Cell Tower News: Tower accidents and reducing climbs


One fatality, one tower climber injury and one rescue this week

After a relatively quiet January in the tower world, there have been reports of tower accidents and rescues this week. The first incident happened in the Adelaide River area of Australia. According to local news, a man was working on a communication tower near Adelaide River when he fell. The man was treated by medical personnel from the Adelaide River Health Clinic. Neither the identity of the man nor any other details have been released.

Back in the U.S., a man fell 80 feet off a tower in Hale County, Texas. The tower was located off FM 54 and near Interstate 27. Emergency crews responded to the scene, rushing him to a local area hospital. The man, identified as 25-year old Michael Deshawn Ray, is now in critical condition. The man was working for North Houston Power Line Company and the incident is now being investigated by OSHA.

In Kenai, Alaska, a man was rescued from a cell tower this week as well. The man, not a tower climber by trade, climbed 130 feet up in the air and then decided he could not get himself down and called 911. The fire department arrived on the scene, but none of their equipment was tall enough to reach the man, so instead two men attached to ropes went up the tower to help get the stuck man down. Once rescued, the man, whose name has not been released, was taken to Central Peninsula Hospital and checked for hypothermia. Hopefully they checked his head as well.

Viavi introduces solution to reduce tower climbs

This week network test and assurance company Viavi Solutions released an update to its CellAdvisor Base Station Analyzer designed to reduce the number of tower climbs. The solution uses baseband unit emulation during remote radio head installations at cell sites.Usually, complete testing of the RRH needs to wait until the BBU is installed up to 30 days later, which can mean another tower climb if probems are found.

“Mobile service providers worldwide have standardized on CellAdvisor for its test functionality, ease of use, portability and cost effectiveness,” explained Jim Nerschook, GM of wireless solutions for Viavi. “They’ve asked us to extend that value proposition to enable comprehensive cell site testing, in order to minimize cost, time to market, downtime and risks to technician safety.”

Anything that saves another climb up the tower means more potential tower accidents are eliminated, which sounds like a good thing.

Tower news quickies

• Preview of the FCC and DoL OSHA Tower Safety Workshop

Network builders: LTE costs will transform the cell tower biz in 2016

• Tech is asking for $75,000-plus after being struck by an angle adapter

Regional/local tower news

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Jarad Matula