Month: July 2015

Listening to Music (How the Smart Phone Has Impacted our Lives)

By Harry Kapp
Project Supervisor

“I worry that the person who thought up Muzak may be thinking up something else” -Lily Tomlin

I love music. Almost any music. Most of my friends stopped listening to current music several decades ago. I marched on and continued listening to new music, e.g., alternative, electronica, and scores of new artists. Admittedly, I still hold on to the past and have yet to give up my LPs which are now much coveted by my son. I also have a rather unhealthy number of CDs as well as packing 28,000 songs into my classic iPod which I never leave home without. My favorites are loaded into my iPhone (I still need to delete the U2 album forced onto my cell phone!) for easy access via headphones/ear buds and Bluetooth without the need to skip unwanted songs.

I started with LPs. Then, the push was on to purchase CDs and then mp3’s, a song at a time or a full album. LPs are back in vogue, but now the push is on to stream music via music streaming services providing access to millions of songs. Two of the best known are Pandora and Spotify. These services seek to assist you with suggested playlists, artists and genres for whatever mood you might be in. Pandora feels obligated to tell me in an email what I listened to last month….in one ear and apparently not out the other! These music services track your music choices analytically in order to determine your musical preferences creating playlists and recommending music.  If you thought you were privately listening to RAP or Polka music, someone out there or something may be watching you.

Apple Music has now entered the scene. Apple Music will also use analytics but will rely on human curators to suggest playlists and artists to its users based on your listening history.   All of these music services allow you to sort by artist, genre and mood also suggesting holiday play lists and seasonal playlists. One thing that Apple Music will do is to allow me to listen to all my old records as well as buy new ones by linking with iTunes. It will also offer Connect to allow artists to be able to interact with their fans. The music streaming services are highly competitive as they fight for market share and I am sure that all of them will eventually offer the same features. Oh, and while these streaming services will cost around $10/month, Apple Music will also offer a free global radio station with live selections by human DJs, old school mixing with new school! And, best of all, all of this is happily sitting in my cell phone literally and figuratively at my fingertips.

This may not bode well for record stores but there are plenty of us that still want to browse through physical albums and CDs. If you are ever in LA, consider a trip to Amoeba Music or my old stomping ground in the Boston area, Newbury Comics. On the way there or while you are in the store, you can narrow your search by listening to your favorite music or sampling an artist on your phone!


Alcatel-Lucent extends support for indoor and outdoor small cell deployments as Md7 and other new members join Site Certification Program

Paris, France, June 09, 2015

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is expanding its Site Certification Program with the addition of new member companies to help mobile service providers quickly deploy small cells where they need greater coverage. New members of the award winning program, will increase support for outdoor small cell deployment while adding expertise to solve the challenges related to indoor deployment – often in the workplace.

Mobile service providers want to increase coverage and quality in busy, high-traffic areas, or where the radio signal is obstructed. By continuing to expand program membership as well as focussing on critical coverage challenges inside buildings, Alcatel-Lucent can help them accelerate deployments in public or privately owned premises. This will allow mobile service providers to address an in-building market opportunity which is growing from US$4.3 billion in 2014 to US$9.4 billion in 2020 – a market with less than 10% penetration today.

The Site Certification Program has already successfully accelerated the deployment of outdoor small cells. Originally focused on boosting coverage in dense urban areas and large venues such as busy shopping centers and outdoor stadiums, Alcatel-Lucent has tripled the number of program members since launch. With the addition of new specialists the program now provides access to over one million sites across the globe including North America, Central and Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

New program members, including Argent Associates, Colt Technology Services, DecisionOne Corporation, Eiffage Energie, Mastec, Inc., Md7 and Syscom Telecom, each bring unique capabilities and assets to help operators rapidly deploy small cells outdoors and in-building and meet the coverage needs of subscribers.

