Smart Cities need a Bigbelly!

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For those of you who don’t understand the title, Bigbelly is a solution for smart cities and smart campuses. It started as a waste management solution for cities and has grown into so much more. I was attracted to Bigbelly because of the way they took the common trash can and made it a critical part of smart city infrastructure. Are you wondering how this company has revolutionized waste management for municipalities? Then listen to the podcast and read on.

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I was fortunate enough to have Leila Dillon and Joe Ryan of Bigbelly on the show and ask them how the company evolved. While the smart city seems like a revolution, it is because of companies like Bigbelly that it’s become an evolution of what was once possible to what is not possible.

I became aware of Bigbelly when reading about street furniture for small cells. You may not know this, but the Bigbelly solution started as a common trash can that had value add capabilities like trash compactors that were powered by solar panels. It has grown from a garbage can to something that can compact trash to hold more than 5 times what a normal trash can could hold. But wait…… there’s more!

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How did they become an essential part of the smart city evolution? They have taken the trash can and made it a valuable part of the smart city ecosystem. Wondering how? They had the solar panels and the trash compactors which is one way. Then they evolved it into the IOT realm and monitored the trash levels in the cans so that the city knew when to empty them, keeping the streets clean and not going to that trash can any sooner than they had to. This saves time and money and allows the trash cans to be emptied before they overflow keep the street clean and beautiful.

 

The Smart City Tech Planning Handbook, available at:

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Amazon Kindle: Click here.

Paperback: Coming soon!

How did they evolve into a small cell solution? Well, when they found out they could do all of the above, then they evolved again. This company is run by smart and innovative people. They added room for a small cell, offered advertising on the sides and could even put digital signage on the boxes. They are cool!

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That’s where Leila and Joe come in. Leila is the VP of North American Distribution and Global Marketing, and Joe Ryan is the VP of Advanced Technology. Both were very pleasant to talk to, and I learned so much about how Bigbelly kept innovating its business, products, and solutions into a critical part of the smart city solution. In fact, I would add that it’s an important element of the infrastructure and should be considered when laying the groundwork for city improvements. Any new smart city planning should include this solution.

I reached out to Leila because I was so interested in new ways to deploy small cells in the city. When I reached out to Joe and Leila, I learned that Bigbelly offers so many solutions for so many departments in a city.

Joe went into detail about how the Bigbelly solution has been evolving. They can not only monitor all their units, but they offer a solution to waste management for real time monitoring as well as holding 5 times the trash than a normal waste solution. It expanded to adding value add solutions like hosting a small cell. This is a great piece of furniture for the smart city.

Let’s answer some question!

  • What is a Bigbelly station?
    • It’s piece of street furniture that is a waste management solution as well as a host of Wi-Fi, beacon products, sensor products, and even small cells.
  • How does it handle the waste?
    • It’s a trash solution that offers a compactor feature to hold 5 times the trash of a normally sized waste solution.
  • How does it add to the smart city solution?
    • Lots of ways! It will offer real time monitoring of waste in each
    • It has a solar option that will power the unit without adding power.
    • It offers a host for small cells, Wi-Fi, beacons, and sensors.
    • It has a GPS solution so that you know each unit’s location.
  • Where is the value?
    • It’s more than just a piece of street furniture. They are in areas where the people are, the foot traffic, any public area. This is always going to be where the people are, and the people will want more, like Wi-Fi, they need that as well.
    • The real-time monitoring of data around waste offers a solution to track what is happening in that part of the city. It’s another data analytics solution so that you can optimize the efficiency of trash collection.
  • How is it a smart city solution?
    • It plays into the infrastructure that is needed for a smart city not only in waste and data around waste but the shelter for getting broadband to where the people are, and it looks good all at the same time. Attractive and valuable for any smart city.
  • Can they add anything else to this solution?
    • Of course, location beacons, small cell solutions, and as new technology comes out, we have a place to put it where the people are.
  • What about zoning and permitting?
    • It helps to streamline the permitting process because this is something that the city puts in, the city wants this, and the city wants to get as much out of this as possible.
    • Understand that the city is paying for this solution, they want It’s not like the carriers who are fighting to deploy small cells, the city may or may not want the carriers to mount them around the city. Cities need waste management, and they want to use this as a solution for more than just waste.
  • Any other notes?
  • Are there any out there being used?
    • Of course, over 40,000 are deployed! The chances are good that you have used one if you ever spent time in a city or university.
  • How would this benefit a smart campus?
    • The school can use the data collected to study and research what is happening right there on their campus. It’s a great solution where they could add IOT immediately to collect the data in real time. It creates a learning solution for colleges.

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Want to learn more? Go to www.bigbelly.com or reach out to jryan@bigbelly.com and tell them you want to learn more and that you heard about them here.

I enjoy hearing smart people talk, and this is one of those interviews where I could sit back and learn so much about how creative people think and where they take their ideas. This company is a lesson in evolution. Taking waste management, which every city needs, to a point where they can compact trash to fit 5 times the amount of garbage in one box, then make it solar-powered Then add in Wi-Fi. Then collect the data using the backhaul and uploading to the cloud using an IOT solution, then adding in small cells and more radios as well as offering to advertise on the box itself. WOW! What’s next? I would not be surprised if they had plans to build a teleporter to add to the box so they can remove the garbage remotely. I know it’s not real, but I would bet they are already thinking about how to add it if it were.

Leila Dillon is the VP of Global Marketing and North America Distribution for Bigbelly and has been since 2014. She does a great job explaining how Bigbelly can help the cities go beyond waste removal to collect data analytics and provide solutions that go beyond waste into small cell and Wi-Fi and advertising to provide the city with revenue streams. The street furniture is more than a solution for the city but a solution for all the residents and companies that want to do business with the city as well.

Joe Ryan is the VP of Advanced Technology for Bigbelly. He’s been there since 2015. He has found ways to house high-tech solutions and to use IOT as a conduit for the data analytics that Bigbelly can provide with its waste management solutions. Joe is a brilliant guy that provided cloud solutions for the data and included Wi-Fi in their solutions. It only makes sense because the Bigbelly are where the people are and today people want Wi-Fi everywhere.

Bigbelly was found in 2003 with the intent to transform the waste collection industry into something efficient for cities. Their mission statement is at http://bigbelly.com/about/, and they understand that smart city solutions are critical for every aspect of the city, not just the IOT department. They know that IOT solutions should be included. They know that evolution of their industry is critical for the smart city. So, to quote their site, “Today, we are a multi-purpose platform for building smarter cities. We are uniquely positioned as a public right-of-way platform that delivers Smart City solutions and hosts communications infrastructure. The Bigbelly solution is deployed in communities, campuses, and organizations in over 50 countries. We transform operations, drive efficiencies, increase productivity, and improve quality of life.” Really, what more do you need to know?

