Tag Archive for 'cell-tower'

Sprint sells 3,000 towers to TowerCo


Sprint fire sale

Interesting news for those closely following Sprint’s future today. Cellular-News is reporting that Sprint Nextel has completed the previously announced sale of approximately 3,080 towers to TowerCo for an estimated US$670 million in cash. The two companies have also signed a long-term leasing agreement for TowerCo to provide Sprint Nextel with wireless communications towers to support the company’s CDMA, iDEN and WiMAX networks.

“Leasing rather than owning these network facilities is a more efficient use of resources and allows us to focus more closely on our core business of providing communications services to our customers,” said Bob Azzi, Sprint senior vice president - Network Services. “This deal also gives Sprint additional liquidity and greater flexibility in managing our business.”

From an outsider’s perspective, it’s difficult to say if this is a smart move on Sprint’s part or a desperate cash grab. When the sale was first announced, BBCool reader Chris L. put it into perspective this way:

If they are desperate for the capital, its like reverse mortgaging your house. Not a good idea unless you’re almost dead.

If they aren’t desperate for the capital, then obviously this TowerCo can do it cheaper than they can. To me, that says they aren’t geared for efficiency, good organization, or any other good characteristics. Its not like outsourcing the IT or HR needs of a small company, we’re talking the bread and butter function. If 3M can outsource production of their sticky pads, it would raise serious questions about 3M’s viability.

Of course, on the optimistic side, it could mean they are rolling out LTE or WiMax or something and have it ready to go, and just don’t want to deal with their legacy network themselves anymore. Right? Please?

Thoughts, people? Is this a time for optimism about Sprint Nextel, or a sign that they’re better at selling off their business than running it?

(via CN)

Free BlackBerry application pinpoints cell towers


The beta for Signal-Location Utilities just came out recently, and looks extremely useful for wireless professionals. By plugging into BlackBerry Maps, you can find tower locations, signal strength, available services, and tower IDs. Easily save tower locations and export them as CSV files or into Google Maps on your desktop. Handheld Google Maps integration is in the works, but everything is still in beta, so be warned. Although it’s a bit of a technical utility that might not be especially useful for most people, anyone working with carriers trying to map out their coverage area could definitely use this to get a good idea of what’s up. Customers in low-coverage areas might also find it helpful to figure out where to go for the best signal. Don’t worry if you don’t have internal GPS - Bluetooth-connected GPS is also supported. Go ahead and give Signal-Location Utilities a shot!

(via BlackBerry Forums)

Sprint pawning off cell towers for $670 mil


Cell Tower Pawn Shop

As if you needed any further indication of Sprint’s downward spiral, they’ll be selling off 3,300 of their towers for $670 million to TowerCo. As bad as that sounds, TowerCo will actually be leasing these towers back to Sprint - think of it like outsourcing all of the gritty back-end work. Of course, with someone else handling all of that, it means that Sprint won’t have to keep all the tower maintenance crew on their end anymore and will probably lose a fair number of employees that TowerCo will be replacing. What do you guys think - savvy saving on Sprint’s part?

(via Engadget)

SameCell updated, now featuring tabs and events


SameCell has a had a significant upgrade today, now packing tabbed browsing, event and location features, and including some extra functions if you happen to have GPS. Of course, the SameCell’s really great if you don’t have GPS, since its location-based services are all based on cell tower recognition. In fact, SameCell was the very first app I saw that use the technique, and since then Google Maps and even the BlackBerry Bold has started doing the same thing. They’ve also got a cool program where you get paid for discovering new cell towers not in their database. The core functionality of being alerted of buddy proximity remains - the only trick is getting your friends to install the app on their BlackBerrys. Go ahead and check out the new features or head on over to www.samecell.com/setup on your Browser to get started.

Navizon hops on the free cell positioning bandwagon


Although Google’s My Location is probably as good as it gets, Navizon is now offering a free cell tower positioning app. Just like Google Maps, we’re looking at 1000 m accuracy on average, which isn’t great, but paired up with wi-fi, they claim that it can be chopped down to 10-30m. It’s a nice option for those BlackBerry users packing Wi-Fi and no GPS, like with the 8320 or 8120, especially if they’re in urban areas where there are plenty of cell towers around.

Google unveils GPS-less location-detection


Google’s updated Maps to version 2.0, and the big new feature is cell-tower triangulation to find your location. This new beta program called My Location sounds a bit like SameCell, huh? Of course, if you have GPS integrated in your handheld, Google Maps can read that too. Google’s obviously keeping BlackBerry in mind, as it’s a Curve cut-out being used in the video demo, but Nokia, Java and Windows Mobile is supported too. Head on over to http://www.google.com/gmm on your mobile browser to check out the beta. Thanks, Ronen!

Video after the jump…

SameCell offers free proximity detection between BlackBerry users


Miblackberry just spotted a pretty sweet service by the name of SameCell, which recognizes which cellular tower you’re using, and identifies whether specified friends (pulled from your existing address book) are on the same one. If they are, you get a quick e-mail alert to let you know that your contact is nearby. Stuff like this is great, since it breaks the mould of location-based services equating to GPS hardware. Given, you won’t get the same precision as GPS, SameCell is completely free while it’s running its noble beta course. Sometimes just knowing your buddies are in the neighbourhood is good enough. Right now the software is only for BlackBerry, but compatibility for Windows Mobile and other smartphones is in the works.