Macro Activity Picking Up

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Amir Rozwadowski of Barclays met with Crown Castle CEO Ben Moreland, VP of Finance Son Nguyen, and ‎Director Finance & Treasury Ben Lowe at NAREIT, which supported their view that wireless spending would gradually improve in the second half of 2015. “Our conversations reinforced many of the themes we heard from AT&T, CommScope and SBA Communications during our inaugural Texas Telecom Tour last week – namely that signs of an improvement in U.S. wireless spending should start to emerge starting in the back half of the year, Rozwadowski wrote.  “Signs suggesting an improvement in activity at AT&T seem to have emerged in line with our recent checks.  Beyond AT&T, the pace of business with Verizon seems healthy and steady while T-Mobile has been more active – and is likely to continue to do so as it looks to deploy its 700MHz A-Block spectrum.  At Sprint, where the company recently confirmed that its new spending plan has been approved by parent company SoftBank, new sites are almost a necessity given its high band spectrum positioning.” Crown Castle has been aggressive with their small cell deployment and Rozwadowski noted that this technology seems to be paying off in densely populated and network-constrained metros, but they are additive to the macro tower business. “During our meetings, management indicated small cell investments were not leading to cannibalization of the macro tower business, which remains over 90% of Crown’s revenue.  To that end, Crown cited work with Verizon who is both actively engaged in leasing macro sites (in fact at its highest level of activity) alongside being one of the leading early small cell adopters,” Rozwadowski explained.

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