I hope you learned that we need to think outside of the box. The Smart City evolution is happening in more ways than anyone imagined, opening up new possibilities to improve our lives. I think it’s great!

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Be smart, be safe, and pay attention!

See Ya!

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The Smart City Tech Planning Handbook

Book release alert for the Smart City Tech Planning Handbook. It is out! The Smart City Tech Planning handbook which will give you case studies, technical avenues for smart cities, and ways to deploy! Yes, it’s a guide to get you started.

The pain point is most groups working on a smart city, or a smart campus project doesn’t know where to begin. They often struggle just figuring out what is possible. I noticed that every city has a different definition of what they want for a smart city then they have no idea how to get there. They don’t know what has been done, really been done, and they don’t know how to get started.

Many cities fall prey to the large OEMs because they come in and offer a specific solution which the city may or may not want. So they go with it, or they run demos thinking that this is something that the people want. The people generally tell you what they want, if you’re listening. Don’t forget small business and large business for that matter, what do they really want to do business in your city? How do you get there? What has been done? I’m here to help!

Figure out your foundation, your assets, how to monetize and what you can use for your foundation, it could really help you now by knowing and planning, not guessing or assuming. Let’s work together!

This book is here for you to plan your path to deploying technology in your city for your purpose. Not only that but what assets do you have that you can use or even better yet, make money on. Wouldn’t it be nice if the city could find a way to create revenue streams off what they have? Remember that you don’t need to be tied to a large company to make money from your assets. In fact, do you even know what your assets are? You should figure it out ASAP! Again, this book will help you figure that out, and it will guide you to getting the help that won’t take you down a path you don’t want to do.

Showing you what has been done and what can be done. There is help for you. This is a guide to get started. It will help you see what’s been done and what’s possible. Let me help, take some time and learn all you can. Make informed decisions about how to deploy and learn from what’s been done. Understand why they did what they did. Understand how to get where you want to go.

I’ll explain more but here is how you can get it!

The Smart City Tech Planning Handbook, available at:

Here is an overview of the Smart City Tech Planning Handbook!

Your Smart City Planning Guide for broadband, IOT, and solutions in technology. A handbook for learning more about smart city use cases, technology, and roll out.

We want you to prepare and plan for your smart city with all the information needed to move ahead cost effectively to develop your vision. Your city may have more assets to make it smart and bring in revenue, do you know how to do that? Get some help from others who have done it. Look smart by planning for your smart city vision!

Are you working to create a smart city? Are you taking that step to add the technology need to build infrastructure for your smart city? Let me help. You can gain the knowledge to move ahead in this book to plan your deployment, your growth, your services. If you don’t’ want the book, then send me an email, I can help. This book is to help you get started.

Everyone thinks technology is just broadband, and this is a big part of today’s world, but the services need to be aligned with your smart city vision. How do you do this? Plan the vision around the technology and know what you have so you know how far you should go.

This is all covered, with case studies, plenty of links for you to reference and PDFs to download. It’s more than this book, it bigger than that, it’s providing you models and solutions.

Are you ready to build your smart city? Do you have the budget? The infrastructure? Why don’t you make sure? This book will help you and your teams!

Smart City Questions:

Do you know that the smart city is here now?

Most cities want to be a smart city, and they are looking for technology to save them. I once saw a TED talk where they described a smart city as being the way the buildings are built. Let me tell you something; the buildings are constructed in these cities. While it would be wonderful to plan a smart city from scratch, it’s not the reality of the cities out there. They intend to improve the existing city infrastructure, which is no easy task. That’s the purpose of this book, to help you work with cities and have them develop their smart city initiatives. Develop a plan!

Learn this!

What is a Smart City?

How do you plan the Smart City infrastructure?

Where do you start when developing the smart city?

What planning is involved?

Whom should I partner with?

What about permitting, rent, acquisition, construction planning?

Whom should we work with? Learn all this and more from case studies and deployment planning. The rest is up to you!

The Smart City Tech Planning Handbook is broken into 3 general sections.

  • It provides case studies to show you what has been done in other cities around the world as well as what larger OEMs envision can be done. This is to provide you with real world case studies as well as concepts to get your idea flowing for your city. It also shows you it can be done, it’s not pie in the sky but real solutions to real problems where technology provides the solutions!
  • We discuss the technology that is out there and available. It is a good idea for you to learn what is real and what is coming. In today’s world, the technology and spectrum can determine what can be done and what is 10 years out. Luckily, things move fast today. The only real limitation is getting past the limitations that people, and governments, impose not themselves.
  • What is the foundation of smart city technology? While the technology really matters, what good is it if you can’t roll it out. These things need to happen in steps or phases. Providing a foundation is key to your smart city dream becoming a reality. Use this as a guide to building it the way that you would like to see it.

Get it today!

The Smart City Tech Planning Handbook, available at:

PDF version on Gumroad: https://gum.co/saDBQ

PDF on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/p/QAvq/

Amazon Kindle: Click here.

Paperback: Click here for the paperback!

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Below is a sample of the Table of Contents for you to review:

