U.S. mobile network operators may rein in their investments in traditional macro cells as they densify their networks with small cells and DAS deployments, according to analysts at Pacific Crest Securities. But they'll have to ramp up their spending on towers eventually to keep pace with demand for mobile data.
U.S. tower companies have seen their shares generally hold firm despite concerns about carriers' network strategies as the industry moves toward 5G. But the ongoing strike by Verizon's wireline workers could create a temporary drag on network investments by the company's largest mobile network operator, according to analysts at Evercore ISI.
American Tower Corporation posted a solid quarter, beating estimates and providing more evidence that the cell tower industry is alive and well.
Crown Castle's first-quarter earnings drew relatively positive responses from analysts as the company reported mixed financial results but increased its guidance for the year.
U.S. tower companies could be in for a slow summer if carriers cut back their spending during the upcoming incentive auction, according to analysts at Evercore ISI.
Crown Castle announced late last week that it has bought Tower Development Corporation (TDC), a portfolio company owned by investment firm Berkshire Partners, for approximately $461 million in cash. The deal for TDC give Crown Castle control of 336 towers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico with an average tenancy of approximately two tenants per tower.
Wells Fargo Securities analysts downgraded the entire tower sector, saying that carriers are beginning to balk at traditional network contracts in advance of the FCC's incentive auction and the development of 5G standards.
Shares of wireless tower companies waivered last month following a report that Sprint planned to dramatically overhaul its network and move away from traditional macrocells in favor of smaller cells. But tower companies say they aren't seeing decreased demand for their services.
As wireless operators move forward with their C-RAN deployments, it could spell new opportunities for a host of competitive fiber providers and tower providers like Zayo Group and Crown Castle that offer dark and lit fiber services.
Crown Castle posted relatively solid quarterly earnings and bumped its guidance for 2016, capping what had been a nervous couple of weeks for investors in light of reports of a major network transition by Sprint.