New program members, including Argent Associates, Colt Technology Services, DecisionOne Corporation, Eiffage Energie, Mastec, Inc., Md7 and Syscom Telecom, each bring unique capabilities and assets to help operators rapidly deploy small cells outdoors and in-building and meet the coverage needs of subscribers. Their specialized market knowledge in a range of industry types include access to indoor sites, some in hard to reach locations for power and backhaul, as well as lease negotiation.

Jim Cocito, Senior Vice President, Wireless Services, Alcatel-Lucent said: “The in-building market is a large and untapped opportunity for mobile operators.  With people increasingly using their own devices at work and more acceptance
of BYOD, enterprises have the opportunity to move to the ‘Mobile Office’, using their IT infrastructure for mobile communications and removing legacy land lines. With the Site Certification Program we can help service providers get small cells into the places to meet their customers’ needs more rapidly and efficiently.”

Nick Marshall, Research Director at ABI Research, said: “Since 2013 when it was first announced, Alcatel-Lucent’s Site Certification program has been solving complex and time consuming small cell deployment challenges for outdoor and venue locations. Now with this announcement the company and its Site Certification partners are applying their specialist know-how to the challenges of deploying small cells indoors.”

About the Site Certification Program

Alcatel-Lucent has an extensive portfolio of small cells solutions and over 130 contracts spanning more than 78 operators in 54 countries. Launched in December 2013, the Alcatel-Lucent Site Certification Program aims to help service providers accelerate small cells deployments to meet their customers’ ultra-broadband needs more easily by:

  • Offering access to a large database of small cell-ready sites, including on-net buildings and multiple certified program members.
  • Reducing deployment time by 30-40% in terms of site acquisition and building lease and power and backhaul access.
  • Lowering deployment costs by at least 20% by leveraging the program members’ cell site assets.
  • Lowering service providers’ capital and operating
    expenditure related to site acquisition, leasing, backhaul, power and maintenance.
  • Providing training to the member companies to ensure that their workforce can participate in the deployment of small cell networks.

ABOUT ALCATEL-LUCENT (EURONEXT PARIS AND NYSE: ALU)

Alcatel-Lucent is the leading IP networking, ultra-broadband access and cloud technology specialist. We are dedicated to making global communications more innovative, sustainable and accessible for people, businesses and governments worldwide.
Our mission is to invent and deliver trusted networks to help our customers unleash their value. Every success has its network.

For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent, read the latest posts on the Alcatel-Lucent blog and follow the Company on Twitter: @Alcatel_Lucent.


Md7 Acquires Lexcom Development – The Lexcom Point of View

By Louis Levy,
Founder of Lexcom Development and now the Vice President of Business Development for Md7

App developers for smartphones and tablets are continuously creating new ways to support and enhance the modern lifestyle. While the penetration rates for mobile phones far exceeds 100% in many nations, the excitement generated by apps are driving the penetration of smartphones to similar heights.

This growth has subsequently also driven the need for continued expansion of the wireless infrastructure. Since the early 90’s, carriers have been aggressively expanding infrastructure to keep up with this insatiable demand for ubiquitous connectivity and unlimited bandwidth. But the latest growth, driven by the exploding demand for data, fueled the need for new better deployment models in the wireless infrastructure arena.

Lexcom Development was founded in 2011 by some industry veterans who realized a simplified but smarter approach to infrastructure deployment was necessary in the 4G world and beyond. We spent a lot of time evaluating and understanding what our customers really wanted and how we could reduce risk and costs without a negatively impacting quality or speed. The very customer-oriented approach that Lexcom pursued was well received and within a few years Lexcom had become one of the leading and largest development firms in the Pacific Northwestern United States.

This growth was exciting but also presented a new challenge – how to scale operations without sacrificing quality, consistency and speed. We knew we could continue to hire and train great people and empower them to be creative, independent thinkers, but as operators began assigning Lexcom more deployment projects we also needed better tools and data management capabilities.