Table of Contents

  • Smart City Questions
  • Community Living:
  • The Purpose of this Book
  • How to use this book
  • What’s been done?
  • Smart City Technology overview
  • The Foundation of your Smart City
  • Your Smart City Plan
  • Deploy, Deploy, Deploy!
  • What is a “Smart City”?
  • Smart City Research Case Studies
  • How to read this section
  • Smart Cities Council and Cisco
  • Smart Cities Projects
  • India Smart Cities
  • Singapore
  • Santander, Spain
  • Yinchuan, China
  • General notes
  • IDC Government Insights
  • Multiple Case Studies from National League of Cities, (NLC), “Trends in Smart City” publication.
  • Case Study Chicago:
  • Case Study Philadelphia, Pa
  • Charlotte, NC
  • San Francisco, Ca
  • Columbus, Oh, Smart City report
  • Smart City Cleveland
  • The US Department of Transportation Smart City Challenge
  • NYC Planning Document called One New York
  • Smart City Columbus
  • The Smart City Playbook by Nokia and Machina Research
  • Sum up Smart City Focus
  • Smart Cities Council
  • Summary
  • Smart City Technology
  • How to read this section
  • An Outline of Smart City Broadband
  • How do we use and roll out broadband?
  • Who uses that broadband?
  • What will the city get from this mass roll out?
  • What is the transport method?
  • Who will roll out what?
  • What technologies are available?
  • Sum it up
  • Why does Indoor Connectivity matter in a Smart City?
  • Fiber
  • Cable & Copper
  • Wi-Fi
  • LTE-U
  • Public safety bands
  • DAS systems
  • Small Cells
  • CBRS
  • Indoor coverage summary
  • Smart City IOT Technologies
  • What is IOT and how will we use it?
  • A Little History
  • What is NB-IOT?
  • Is IOT a 5G Service?
  • IOT Services in the Smart City
  • IOT Wireless Tech:
  • More “Smart City” IOT resources:
  • Fixed Wireless in the Smart City
  • What is Fixed Wireless?
  • M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions)
  • Spectrum for 5G Fixed Wireless
  • Why does Fixed Wireless Matter to a Smart City?
  • 5G Resources
  • Which Technology is right for us?
  • What’s first?
  • Build or lease?
  • Let’s build!
  • It built, now what?
  • Leasing is easy!
  • Who owns the solution?
  • Choose your vision, then plan wisely!
  • Smart City Advantages of Using Technology
  • Summary
  • The Foundation of Smart City Technology
  • How to read this section
  • Assets
  • What do we mount on these assets?
  • Take Inventory of what you have
  • Smart City Audits
  • Mounting assets (lamp posts, wood poles, telephone poles)
  • Underground assets
  • Fiber assets:
  • Building tops and Towers
  • Billboards:
  • Parking Garages:
  • Street Furniture:
  • Wireless Backhaul:
  • Data Collection:
  • Notes:
  • Resources:
  • Summary:
  • Smart City Planning
  • Setting the Vision
  • How do you make the Smart City Decision?
  • Decisions: Expense Reduction or Income or Future Vision?
  • Hard Solutions
  • Think of your long-term budgets.
  • Smart City Start-Up Checklist
  • Don’t let the OEMs push you into something you don’t want!
  • Smart City Sustainability
  • Expense Reduction:
  • Rent
  • New Sources of Revenue
  • Potential Business Models
  • As A Service Models:
  • You don’t have to do it all!
  • Smart City “Other” Services
  • Resources:
  • How do you get Broadband to the “Underserved”?
  • Mounting Small Cells in the City
  • Deployment Solutions for Smart Cities
  • Smart City Obstacles, (Real and Perceived)
  • Deployment
  • Change is Certain!
  • A Smart City is a Safe City
  • Acronyms and Definitions
  • Naming Definitions (To help the non-technical person talk technical)
  • Overall Summary
  • Smart City Assets Are Everywhere!

Get busy! Get the book, read, learn, and plan!

 

 Get it today!

The Smart City Tech Planning Handbook, available at:

PDF version on Gumroad: https://gum.co/saDBQ

PDF on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/p/QAvq/

Amazon Kindle: Click here.

Paperback: Click here for the paperback!

KOBO, ITUNES, and more!

 

Other books and products by Wade:

About Wade Sarver

Hi, I’m Wade. I write blogs and books. I work as a solution manager for a major OEM. I consult groups on smart city deployments. I help market and bring products to market. I create online products to help tech deployments. Let’s make great tech happen.

It can be summed up like this. Wade Sarver is a blogger and podcaster at www.wade4wireless.com and an author of several nonfiction tech books, a solutions consultant TechFecta, www.techfecta.com, as well as a solution manager for Nokia. To reach out to Wade, you can email at wade4wireless@gmail.com or wade@techfecta.com or twitter @Wade4Wireless.

Thank you for making it to the end! I appreciate your endurance, tenacity, and perseverance!

 

How Next Century Cities Collaborate with Deb Socia

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Building a smart city is not easy, nor is adding the infrastructure to create smart city features. It helps to work with partners who have done it before. That is why Deb Socia of Next Century Cities works hard every day to reach out and contact as many communities as possible. Collaboration is the key to getting smart city enhancements in your community. Next Century Cities has a mission to do just that, help all communities elevate through cooperation, or at least help guide them to add smart city services.

The Smart City Tech Planning Handbook, available at:

PDF version on Gumroad: https://gum.co/saDBQ

PDF on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/p/QAvq/

Amazon Kindle: Click here.

Paperback: Coming soon!

Did you have smart city questions? Did you ever wonder how the city gets the technology to improve local businesses? How does a “smart city” initiative get started? Where can cities go for help? How do they start the high-speed internet initiatives? Where can communities get help to start a tech initiative? What steps can be taken to become a smart city? What can a city do to improve health care, education, quality of life, access to broadband, and make technology affordable to the residents?

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Deb talks about they are helping communities elevate from where they are now to initiating smart city policies so that they can improve technology. While for businesses it is a business initiative. Not so easy for cities. Cities need to get this by multiple departments, raise funds, pass policies, and get buy in from departments, businesses, partners, utilities, and constituents. No easy task. That is why this non-profit group works so hard to make 5g-deployment-plan-front-cover-3k-pixelssure they can find mentors and partners in this venture. In the long run, smart city policies are more about improving the city. Growing the jobs and improving the quality of life. It all goes hand in hand.

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Deb’s group normally starts with local elected officials because they have the dream of improving their city. They are looking for help. They need someone they can trust for help. They cannot just go to the OEMs since they may be looking to sell a solution or push a solution that may not be the best option for the city. The key is to find what the city is what they need, want, and the residents want.

Tower Safety and Instruction has online training and eBooksTower Safety for all your safety training! at http://teltech-college.com/ where you can get drone, tower, safety, 5G, and deployment material on your laptop! TSI, making the best better.

To get to the next level of a smart city initiative, they may want to see how it’s been done in other cities. Here is where Next Century Cities comes in. Offering a sounding board and a group where one city can learn from another’s initiative. They could provide them a plan based on what’s been done. Maybe they could help them avoid problems. Teach them about the mistakes that other cities have made. Why not learn from what other communities have done? While policies may be different, the desired result may be the same. If they can accelerate the roll out process by initiating real and robust policies, why not?

You need to listen to get all the information. Let’s get a high level of the questions that may help you. Deb is a wonderful resource. Next Century Cities is there to support you. It’s a two-way street, help and be helpful, remember that. T could serve as a sounding board for new ideas. It feels good when you complete a project and let others know so they can learn.

