Crown Castle sees significant potential in continued small cell deployments, while American Tower is more focused on Distributed Antenna Systems and SBA Communications doesn't see small cells fitting much into its portfolio. Those were some of the key takeaways from public appearances last week by the three tower companies' CEOs.
Verizon has deployed nearly 50 small cells in the Pittsburgh area. The deployment includes 15 cells in the Pittsburgh metro area. Crown Castle is handling the majority of the deployment with some assistance from ExteNet.
Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US dominated network spending during the second quarter and boosted tower companies' sales and cell site activity. However, AT&T and Sprint are poised to increase their spending in the second half of the year and into 2016, according to analysts and tower company executives.
Deploying and maintaining small cell networks could present an interesting opportunity for tower firms. However, there is no consensus among tower firms regarding how much they should focus on small cells and there are still questions about which small cell technology to use. This uncertainty could provide an opportunity for companies looking to become small cell specialists.
Crown Castle offered a positive outlook on the U.S. tower industry, with CEO Ben Moreland predicting that "over the next several years, we believe that the current level of investment by U.S. wireless carriers will be sustained." He added that Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US have been the most active carriers in 2015 in spending on their networks, but he said AT&T and Sprint are expected to increase their own spending this year as well.
It has been a busy week of consolidation in the dark fiber services space with two major deals taking place: Lightower Fiber Networks buying Fibertech for $1.9 billion on Monday and on Thursday Crown Castle snapped up Quanta Fiber Services (Sunesys) for $1 billion. The big question is: What's next in the dark fiber acquisition space?
Top executives from the nation's tower companies saw lower spending form the Tier 1 wireless carriers in the first quarter, but the carriers and tower firms all expect network densification and buildout activity to ramp up as the year progresses.
Crown Castle is acquiring Quanta Fiber (called Sunesys), a subsidiary of Quanta Services, for about $1 billion in cash, a deal that will immediately bolster the wireless tower company's dark fiber capabilities for small cell backhaul services.
HOLLYWOOD, Fla.--Tower company Crown Castle said it will acquire Quanta Fiber Networks (called Sunesys) for $1 billion in cash. A wholly owned subsidiary of Quanta Services, Sunesys owns or has rights to nearly 10,000 miles of fiber in major metropolitan markets including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, Silicon Valley and northern New Jersey; Crown Castle said the purchase would "further strengthen Crown Castle's leading position in small cell networks by more than doubling Crown Castle's fiber footprint available for small cell deployments."
Crown Castle is seeing a strong uptick in its business from deploying small cells. Indeed, the company said small cells now make up 7 percent of the tower company's site rental revenue.