LBA Group Gets Patent

The system that allows wireless telephone antennas to be used on AM broadcast antenna towers.

By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector

LAWRENCE BEHR, chairman/CEO of LBA Group, Inc., stands next to one of the company's wireless antenna colocation systems. The system allows wireless equipment to be installed on AM towers without interference.A Greenville business recently received a patent for a system that allows wireless telephone antennas to be used on AM broadcast antenna towers.

LBA Group Inc. received a patent for its CoLoPole wireless antenna isocoupler system.

The wireless communication industry often encounters in communities, said Lawrence Behr, chairman/CEO of LBA Group Inc.

"Many (AM towers) are in the best areas as far as coverage, and they are already there as far as zoning issues go," Behr said.

Wireless equipment cannot be placed on the towers because they are completely electrified, which interferes with the equipment's operation and makes maintenance impractical, he said.

The CoLoPole allows wireless equipment to be installed on AM towers without interference on the tower, allowing the tower base to be grounded, according to an LBA press release.

The base interconnections are designed to leave one side of the tower free for climbing, and insulation in the tower base is designed to minimize snagging of climbing gear.

Because of the equipment's weight, most units will be installed on newly built towers, but some older towers can be outfitted with it, Behr said.

A Greenville native, Behr started a consulting company for broadcast companies in 1963. For most of the 1960s the company was located in Washington D.C., but in the 1970s he returned to Greenville.

"There were almost no consultants in the Southeast," he said. "We were fighting upstream in Washington, so we sold the venture up there, and I decided to more back it."

The move made him one of the most recognized consultants in the region.

In the early 1980s, Behr moved the company's focus into the wireless communication business.

"I saw broadcasting was no longer the high-tech business it used to be and wireless was growing tremendously," he said.

His company started by conducting some of the marketing research that pioneered the industry.

"One time in downtown Greenville, we had a 24-hour operation preparing the applications (for wireless franchises) and marketing research," he said.

Today, the company focuses on infrastructure support and providing equipment and services to wireless tower operators.

Forty people work in the company's Greenville manufacturing and corporate offices. Lawrence Behr Associates - as well as LBA Technology, LBA International and LBA InfoSystems - are units of LBA Group.

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About LBA

LBA Group companies serve technical infrastructure needs related to the broadcast, wireless, electromagnetic compatibility and safety sectors worldwide. We provide consulting, training and other telecommunications industry services. We also produce and market hardware for radio transmission, RF shielding, safety and testing.