LBA Releases White Paper and Video: “Is This Cell Tower a ‘Hot’ AM Tower?”

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White paper explores safety and feasibility issues in repurposing AM broadcast towers to host cellular communications infrastructure.

LBA AM Collocation

AM radio tower with cellular collocation equipment

This new educational resource provides valuable safety and feasibility guidance for the wireless industry as it relates to “hot” AM towers

Lawrence Behr Associates, a unit of LBA Group, Inc., announces the release of an educational white paper and video aimed at the wireless and broadcast industries. These provide insight on the use of AM collocation, which is the dual use of AM broadcast towers by cellular carriers, a topic often unfamiliar to cellular technicians, site acquisition personnel, tower companies, and zoning and permitting officials. LBA shares its expertise as the global leader in AM colocation, AM detuning and AM compliance matters with over 50 years of experience in providing AM broadcast solutions and wireless services.

A frequent question asked in the AM broadcast and wireless communities is whether a “hot” AM tower can be safely and reliably used to host cellular and other communications infrastructure. From an RF safety perspective, workers often want to know how to identify cellular towers that may also be a “hot” AM tower. These questions are answered in, “Is This Cell Tower a ‘Hot’ AM Tower?” The white paper and video are available at: https://www.lbagroup.com/blog/hot-am-tower-collocation/.

“This new educational resource provides valuable safety and feasibility guidance for the wireless industry as it relates to “hot” AM towers,” LBA Site Services Director Mike Hayden said.

Across the United States there are some 10,000 AM broadcast towers, which constitute a vastly underutilized resource for cell site deployment. Many are in dense suburban growth areas. A few of these AM towers have been safely and reliably doubling as both an AM tower and a cellular tower for years, many with AM colocation solutions designed and manufactured by LBA. However, because the cellular industry and broadcast industry have had little traditional overlap, these opportunities often are passed through lack of awareness.

The white paper seeks to dispel some of this fog. It covers in a simple and straightforward manner the technical facets of AM colocation, how to identify the equipment typically used to facilitate the colocation of cellular facilities on an AM tower, and RF safety considerations for using these towers.

Increasingly there are areas where zoning, other restrictions, or community opposition make is difficult to gain approval for a new wireless tower. Most AM towers are already integrated in their communities, having been in their current locations for many years. Thus, collocating on an existing AM tower is relatively innocuous and often meets with no major resistance within a community, expediting provision of enhanced wireless services.

In addition to enabling aesthetically friendly new wireless communications and data services, AM collocation can provide new revenue streams for sometimes financially strapped AM stations, helping to preserve community radio service.

By giving a roadmap for functionally and safely repurposing AM towers, the LBA white paper helps show how the right expertise can make this safe, reliable option a win-win for everyone.

For more information on LBA products and services related to AM colocation, AM detuning or AM compliance matters, visit https://www.lbagroup.com/services/lawrence-behr-associates-inc, or contact David Horn, at David.Horn(at)lbagroup(dot)com, 252-757-0279.

Keep up with what’s going on at LBA by following the company on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/LBAGroup.

About LBA Group Inc.
LBA Group, Inc. has 50 years of experience in providing electromagnetic protection for industrial and telecommunications infrastructure assets. It is comprised of LBA Technology, Inc., a leading manufacturer and integrator of radio frequency systems, lightning protection, and EMC equipment for broadcast, industrial, and government users worldwide; the professional technical consultancy Lawrence Behr Associates, Inc.; and LBA University, Inc. providing on-site and online professional training. The companies are based in Greenville, N.C., USA.

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Katie Holloman
LBA Group
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David Horn
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