  • Did you ever wonder how the city gets the technology to improve local businesses?
    • It takes planning.
    • What do they normally want? Broadband! While it varies from city to city, goals may differ. Most, if not all want broadband rolled out throughout the city for businesses and residents. Maybe even for tourists.
  • How does a “smart city” initiative get started?
    • It usually starts with the higher level of governments, the mayor or a CTO or economic development groups may want to improve the internet access to help local businesses grow.
    • Why recreate the wheel if it’s been done? Duplicate what others have done.
  • Where can cities go for help?
    • Next Century Cities has created a network where cities can turn to each other to learn from someone who has done it before. They have provided a platform to share ideas.
  • How do they start the high-speed internet initiatives?
    • They could start with business partnerships. Learning what has worked in other areas and what vendors have solutions. They could leverage their utility partners to help.
    • Building infrastructure to support city-wide broadband need planning and support.
  • Where can communities go to for help in starting a tech initiative?
    • It could be the OEMs, consultants, or fellow cities that have already done it.
    • Whom do you trust the most? If another city has done it, then you have a model.
    • Next Century Cities is a great place to start.
  • What steps can be taken to become a smart city?
    • Not an easy question, first, define what smart city means to you and your community, then develop a plan for policies and technical requirements. The foundation is the key, then build on it.
  • What can a city do to improve health care, education, quality of life, access to broadband, and make technology affordable to the residents?
    • Roll out broadband, build the infrastructure, create policies that enable this to happen quickly and efficiently.
  • Who can join Next Century Cities?
    • Communities, cities, counties, any government organization looking to help or get help in creating s smart city initiative.
    • Vendors can contact and support Next Century Cities, maybe become partners, but not become a member.
  • Where can I learn more about smart cities?
    • Next Century Cities has a great resource page, http://nextcenturycities.org/resources/ where you can see articles in the main list, but at the bottom left they have the resources broken down to help you understand specific areas, like pole attachments and small cells.
  • What are Next Century Cities principles? Found at http://nextcenturycities.org/wp-content/uploads/Next-Century-Cities-Two-Pager.pdf.
    • High-Speed Internet Is Necessary Infrastructure
    • The Internet Is Nonpartisan
    • Communities Must Enjoy Self-Determination
    • High-Speed Internet Is a Community-Wide Endeavor
    • Meaningful Competition Drives Progress
    • Collaboration Benefits All
  • How do I join Next Century Cities?
  • How can I support Next Century Cities?

The Wireless Deployment Handbook  Paperback

Get the Wireless Deployment Handbook today!The Wireless Deployment Handbook eBook that covers professional carrier end to end deployment of LTE small cells, CRAN, and DAS showing you the proper way to plan for deployment then execute.

Deb Socia is the Executive Director of Next Century Cities, an innovative organization that helps cities develop city initiatives and policies for the infrastructure. They do this by connecting communities so that someone starting out can learn from the more experienced cities. Going beyond technical initiatives and into the city policies and planning. When communities want to move ahead, it helps to talk to someone who has done it before. Contact Den through the contact page or at Deb@nextcenturycities.org.

Next Century Cities is a nonprofit organization for communities to become connected and learn from each other and teach each other how to get to the next level or do something specific. To find out more go to http://nextcenturycities.org/about/overview/ or download the information sheet at http://nextcenturycities.org/wp-content/uploads/Next-Century-Cities-Two-Pager.pdf to get a good overview of what they offer. Contact Next Century Cities at http://nextcenturycities.org/contact/ to join or learn more.

How do you plan goals? Now you can plan 5 Weeks at a time! The 5-week Planning Journal, (click here), available now in paperback from Amazon!

 

 

 

 

Be smart, be safe, and pay attention!

See Ya!

SOW Training Cover

Do you know what to put in your SOW, the details needed to get paid for milestones or job completion? 

 

 

Putting together your smart city tech solutions, planning, development, and more….TechFecta! Guiding you to a better plan through consulting!

The foundations below do beautiful work, helping families in their time of need. Climbers often get seriously injured or die on the job. The foundations below support those families in their time of greatest need! 

official logo

Hubble Foundation helps the families of climbers in a time of need and beyond with financial support and counseling!

tower-family-foundation-e1447069656192

Tower Family Foundation supports the families of tower climbers at the time of crisis when a climber falls with financial assistance and more.

 

Keep the CBRS Open for Small Business!

I have been reading about T-Mobile’s request to capture all the CBRS for the carriers, to be auctioned off. I get it! They want it all for themselves. What is the price that American small business pay? I put this together as an open letter to the FCC so Americans can understand how this is going to hurt small business and innovation in LTE. In my opinion, T-Mobile’s greed for spectrum will cost too much for small business to pay. I see this as the “uncarrier” striking a devastating blow into the heart of small companies and innovation that would slow down if not stifle private LTE growth completely. I have to protest! This company claims to be a friend of business, yet, I see it as crushing small businesses, the one thing that they used to support. Let me explain.

The T-Mobile high-level request:

I am taking this right from the T-Mobile petition found at https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/106191696422731/T-Mobile%203.5%20GHz%20Petition%20for%20Rulemaking%20–%2012-354%20–%206.17.2017.pdf in case you want to verify.

T-Mobile proposes that the Commission initiate a rule making proceeding to:

  • Auction all 150 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band as PALs, with GAA use opportunistically throughout the band.
  • Authorize PALs on a standard, ten-year license term with renewal expectancy.
  • Make all PALs available at auction, regardless of the number of applications received.
  • Permit bidding on specific PAL blocks.
  • Use Partial Economic Areas (“PEAs”) to license PALs.
  • Require SAS protection of Citizens Broadband Radio Service Device (“CBSD”) registration information.
  • Make minor changes to the technical rules governing the 3.5 GHz band.

 

The statement that I protest is “Auction all 150 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band as PALs, with GAA use opportunistically throughout the band.” This seems like a spectrum grab for the rich. They are trying to crush any small business or enterprise that needs private LTE. While they are selfish in grabbing what they can, they are crushing those who are smaller and in their eyes, less significant.

Honestly, it upsets me that T-Mobile would even suggest keeping all the spectrum for the carriers. They claim to be the uncarrier, yet, that is precisely what we would expect a large faceless organization to do and say! T-Mobile is saying, “I want it all for myself” or maybe you could interpret it as, “It’s my sandbox, and I don’t want you in it!”. I see this as what a large corporation would do when faced with losing a little business. They bully the government into stopping entrepreneurs from building their business so they can grab all the business.

Why does this matter? Because in the USA you have no shot of building a wireless broadband business unless you have billions of dollars to hand over to the FCC. It has stifled and shut down small business. Hey, I love Wi-Fi and the unlicensed spectrum, but the reality is that it is not enough to build a sustainable business with creative business practices. I congratulate Boingo for making it work, way to go! However, to play in the licensed spectrum, you need to bow down to the carriers. It’s not an easy business, and the CCA members outside of Sprint and T-Mobile know that. They are working hard to survive with the leftover spectrum that they have. They can’t live without the big 4, and they know that.

I looked at the CBRS as an opportunity for innovation to happen with the local businesses, the enterprise, the warehouses, the smaller businesses that could innovate in ways that the carrier just don’t care to do unless it appeals to the masses, in their eyes anyway.

This is about freedom and small business.  It’s not about T-Mobile’s agenda to own all the spectrum. Don’t get me wrong, I think that the spectrum designated for the PAL should have longer license terms, but they need to stop there and make sure the lightly licensed spectrum is free for all who follow the rules.

While T-Mobile apparently doesn’t see it, they could be able to partner with the small business without rolling out small cells everywhere. They could take this opportunity to work with local businesses to expand their footprint without deploying thousands of small cells in all those areas which they wouldn’t deploy anyway.

Let’s be clear about how this hurts innovation that small business can provide.