We started evaluating the plethora of off-the-shelf project management programs and also explored developing our own deployment-tracking tool. Out-of-the-box software was expensive, cumbersome and inflexible and we simply did not have the expertise to develop our own alternative in time to meet demand. And anyone who has been in the industry knows, using spreadsheets to track multiple site development projects is a tremendous headache and promotes inconstancy.

Ultimately our search led us to Md7 and their LiveTrack™ site development software.

LiveTrack was originally developed by Md7 to support national lease optimization programs for the major US operators, but had evolved over time to enable Md7 to manage the tens of thousands of concurrent transactions associated with various types of deployment projects nationwide. It was simple, intuitive, and scalable and was developed specifically for the unique, cellular site acquisition work environment. I personally had known Md7’s Founder and CEO, Michael Gianni, for a number of years and our respective teams had worked together on a couple of projects in the PNW region, so trust was already high between our two organizations. After a couple quick demos, Lexcom became a customer of Md7 and deployed LiveTrack on our own internal site deployment projects.

Lexcom saw immediate improvements in team collaboration, data integrity and real-time visibility. We were thrilled with LiveTrack’s performance and continued to collaborate with the Md7 team to expand our use of their system and data integrity team. As our relationship evolved, it soon became evident that we had the making for a great partnership beyond just using their software and data management skills. Our people enjoyed working together, we had similar cultures, and both companies believed the current business environment required site development companies to deploy new and upgraded sites faster and cheaper than it had ever been done. Both companies also maintained unique, fun and motivating work environments, which helped us to recruit the best and brightest people in our industry and provide customers a better service model.

Lexcom and Md7 were committed to developing a new deployment model for the wireless infrastructure industry and we had similar ideas about how to do so – hire good people, treat them well, train them, give them world-class tools to make them more efficient, and trust/empower them to execute. We also saw the need for firms to be able to scale quickly, and provide, self-perform and truly own their deliverable throughout the full site acquisition development lifecycle.

There are lots of firms offering to aggregate development services at a regional or national level but greater than 90% of the critical front-end site development activities are outsourced in these models. While aggregation and simplified reporting is nice, it’s only valuable if it supports the customer’s goal of better, faster, cheaper production. The multiple layers of subcontracted vendors in current deployment models increases transactional complexity and inefficiency, promotes data inconsistency and clouds true ownership of the final deliverable. With a similar vision to build a better solution and perfectly aligned resources to support that vision, it was a no-brainer to combine our teams.

I am confident that Md7’s ability to manage large-scale projects will enable Lexcom to grow our market based operations faster than we could have independently. I am also confident that Lexcom will bring Md7 a clear ability to execute on all phases of turnkey site development necessary to prove a unique and superior customer experience.

As the newest members of the Md7 team, we are excited about the rapidly growing opportunities we face in the second half of 2015.


California Bill May Streamline Wireless Deployments

By Cynthia Hanson,
Land Use Counsel at Md7

California Assemblyman Bill Quirk, from the 20th District (Hayward) has proposed legislation that would help carriers and tower companies speed infrastructure upgrades through the local jurisdictional approval process. Similar legislation recently became law in the states of Georgia, Indiana, and Iowa.

Under California Assembly Bill 57, colocation applications pending after 90 days and new siting applications pending after 150 days will be “deemed approved.” In other words, if you submit an application, comply with the jurisdictional process and notice requirements, and your application has not been timely approved or denied, you can consider the project zoning complete, pull your building permit and schedule construction. This is powerful relief in a state notorious for its extended land use approval processes.

The language of AB 57 has been amended to provide that if an application is incomplete, the approval time period will stop running until the information needed to make the application complete is provided, then the clock will start running again. Additionally, the bill now allows the applicant and the local government to mutually agree to extend the review period beyond the 90 or 150 day time limitations. Under the amendment, after the 90 or 150 days have passed, applicant must give notice to the city or county that the application is now deemed approved. The latest version of AB 57 also excludes “eligible facilities requests” as defined by the FCC. Basically an eligible facility request is one involving the colocation, replacement, or removal of transmission equipment not resulting in a substantial change to the site. Eligible facility requests will remain subject to the FCC shorter 60 day deemed approved shot clock.

