CTI Towers said it will acquire the entire tower portfolio of cable operator Mediacom Communications in a major move for one of the nation’s smaller macrosite companies.
CTI will add more than 360 towers to its existing portfolio, raising the number of wireless towers the company owns or manages to more than 1,000 across the United States. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The deal marks CTI’s largest individual transaction since its 2011 founding, CEO Tony Peduto said, and illustrates the company’s strategy of serving both cable companies and wireless carriers from the same towers. The company aims to help wireless network operators expand their networks and add capacity more affordably than erecting new tower sites or dealing with the headaches of small-cell deployments.
“Zoning issues and the timing to get new locations are the biggest challenges carriers face in giving their customers the services they are demanding today, while building the networks to handle the future services such as 5G, including coverage for autonomous vehicles,” Peduto said in a press release. “Customers want all the amenities available to them, but few desire a tower built in their neighborhoods to facilitate those amenities. The Mediacom towers are constructed and ready for collocation, and we are pleased to offer an additional group of assets to our customers.”
“We’re excited about the Mediacom transaction and CTI’s continued strong business growth,” said Dave Zilberman of Comcast Ventures, the venture capital arm of Comcast that founded CTI in 2011 and remains the primary equity investor. “This third tower portfolio acquisition is significant in solidifying CTI Towers as an industry leader.”
CTI is a decidedly small player in a U.S. tower market dominated by Crown Castle and American Tower—the 208 towers it owned or operated before the Mediacom deal placed it 34th in the nation, according to Wireless Estimator—but the company clearly aims to move up that list in a big way in advance of the transition to 5G.