Let me very clear about how this will crush small business. The part that I am upset with is, “Auction all 150 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band as PALs, with GAA use opportunistically throughout the band.” Not the rest. I really could care less. Why does this upset me, because it would crush the small business who wants to deploy for a specific reason in a given area?

  • How is T-Mobile hurting smaller businesses? Let me count the ways:
    1. Small business can only access license free bands in Wi-Fi. Maybe LTE-U in the ISM band. This band is already overcrowded, but it has allowed for innovation and opened the door for businesses to grow, outside of the carrier space.
    2. Innovation by small business is key, if the carriers own the entire spectrum, then the innovation that comes from small businesses will be crushed in favor of the large carriers pushing their agenda.
    3. T-Mobile in their quest for more spectrum is enticing the FCC with money, obviously. The other large companies are jumping on board to support this. Do you see this as a David versus Goliath? The Larger corporation is pushing government around to get what they want.
    4. How can a small business innovate LTE systems if they don’t have spectrum to work in? How can they serve the enterprise, warehouses, factories, and other private LTE systems? They can’t, and the carriers made it clear that they will NOT spend the money to do this either. So, in going through with this, you have hurt vertical markets which the carriers, like T-Mobile, deem as too small to serve or maybe not enough profit to support. Ask them if they would put small cells in a building that is under 10,000 square feet, would they, go ahead, ask them.

Listen, this is personal for me too. I am one of the people who would love to innovate and deploy systems in the CBRS. I see great opportunity here for all to do this. I feel that the private LTE systems will solve problems for so many small businesses and open the devices to more than just the carriers. I see an expansion of the wireless ecosystem that we have never seen in history. It would free up enough broadband for us to show the FCC what is truly possible outside of the carrier’s realm. This of what we can do together! We can build stores that automate sales and stocking and ordering. It will automate warehouse work to the next level. It will allow secure and private communication in the enterprise. It will open private and secure communications systems where all they have now is Wi-Fi. It will allow neutral host small cells. It could allow small private wireless systems for a campus, secure and private. It’s exciting, and all of us could be involved! A secure system with video and data, all available to any experienced small business to deploy.

Let’s look at the pros and cons.

Pros:

  • The FCC could rake in another Billion dollars for the national debt.
  • More spectrum for the carriers to deliver 5G. By the way, did T-Mobile deploy all that 600MHz yet? Did AT&T deploy all of their spectrum? Did they?

Cons:

  • The carriers get all the spectrum, as they have now, stifling small business and innovation.
  • Innovation will be stifled unless the carriers see a mass appeal.
  • Private LTE systems will be limited to unlicensed bands sharing with Wi-Fi.
  • Small companies will be pushed out of the wireless arena again.
  • Enterprise systems will not have wireless LTE in their business plan unless the carriers allow it.
  • More spectrum for small business to deliver 5G.
  • All spectrum will be a commodity for the carriers and no other businesses unless they pay the carriers for service, outside of the ISM band which is already overcrowded.

The carriers will continue their monopoly on broadband spectrum in the USA.

What can I do?

Well, let me tell you, I have a list of what you specifically can do! Deadline is Monday, August 8th!

  1. Read this, http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db0622/DA-17-609A1.pdf and then go to step 2.
  2. Go to http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/ and in the box that says, “Specify Proceeding” enter 12-354 and click on the proper docket, then hit search.
  3. Then you should go to https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?proceedings_name=12-354&sort=date_disseminated,DESC
  4. Then, at the left, it asks for “New Filing,” click that and enter your comments.

Plan B? There is another way to reach the FCC, through twitter.

  1. @AjitPaiFCC for Commissioner Pai.
  2. @FCC‏to ping the FCC

Let freedom ring, let the CBRS open to the public!

Let’s tell the FCC that this can’t happen.

Resources:

 

Be smart, be safe, and pay attention!

CBRS Deep Dive with Steve Martin

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I am so into CBRS, so when I had an opportunity to interview the CTO of Ruckus, Steve Martin, I jumped at it. I was lucky enough to learn even more about CBRS with this deep dive of knowledge from someone who has been working on it. Ruckus has developed devices that perform in the CBRS bands. I am a fan of Ruckus who is a provider of carrier class Wi-Fi systems, an OEM. When I heard they were planning to get into the CBRS game, I got excited and knew that I had to talk to them. Steve was nice enough to accept and go over how amazing the CBRS is. He is going give an overview of the CBRS part of the wireless eco system.

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Steve answers so many questions about CBRS. Ruckus has been actively pushing for CBRS to become the next wave of wireless deployments for the carriers, enterprise, and private LTE solutions. So much so they helped form the CBRS Alliance.

Tower Safety and Instruction has online training and eBooksTower Safety for all your safety training! at http://teltech-college.com/ where you can get drone, tower, safety, 5G, and deployment material on your laptop! TSI, making the best better.

Ruckus has done an amazing job deploying carrier grade Wi-Fi, outside and inside. They have complete systems to manage and provide Wi-Fi solutions such as controllers, switches, indoor radios, and outdoor radios. They have been suppliers for enterprise, carrier, and WISP customers. They are a high performance yet easy to deploy wireless OEM. They are cost-cost effective but innovative. They realized that Wi-Fi could not provide all the solutions, so they entered the realm of LTE in the CBRS band, getting me excited about Ruckus Wireless. They are providing new solutions, very innovative.

As everyone knows, I am excited about the CBRS spectrum opening because it’s available to more than just the carriers. It allows small and midsize businesses to build private LTE networks. Something that has been near impossible to do before. So now the carriers can handoff to an independent small cell. An independent small cell can host any carrier. It can be carrier neutral and host multiple carriers. How cool is that? We finally have a solution for the places where carriers won’t invest.

What about other use cases for factories and enterprise customers that want broadband and IOT applications on a dedicated LTE system? Problem solved!

Ruckus was one of the founding members of the CBRS Alliance. The CBRS Alliance has grown from the original 6 to over 60 members.

Here are some questions I wanted to be answered.

