage of the telecommunications and broadcast network lifecycle, FDH provides expert civil and structural solutions built on decades of research and real‐world experience.


Founded in 1984, NB+C is a leading communications development firm comprised of 3 business units: Site Development, Engineering Services and Construction + Technical Services. Staffed with over 500 professionals, we are committed to client services and results.

SBA Communications

For more than 30 years, SBA has been proud to be an independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure including towers, buildings, rooftops, distributed antenna systems and small cells ‐ with operations in 14 markets globally.


SQUAN combines an in‐depth knowledge of network engineering and fiber construction to solve complex telecommunications problems around macro networks, small‐cell, DAS, 5G, IoT and smart cities for wireless, wireline and enterprise customers. The company provides design/build and advisory services for backhaul, small‐cells, C‐RAN, fiber, Right‐of‐Way, technical installs, and maintenance.

Tower Engineering Company

TEC is a services company with a focus on communications tower assets. Our 50+ state PE licensure addresses every imaginable structural engineering goal: from site selection and new design to maintenance and decommissioning; from commercial to DoD installations. Every tower— doing its job today and prepared for the world to come.

Westchester Services

Westchester Services LLC is a full-service A&E firm licensed in all 50 states providing the following services for Macro, Small Cell, DAS and Satellite — architectural and engineering, structural engineering, mapping, surveying, geotechnical reports, environmental reports, structural reports, construction permitting and zoning approval.

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Safely Manage Power in Small Cells

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In the Race to 5G, Utilities Remain Divided on Pole Attachments

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Business Safety

How Contractors Can Boost Worker Skills, Dignity and Safety

When Legacy Telecommunications started operating 20 years ago, Jim Tracy said, its busines...

FirstNet Authority Roadmap Technology Domains: The Core

When it comes to broadband network infrastructure, the core is critical. It serves as both...