When buzz started spreading about Crown Castle International buying AT&T towers, many people may have questioned AT&T’s motive behind this sale. While AT&T’s main focus is providing their customers with exceptional mobile service, they have also taken to constructing cell sites in order to broaden the mobile coverage in many areas across the U.S. So why sell them now?
According to Trefis, “the sale of towers will help AT&T better allocate its cash to more important strategic ventures and take advantage of the surging data demand in the U.S. as well as abroad, it is not without its long-term risks.”
AT&T will be able to take the cash from the sale of its towers (reported to reach around $5 billion) and invest it into expanding their 4G LTE network. AT&T believes that they will generate more revenue through their LTE transition and possible overseas acquisitions than they can by keeping their towers.
“With subscriber growth stagnating, AT&T is looking to drive LTE adoption and promoting its Mobile Share data plans at the same time to increase ARPU levels. While shared data plans lock in users by allowing them to add more devices to their service plan, increasing 4G LTE adoption will incentivize the usage of more data-intensive applications and drive data consumption. Further, LTE as a network technology not only supports higher speeds but is also more efficient than current 3G networks at handling data, reducing AT&T’s maintenance and handling costs as LTE usage grows. However, all this will require continued 4G investment to not only increase LTE coverage but also improve network capacity,” Trefis says.
While AT&T will continue to build up their 4G LTE network throughout the U.S., they may also look into expanding the network into Europe. Oversees, less than 2% of people are on an LTE connection where as approximately 19% of the American population is on the network.
October 14, 2013 | Tower-Pro
The major wireless carriers along with the tower companies are working together to build up our wireless infrastructure so mobile coverage is easily accessible. AT&T and American Tower have asked the City-County Planning Board of Winston-Salem, North Carolina to change its ordinance and allow communication towers to be built within residential areas.
“Consumers are relying on their wireless devices today for communications, shopping, and accessing information, and will rely on them even more in the future,” said Clifton Metcalf with AT&T. “To meet consumers’ demands for reliable connections, better mobile coverage and faster mobile speeds, wireless carriers must erect various types of antennas in multiple locations.”
If the City-County Planning Board allows this ordinance to pass, then companies will be permitted to construct cell phone towers in residential areas as long as they are concealed. This will help increase the mobile coverage in the area. Access to mobile broadband is becoming increasingly necessary as people switch from landlines to mobile devices. More than one of every four American homes (26.6%) deserted their landline telephone service and now rely exclusively on wireless service. (Source: Wireless Substitution) and CTIA—The Wireless Association reported that, “U.S. wireless data traffic grew 123 percent from 2010 (388 billion megabytes) to 2011 (866.7 billion megabytes).”
Members of the wireless industry, such as AT&T and American Tower, are working with cities, states, and federal governments to reduce the restriction companies must face when proposing to build a cell tower in residential and sometimes even commercial areas.
October 14, 2013 | Tower-Pro
AT&T hopes to reach over 270 million people with their 4G LTE technology by the end of the year. As a way to reach this goal, they have upgraded the equipment on towers in 14 additional markets across the United States.
- Jackson, WY
- Denver, CO
- Gillette, WY
- Sanford, NC
- Hickory, NC
- Lewiston, ME
- McAlester, OK
- Wilmington, NC
- Bloomington, IL
- Tuskegee, AL
- Decatur, IL
- Jacksonville, NC
- Huntsville, UT
- Sheridan WY
Over the past five years, AT&T invested nearly $98 billion into its wireless and wireline networks across the country. Since 2008, AT&T has invested more capital into the U.S. economy than any other public company. (Source: AT&T)
October 10, 2013 | Tower-Pro
There was a steady buzz of excitement throughout the PCIA’s 2013 Wireless Infrastructure Show earlier this week, but when Bloomberg reported that AT&T is close to selling towers to Crown Castle the questions and curiosity only increased.
“AT&T, the largest U.S. phone company, is near an agreement to sell its wireless towers to Crown Castle International Corp, people familiar with the matter said,” Bloomberg reported.
While there were no specific details given, AT&T has been looking to sell some of their towers for a few months now. This news broke back in September, but now AT&T may have found the perfect offer.
“People with knowledge of the matter said in September the assets could fetch $5 billion.The sale would bolster AT&T’s balance sheet as it undertakes a $14 billion network upgrade, plans a stock buyback that may top $11 billion, and considers acquisitions in Europe,” according to Bloomberg.
No one from AT&T or Crown Castle was willing to comment on this news so it’s still uncertain whether this deal will be finalized or not. AT&T has about 10,000 towers, which generate about $326 million in annual revenue as other companies pay to lease space on the facilities, according to JPMorgan research analyst Phil Cusick. The towers may contribute cash flowof about $216 million a year, and a sale at 17-times that figure would fetch about $3.7 billion, he said in a note in August. (Source: Bloomberg)
October 10, 2013 | Tower-Pro