  • How will the CBRS spectrum assignment work? (Licensing and spectrum assignment)
    • Spectrum assignment will be like how a DHCP server grants and assigns an IP address. In this case, the radio will boot up and send a request to a server which assigns spectrum. Then the Spectrum Allocation Server, (SAS), allocates the bandwidth and spectrum for that specific location and radio. Steve explains more in the interview.
    • You talk to an SAS vendor, like Federated Wireless or maybe Google, and they will set you up with a subscription. You would pay a monthly subscription to the SAS to make sure that the spectrum is assigned to you, so you’re
  • What are the spectrum usage tiers of the CBRS?
    • The incumbents have been using for fixed satellite services and military radar.
    • Now it’s going to be used for LTE coverage.
      • GAA – Generally Authorized Access – lightly licensed and open to all.
      • PAL – Priority Access License which is exclusive usage for that section of It’s the licensed part of the band with a guarantee of that spectrum.
    • Can CBRS be used outdoors?
      • Yes, it can be utilized Just make sure that you have approval from SAS for the power level and the channel, which will most likely be the carriers.
      • You can build a 50W base station if needed. Not everywhere, but in designated areas. That is a macro site in my eyes.
    • Can CBRS provide coverage for companies outside of the carrier space?
      • Yes, anyone can apply for spectrum and deploy.
    • How will it help the enterprise user?
      • Now the enterprise can go beyond Wi-Fi and have a clean LTE system to work with that is dedicated spectrum for their service.
    • Private LTE systems?
      • Industrial IOT systems for IOT.
      • Fixed wireless applications.
      • Enterprise solutions for a dedicated wireless system that can handoff.
      • Rural broadband solutions. (A different use case altogether.)
      • Private broadband LTE solutions for anything you can imagine.5g-deployment-plan-front-cover-3k-pixels
      • Anything that you thought of now can be done for more than just the carriers. Get creative here! If you have a problem that needs a wireless and secure solution, here it is.
    • Will the cable companies use this spectrum?
      • Yes, it will make it easier for them to use what they have and build out their mobile systems using a combination of licensed, Wi-Fi, and CBRS.
    • What are the roadblocks keeping carriers from providing better indoor coverage?
      • DAS systems are a fine solution for larger venues where the carriers see a business case to invest, like NFL and MLB stadiums. What about the smaller to mid-size buildings? How can they be served when the carriers don’t see a cost-effective way to deploy? They don’t want to pay for it, or at least not a DAS system for a few customers. Now they have the CBRS small cells which can fill that gap.
    • Will CBRS be cost-effective to deploy?
      • Yes!
    • Will CBRS spectrum help the smart city?
      • Of course! It will bring new solutions to the IOT applications in smart It will increase the smart building availability, and allow small systems to be built for specific purposes in any city. It will eventually allow new and dedicated smart city functions to deploy everywhere cost effectively.
      • Ruckus has supported the LinkNYC
    • Will smartphones have this spectrum in them?
      • Expect to see it in 2018.
    • Who will use this spectrum moving forward?
      • Carriers, cable companies, enterprise users, industrial IOT, smart cities, utilities, and more.
    • Can the CBRS small cells solve carrier’s coverage solutions?
      • Yes, indoors and out. It’s a great solution for fill and capacity.
    • Is it possible to have multiple carriers on one small cell?
      • YES! Multiple LTE carriers on one Small Cell!
      • This will be a more economical way to deploy small cells to fill holes.

Steve is a wealth of knowledge and someone who is so easy to talk to. Just a great conversation and I strongly recommend that you listen to learn more. I enjoyed talking to him, and I love the way they (Ruckus) envision CBRS LTE systems. It made me want to jump on the Ruckus bandwagon. What a thrill to be part of this time in history. The FCC did something here that will be groundbreaking for the world if it’s successful. They opened new spectrum for use beyond the carriers and into the hands of all American businesses.

The Wireless Deployment Handbook  Paperback

Get the Wireless Deployment Handbook today!The Wireless Deployment Handbook eBook that covers professional carrier end to end deployment of LTE small cells, CRAN, and DAS showing you the proper way to plan for deployment then execute.

This goes beyond the spectrum repack where they migrated the spectrum from broadcast to the carriers, which was great for the carriers. Now they opened spectrum for the rest of the industry allowing innovation to happen outside of the carriers. I can’t wait to see how people solve their problems using private LTE systems. They could connect to a dedicated device or roam onto a smartphone for all to use. We live in exciting times once again, innovation still live! Thank you, FCC, for doing this!

Steve Martin is the Chief Technology Officer of Ruckus. He holds many positions in industry groups. He is on the CBRS Alliance Board of Directors and the Wireless Broadband Alliance Board of Directors. Just a great guy all around. He has been with Ruckus since 2006 but became the CTO in 2017, congratulations, Steve!

The 5G Deployment Plan Book, be ready to deploy!

Ruckus Wireless is a carrier class Wi-Fi company that offers best in class Wi-Fi systems. Based in beautiful Sunnyvale, Ca, the high-tech company has provided outdoor and indoor wireless solutions for over a decade. Brocade recently acquired Ruckus, and then Brocade 5g-deployment-plan-front-cover-3k-pixelsgot bought by Broadcom, and then Ruckus was being spun out and then bought by Arris International, the story found here, where Ruckus will be a division of Arris. Arris is an amazing company that provides equipment to many of the cable companies worldwide. Cable companies deploy wireless everywhere, so the acquisition makes perfect sense to me. FYI, it’s cool that Arris has a racing club, learn more at http://www.arris.com/ARRISRacing/ if interested. I am quickly becoming a fan of Arris.

Learn more at https://www.ruckuswireless.com/company/overview and contact them at https://www.ruckuswireless.com/contact or email them at info@ruckuc.com to get more information and learn all you can about becoming a big dog!

 

How do you plan goals? Now you can plan 5 Weeks at a time! The 5-week Planning Journal, (click here), available now in paperback from Amazon!

 

 

 

 

Be smart, be safe, and pay attention!

See Ya!

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Do you know what to put in your SOW, the details needed to get paid for milestones or job completion? 

 

 

 

 

The foundations below do beautiful work, helping families in their time of need. Climbers often get seriously injured or die on the job. The foundations below support those families in their time of greatest need! 

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Hubble Foundation helps the families of climbers in a time of need and beyond with financial support and counseling!

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Tower Family Foundation supports the families of tower climbers at the time of crisis when a climber falls with financial assistance and more.

Putting together your smart city tech solutions, planning, development, and more….TechFecta! Guiding you to a better plan through consulting!

 

Art King Teaches CBRS

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On today’s show, I have Art King of SpiderCloud, the King of Enterprise small cells is back on the show, he was on in 2016, link found here.

Do you wonder about enterprise small cells and their applications? Have you wondered what CBRS is? How does CBRS work? Who watches the licenses? How is the spectrum managed?

My big question, will the CBRS small cell be a neutral host small cell for multiple carriers? I also want to know about the use cases for this spectrum, one thing that would work outside of the carrier’s domination of spectrum.

Tower Safety and Instruction has online training and eBooksTower Safety for all your safety training! at http://teltech-college.com/ where you can get drone, tower, safety, 5G, and deployment material on your laptop! TSI, making the best better.

Learn all this am more sports fans! Art goes over the CBRS spectrum and how will the spectrum allocation and licensing happen. It would be better if you listen to the Podcast instead of just looking at these high-level notes. I just could not keep up with all his knowledge!

We met at the NeDAS show in 2016, and I have tried to stay in touch ever since. He is always busy trying to improve the SpiderCloud footprint, and he has been doing a great job. They had a partnership with Cisco for years that helped them get noticed. SpiderCloud has proven that the enterprise model works for licensed spectrum.

