Is Our Data Consumption Outpacing Our Wireless Networks?

For the country’s largest wireless providers, those colorful coverage maps you often see on TV may not be telling the whole story. As our consumption of wireless data continues to grow exponentially year over year, the notion of coverage has changed; gone are the days when having service meant being able to make a call or send a simple text or email. Carriers today must be able to cover the full range of their users’ usage requirements. For wireless infrastructure expert Ken Schmidt, this means, among other things, “densifying” the country’s current offering of cellular networks. Schmidt sits down with GLG to discuss so-called small cells and why we may be nearing the end of broadband internet at home.

Ken Schmidt is President of Steel in the Air, Inc., a firm that provides guidance to public and private landowners across the U.S. on cell tower lease issues from valuation to buyouts. Steel in the Air has over 3,000 clients including private landowners, real estate investment trusts, a number of Fortune 500 companies, and the federal government. Having reviewed over 10,000 cell tower leases nationwide, Schmidt is the country’s preeminent expert on cellular lease negotiations.

In addition to his work at Steel in the Air, Ken Schmidt is a partner in SteelTree Partners, a sell-side advisory firm for owners of communication tower assets. SteelTree Partners has assisted in the sale of over $1.7 billion in tower assets over the last 14 years.

Schmidt has developed, owned, and operated cellular towers in his own right. He is a frequent speaker at wireless infrastructure conventions and seminars and has been quoted by numerous publications—including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal—on cell tower related issues. He holds a J.D. from the University of Florida and a B.S. in Political Science from Truman State University.


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