The language of AB 57 goes beyond the provisions of the recent FCC wireless siting order by providing a deemed approved remedy for all properly noticed colocation and new siting applications. In contrast, the FCC imposed this remedy only for applications that do not result in a “substantial change.” To read more about the FCC Order click here.

The wireless community has come out in strong support of AB 57. Frustrated by approval timeframes that too often exceed 180 days and at times more than a year, in addition to the burden of meeting what they believe are onerous jurisdictional review requirements, wireless service providers are looking for assistance to help speed sites to on air status as they strive to meet their customers’ demand for ever improved wireless service. The carriers can be expected to be very vocal in their support of AB 57 as the legislation winds its way through the approval processes in Sacramento. Tower companies and private landlords who rent space to carriers can also be expected to come out in support of AB 57. Recently, the California Wireless Association (CalWA) issued a call to their membership asking for their vocal support of the proposed legislation. CTIA – The Wireless Association and PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association have also voiced their support for AB 57.

As expected, parties in opposition to AB 57 have been lining up as well. Local jurisdictions believe AB 57 violates their right to govern properties and activities within their boundaries. The City of Los Angeles recently passed a resolution opposing the bill on the grounds that it cannot realistically meet the timelines due to the large number of applications processed by the City and in light of the environmental review processes that must be completed before an application can be considered. Additionally, the City concludes that AB 57 undermines its ability to control land use practices within its boundaries. The Cities of San Francisco and Berkeley also passed similar resolutions in opposition, expressing concern over the lack of clarity in the bill’s provisions and the failure of the bill to consider environmental review requirements. San Francisco also requests the formation of a broadband connectivity group to discuss and find resolutions to broadband connectivity and safety issues. The formation of this group was originally part of AB 57 and deleted during the review process. The California League of Cities, the California Association of Counties, Urban Counties Caucus, and the California Chapters of the American Planning Association and the Association of Environmental Planners have also come out in opposition to AB 57 and are rallying their members to speak out against AB 57.

AB 57 had almost unanimous support in the California State Assembly and is now in the California State Senate where it was amended on July 8th. A final decision on AB 57 is expected later this year.

Links to the current text of AB 57 and the Resolutions of the Cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Berkeley can be found below.

AB 57

City of Los Angeles Resolution

City of San Francisco Resolution

City of Berkeley Resolution


Md7, LLC acquires Lexcom Development Corporation, a cellular site development company in the Pacific Northwest

SAN DIEGO, CA – July 1, 2015 – Md7, LLC announced that it has acquired Lexcom Development Corporation, L.L.C., a Seattle based site development company with a strong presence and trusted reputation in the states of Washington, Oregon and Northern California.

The asset purchase of Lexcom’s operations in Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; and Sacramento, CA fits into Md7’s strategy to grow its site development services in the cellular industry. Through this acquisition, Md7 will substantially strengthen its efforts to offer a variety of à la carte and turnkey services in the Pacific Northwestern, United States.

“Lexcom has a significant opportunity to scale their current operations and Md7 uses a centralized approach to site acquisition that allows us to complete high volume projects at lower than typical prices. Together, we believe Lexcom and Md7 will be able to substantially grow market share in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California much faster than either of us could operating alone” said Michael Gianni, Chairman and C.E.O. of Md7. “And while both companies offer site acquisition services, our expertise is complementary.”

About Md7

Md7, LLC, based in San Diego, California and Dublin, Ireland is a real estate portfolio management and consulting company serving the wireless telecommunications industry. Its experience and proprietary systems create greater efficiencies and significant cost savings for the largest wireless operators in the world. Md7 has provided a variety of site acquisition and real estate related services in ten different languages, in 13 different countries in North America, Europe, Africa and Oceana.

Contact:
Tom Leddo
858-799-7854
tleddo@md7.dwelltechnology.com

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