I wanted to speak to Art this time because I need to understand the CBRS and how it works. I also want to see what business models he would have for indoor. I then found out that SpiderCloud is going to venture into the great outdoors! WOW! To me, this is a breakthrough, and they intend to do it with the CBRS product they are going to roll out. There is a blog about it here, https://blogs.cisco.com/sp/wait-for-it-wait-for-it-5g-its-here if you want to learn more.

The thing that has me excited is that they created http://spidercloud.com/cbrs to help people like me build up my knowledge about CBRS. I need all the help I can get!

What about those questions? Here is my attempt to answer, but best to hear Art answer them in the interview. You do not want to miss it!

___________________________________________________________________________

The Wireless Deployment Handbook  Paperback

Get the Wireless Deployment Handbook today!The Wireless Deployment Handbook eBook that covers professional carrier end to end deployment of LTE small cells, CRAN, and DAS showing you the proper way to plan for deployment then execute.

__________________________________________________________________

Who is Art King? Art is the Director of Marketing for SpiderCloud Wireless Inc. He has extensive experience in the enterprise from his years as the Global Infrastructure Architecture Lead at Nike, impressive, right? Well, he also is a Board Member of the Small Cell Forum, an outstanding site where you can learn more and more about small cells. Learn more about Art at LinkedIn. If you met Art, you would really like Art, a combination of technical genius and charm which is a winning combination in my book. I call Art the King of Enterprise Small Cells because he and SpiderCloud championed the business case and the growth of the enterprise small cell better than anyone. They worked hard to build the business case, and they saw a glimpse of what the enterprise can do with licensed spectrum. Many other companies have followed this disruptor, but they all came in later. Art was key to making this happen.

The 5G Deployment Plan Book, be ready to deploy!5g-deployment-plan-front-cover-3k-pixels

SpiderCloud, http://www.spidercloud.com/, is a wireless small cell company that specialized in enterprise small cells and have worked with major carriers in the US to deploy indoor small cells. They are a member of the CBRS Alliance, one of the founding members in fact. The membership has grown in the last year.

Special note, Corning just acquired SpiderCloud, the story is here. While SpiderCloud partnered with Cisco for a long time, they never took the next step to purchase SpiderCloud, but Corning sees real value here. They know that they can step up the game and use this as another tool in their arsenal. It is another weapon in their portfolio and one that makes CommScope very nervous.

How do you plan goals? Now you can plan 5 Weeks at a time! The 5-week Planning Journal, (click here), available now in paperback from Amazon!

 

 

 

 

Be smart, be safe, and pay attention!

See Ya!

SOW Training Cover

Do you know what to put in your SOW, the details needed to get paid for milestones or job completion? 

The foundations below do beautiful work, helping families in their time of need. Climbers often get seriously injured or die on the job. The foundations below support those families in their time of greatest need! 

official logo

Hubble Foundation helps the families of climbers in a time of need and beyond with financial support and counseling!

tower-family-foundation-e1447069656192

Tower Family Foundation supports the families of tower climbers at the time of crisis when a climber falls with financial assistance and more.

Putting together your smart city tech solutions, planning, development, and more….TechFecta! Guiding you to a better plan through consulting!

www.techfecta.com

What is the Broadband Spectrum Repack?

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I have been following the broadband repack for some time. I thought I would share what I learned and how I found teams to help.

First off, what is it? It is where the FCC held 2 auctions. Yes, 2 auctions so that they could get the spectrum back from the television broadcasters. You see, one auction was to regain the spectrum from the broadcaster and the other was to unload the spectrum to the carriers. All of this in the 600MHz band.

  • The broadcasters were in a reverse auction where they could request money from the FCC and get paid based on their market for their spectrum. They would also get new spectrum. So, they get paid to unload their spectrum.
  • Then another auction for the carriers to buy the spectrum in the 600MHz band. This gives them the opportunity to gain more spectrum and grow for a few billion dollars. The big winner in this auction was T-Mobile, who intends to fill their holes across the US. They spent quite a bit. However, AT&T bought very little, and Verizon showed little interest. T-Mobile did very well. Comcast snatched up some spectrum too, among many others.

Back to the broadcasters. Now they must move to the new spectrum which involves much work. They need to take down what they have and build a new transmitter. They have to replace their antenna and line. It is a lot of work. They need to do all of this before the deadline hits.

Tower Safety and Instruction has online training and eBooksTower Safety for all your safety training! at http://teltech-college.com/ where you can get drone, tower, safety, 5G, and deployment material on your laptop! TSI, making the best better.

Some questions get answered here like:

  • What is the repack?
  • What is involved in the repack?
  • When does it have to be done?
  • Who pays for the hardware and services?
  • Will the FCC keep track of all of this?
  • What is spectrum reallocation?
  • Who can help you do this?

What is the repack? What is spectrum repacking in the USA? It is the FCC reallocating spectrum from the broadcasters to the telecom companies. They did this through the spectrum auction in 2016. It took years to plan and then execute and now it will take years to complete the moving of equipment.

  • Telecom companies are requesting a lot more spectrum to increase wireless broadband in the USE.
  • The FCC knows that most broadcasters rely more and more on cable and dish to deliver content.
  • So, they decided to make an offer to the broadcaster where they could sell their spectrum to the telecom companies through an auction controlled by the FCC.
  • The FCC had a reverse auction to get the spectrum from the broadcasters.
  • Then the FCC had a forward auction to hand out the spectrum to wireless carriers, like T-Mobile.
  • The Auction was completed in 2016 for both sides, not the repacking begins.
  • Repacking means that the broadcasters replace their transmitters, line, and antennas to put their stations in a new band. All new equipment and the services to go with it funded by the FCC and the money they got from the auction. The FCC has a budget that they are working with, thanks to the carriers.

While carriers like T-Mobile are excited to get the new spectrum so we all can use it to enjoy broadband and build the infrastructure of wireless in the USA, it is not an easy thing to do.

So, when planning a smart city, the regulations matt

What is involved in a repack? Broadcasters have a tremendous amount of work to move ahead. They must make many changes on each of their towers over the next 4 years. They have until July 13th of 2021 to complete all the work. Sounds easy, right, that is over 4 years from the time I am writing this.

  • Build up the new transmitter in the new band.
  • Install the new line and antennas.
  • Move over to the new spectrum and bring the new equipment live.
  • Take down the old line and antenna.
  • Deconstruct the old transmitter.

It is a lot of work to have this completed in an industry that has insufficient resources.  Someone should manage all of this, do the tower work, provide the antennas, change out the transmitters. If you think this is something that can be done quickly, then you are in telecom and have no idea what the broadcasters deal with or what their system looks like. They have a large antenna that could be 2,000 feet high, that is right, 2K, not 200. It weighs hundreds of pounds, not pounds. The line is a copper coax that is very heavy, not fiber. It is work, and it needs to be managed.

