Crown to Tackle 25,000 Small Cell Build Backlog

Citi 2018 Global TMT West Conference

Crown Castle’s priorities for 2018 include being able to meet increasing demand for both macro and small cells; the company has to build approximately 25,000 small cells, according to company CFO Dan Schlanger.

Meeting carrier demand for more data means more infrastructure investments, he told attendees of the Citi 2018 Global TMT West Conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday. The company plans to increase new tower leasing this year, he said, adding that macro towers are a great business “that needs to be augmented by the densification effort.”  

“Consumers are using their phones do to more,” especially “hungry data applications like video. You need macro towers; you also need small cells,” Schlanger said.

Crown Castle is also focused on integrating its recent $7.1 billion purchase of Lightower Fiber Networks into Crown’s fiber business. “We want to lease up that fiber as much as we can.” It generates more capital and the company is “trying to put the right revenue streams against our fiber business,” he said.

Asked how Crown projects FirstNet tower infrastructure needs, Schlanger said: “We’re not sure of the timing. We do see this as a good revenue opportunity,” however “we just don’t know how much.” Crown and AT&T are talking, he said.

January 10, 2018

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