But Wait, It’s Not All Bad News

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Don’t let us put the news damper on your Christmas week shopping. After all, let’s remember what American Tower CEO Jim Taiclet said during the company’s October 30 third quarter results call. “Our largest new business customers over the last couple of quarters have been Verizon and T-Mobile, sort of running neck-and-neck in a way over the past six months.” Taiclet said T-Mobile had been aggressively deploying its 700-megahertz, eight-watt spectrum and also doing a roaming overbuild. “So, T-Mobile is being pretty aggressive this year.” He added, “Verizon is pretty stable and steady. Their wireless capex is up by almost 20 percent year-to-date over 2014. The guide is $8.6 billion for mobile spending for capex in 2015. They are aggressively deploying AWS spectrum across their markets to handle the data demand that they are seeing from their customer base on a pretty steady and stable spending schedule.”

Taiclet acknowledged AT&T “continues to be grooming. They were our biggest customer for new business from late 2013 to mid-2014 and they’ve taken the intervening year to sort of groom that to make sure it is being effectively utilized for their subscriber base. Everybody goes a little less from year-to-year. Their capex spending is at $6.6 billion. So, just as a reference, if Verizon is at $8.6 billion 2015 and AT&T is at $6.6 billion, how does that comparison or trend play out? I think everyone can draw their own conclusion on that. We do expect AT&T to continue to be competitive over next few years on the network side of the business.”

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