The Real Reason T-Mobile Increased Its Data Cap to 50GB

(Guess what – it isn’t because they feel their network can handle it!) T-Mobile recently increases their data cap to 50GB before deprioritization occurs. For those who aren’t familiar with the difference between throttling and deprioritization, each of the wireless carriers has a cap on the data usage under their unlimited plans. Some carriers will […]

AT&T’s Brilliant Strategy to Double Dip from Public Funding to Build a Better Wireless Network (Investor Research Note from Steel in the Air)

  We have been getting a lot of questions from investors related to FirstNet equipment and the potential impact on TowerCos, with most questions pertaining to the timing and revenue from amendment activity from FirstNet antenna modifications. You may recall that in AT&T FirstNet Revisited, we reviewed the impact of AT&T winning the FirstNet RFP and […]

AT&T Wins FirstNet but TowerCos are the Real Winners

FirstNet Award to AT&T Confirmed: Checks Confirm Amendment Activity before Official Announcement Tickers: T, AMT, CCI, SBAC Tags: Ken Schmidt, Wireless Infrastructure In Examining FirstNet Assumptions 12/9/2016, we reviewed the likelihood that AT&T would win the FirstNet RFP and the impact on TowerCos, Equipment OEMs, and FiberCos. As the time, the FirstNet award was stalled […]

Are states going to opt-out of AT&T’s FirstNet?

Now that the Rivada court challenge appears to be resolved, many pundits and experts expect AT&T to be awarded the FirstNet contract.  Once the FirstNet contract is awarded to AT&T (only remaining qualified bidder), AT&T has 180 days to prepare state specific FirstNet plans.  States then have 90 days to decide to opt-in or out.   […]

Steel in the Air – Wireless Predictions for 2017

As we have done in years past, we look ahead to 2017 and share our forecasts for the coming year. All things considered, 2016 was a mediocre year for the industry. 2017 looks to be all about repositioning – meaning that while we don’t expect growth in CapEx, we do anticipate industry development in some […]

5G and LTE-U Test Markets for Each Wireless Carrier

We were curious what markets we would start seeing modifications requests come in for new antennas on existing cell towers for 5G and LTE-U installations.   These trials in most cases will require new antennas with new frequency bands.   So we created the map that you can see below- or see the online version of […]

Crown Castle (CCI) Small Cell Initiatives and Reporting

So as a clear indication that Wall Street is very focused on small cell initiatives by the public tower companies, Crown Castle started reporting their small cell financials separately from their tower financials in the Q1 2016 quarterly earnings and call.   They must have been receiving a significant number of questions from the analysts because […]

Not quite time to cut the cord.

AT&T is adding LTE to all their cell sites, even the rural ones.  This is part of their Project VIP- an effort to upgrade AT&T’s wireline network to an IP-based infrastructure and migrate some of its harder to reach copper customers to 4G LTE fixed wireless service.

Is HomeBase really a Home Run?

Along with AT&T’s recent acquisition of DirectTV, it committed to expanding its LTE network to “an additional 15 million customer locations” – and like the other Big 4 wireless players engaged in the 21st Century Gold Rush, it’s racing to stake rural territory and gain customer loyalty. AT&T’s latest offering, called “HomeBase” uses fixed wireless […]