The Wireless Deployment Handbook  Paperback

Get the Wireless Deployment Handbook today!The Wireless Deployment Handbook eBook that covers professional carrier end to end deployment of LTE small cells, CRAN, and DAS showing you the proper way to plan for deployment then execute.

The broadcasters have a tremendous amount of work to get done. They will completely de-install their equipment from their towers. This is a massive undertaking which will take a lot of time and planning before the real work gets done. It will take a team of people. The tower workers will be so busy over the next 3 years trying to complete all the removals and installing the new equipment. The broadcasters will be off the air along with anyone else who may be at the same level as them.

Let’s look at challenges ahead:

  • Old antennas to be removed could weigh up to 20,000lbs, that is right, 20 thousand!
  • Antennas are over 700 feet or higher, up to 2,000 feet, that is high, and you might have to remove the same thing that weighs thousands of pounds!
  • The coax is usually copper sections that weigh over 50lbs per section. Heavy, hundreds of feet running up to the top. Grounded at sections and mounted solidly to the tower. WOW!
  • The transmitter is big, and it must be removed.
  • The new equipment could be the same size as the old, it may have to be put in before the old being removed, or a temporary setup needs installed.5g-deployment-plan-front-cover-3k-pixels
  • If a temporary setup is installed, then the permanent solution will have to be installed at some point.
  • This is high power stuff, which means it takes more engineering and testing to make sure there are no problems. At high power you have arcing, high voltage, and many safety issues.
  • There is a deadline, so it is a pressure job.
  • Resources, like tower crews, will be maxed out and super busy, so it is going to be hard to get what you need when you need it.
  • When rushed, you overlook stuff, it happens. Mistakes happen. Bad weather happens. Schedules get impacted.
  • If you do not apply with the FCC, form 2100, schedule 399, properly, you may not get reimbursed so you may spend more money than you have too.
  • It may be too late when you ask for help! Then you are already behind, (and screwed!). Don’t wait!

Then they must remove the old transmitter from the site after they installed the new one.

How do you plan goals? Now you can plan 5 Weeks at a time! The 5-week Planning Journal, (click here), available now in paperback from Amazon!

You see, they will have to have all the new equipment installed and ready to turn up, just like they did when they converted to digital several years ago. They will need to have the new system in or something temporary in and ready to go live. This means a full installation and test before turning down the old station.

When does it have to be done? Here are next steps that broadcaster engineers need to get done quickly, which I found at here on the Broadcast Law Blog, an excellent blog written by David Oxenford.

  • July 12th was the deadline your estimated construction costs for equipment and services to the FCC, form 2100 schedule 399. Did you do this?

For a great video on what the broadcasters must do, look at https://youtu.be/l03Hff97hqE to see what is going on. NAB did a great job of summing this up. For anyone in the business, they get it because they know the work that must be done and how dangerous it is and that it takes a lot of planning and project management. It takes professionals to do this job. It takes people that can work with a crane or a GIN pole. It takes broadcast engineers to commission TV stations for over the air broadcast.

Another great resource is https://repackready.com/spectrum-repack-news/ if you want to get more up to date news.

Who pays for the hardware and services? The FCC, of course, this is an amazing time when the money will come from the FCC with the reserves they built from the auction. The broadcasters would get the money if they requested it using Form 2100 – Schedule 399. This was the important part because they ask to get it. Otherwise, they will pay for it. I hope they all asked for all the money, project management, hardware, services, and anything else they could add in there. This is not the time to go cheap!

Will the FCC keep track of all of this? Yes, of course, they will not only take the request but also, they need receipts and documentation to monitor the progress and the expenses associated with this. Make sure you keep good records of everything.  In fact, they said that so far they expect it to cost $2.1B based on what they know, the article found here, http://www.tvtechnology.com/news/0002/broadcasters-cable-ops-turn-in-21-billion-for-reimbursement/281416.

What is spectrum reallocation? The short answer is that the carriers get the spectrum that the broadcasters were in and the broadcasters will move to new spectrum allocated by the FCC for them to broadcast digitally. Learn more from the FCC here, https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-announces-results-worlds-first-broadcast-incentive-auction-0 to see how it is allocated.

Who can help you do this? Of course, I have someone who can help. Specifically, a friend of mine works at QCOM. I am working with my friends at QCommunications, LLC, (QCOM), about how to manage this. Just let them know Wade sent you!

They said it takes much time to get it all done and it will take endless babysitting to make sure all the steps are complete. This will take good project management by seasoned broadcast engineers.

QCOM told me that they have the PM support to oversee and assist with the critical steps. However, whether you want their help or not, it is a good idea to look over the steps involved. Most broadcast engineers probably are already dealing with this. The steps include:

  • Form 2100– Schedule 399 preparation
  • System Audit
  • System transition plan, engineering and cost analysis
  • Project Management
  • Decommissioning and Legacy equipment disposal
  • Post install system testing
  • Post Auction Transition Planning
  • Project management
  • RF Engineering and Field services
  • New System Installation, Integration, and Testing
  • Engineering analysis and evaluation of the cost to relocate to an alternative channel
  • Tower Mapping, Modifications Minor, Major and Serious as well as Installation
  • HVAC services
  • Interim Solutions, Engineer, Design, PM, and Installation
  • Impact Study
  • Studio and Production Control transition
  • Coordinating all the services and crews and hardware deliveries.

It is a lot of work. However, this time the FCC will reimburse the broadcasters for their work and equipment. If they file the forms in time, the forms and the request should be made before getting paid. So, they need to make sure they account for everything. They will need to use their planning skills to account for everything. They also need to add some money in there for the problems they are not thinking of yet. That is right! They should consider the worst-case scenario to make sure that they are prepared to cover it. Don’t be cheap! You only get reimbursed if you have the receipts, but if you do not make the request, then you get nothing. Plan well, get the tower modifications if they are needed. Get the PM for the extra help. Hire extra engineers to execute quickly and properly. Plan for the extras, so you get reimbursed properly Don’t short change yourselves or losing money. The FCC forces you to go digital and they did not give you any money for that, but now you have an opportunity to get all of this done from the money from the auction. How great is that? It is awesome!

How is the spectrum be reallocated? It’s being bought from the broadcasters and distributed to the telecom companies for wireless LTE broadband as part of the 5G roll out. That’s how the spectrum is being allocated, through the auction and the money is going from the telecom companies to the FCC, who will take some, but they are going to make sure that the broadcasters get their share and get some of the services and hardware paid for.

This is a lot of work and something that your team may or may not want to do alone. If you need help, just ask. Feel free to let me know at wade4wireless@gmail.com, or you can reach out to QCOM at https://www.qcom1.com/contact-us/ to get more information, just tell them Wade sent you there!

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