Only one worker died falling from a wireless tower in 2012. That figure was up to eight in 2019. Many more were injured. Tower climbers are among the workers at the highest risk for fatal falls in the workplace. Workplace fatalities in the U.S are three times higher in the U.K.

The danger makes it hard to recruit new workers. DC believes the U.S. needs more trained workers for 5G success. The easiest way to make that happen is to enforce existing OSHA safety standards. Some simple steps: FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, active in this topic, should meet with an OSHA counterpart and find ways for the FCC to help. I'd suggest

  • Add to the FCC website a section on tower safety. OSHA can provide the information and the FCC could add links to training. Training options can easily be found at Wireless Estimator. A yearly press release with data could draw attention.
  • Require all parties - telcos, towers, contractors - be responsible for safety. Too often, they just blame others.
  • Making sharing networks and radios easier, which reduces the number of towers, cost, and time.

It's not clear why DC believes in a worker shortage. Telco capital spending is flat to down, few new towers are being erected, and small cell numbers are growing slowly. Telcos continue to eliminate thousands of jobs held by workers who could be retrained.

Wireless Estimator writes "FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said during the hearing that there is a need to 'have to train another 20,000 tower techs.' Wireless Estimator in past inquiries to the FCC can not obtain an answer as to how the often-quoted shortage was identified

Jessica Rosenworcel, Brendan Carr, Jonathan Adelstein: What's going on?

Mike Sainato's article in The Guardian inspired me to write this article. Wireless Estimator has the details on each of the eight in 2019, along with extensive safety information.   

dave ask


Rethinking Jan 27: Coronavirus could invalidate all projections. I reported on AIDS for 2 years. This could be worse because it spreads in air. Let us hope and pray.

Details on all 5G phones, as prices drop to $285 ** All actual 5G networks worldwide ** Facebook ordered to repost Italian fascist page. ** Apple China sales down 35%** Qorvo sees 300M 5G 2020 & 750M 2023 mmWave <10%

** Bharti demands India Gov more than double prices and enforce cartel. Sunil Mittal "Situation is dire. It is a matter of survival for everyone." ** Wi-Fi 6 meets ITU 5G criteria @stephenjcrowley ** Samsung $8B for Chinese memory plants ** Morgan paying billions for Altice fiber

Dec 10 Sprint bringing $300-500 5G phones to US 2020. Nokia, Lenovo, HMD ** H., Apple, and AMD doing 5 nm test runs on TSMC's 5 nm. Early results are 15-30% better than 7 nm ** AT&T low-band 5G built to >65% US. Speeds slower than 4G at launch. ** 

Verizon CEO Ronan Dunne: >1/2 VZ 5G "will approximate to a good 4G service" Midband in "low hundreds" Mbps ** CFO John Stephens says AT&T is going to cut capex soon. ** Huawei in 16 days sold 1,000,000 5G Mate 20s.  


Welcome  Asia is installing hundreds of thousands of 5G radios and adding 5G subs by the tens of millions. The west is far behind. 200,000,000 in 2020

The demand is there, and most of the technology works. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

I'm Dave Burstein, Editor. I've been reporting telecom since 1999. I love to hear from readers and say thank you when you find an error.

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