Horace Greeley’s famous advice to someone seeking fame and fortune in a brave new world was “Go West.” With the North American tower market reaching full maturity and, according to TowerXchange’s CEO Kieron Osmotherly, “a degree of saturation,” pointing Mr. Greeley southward would be good advice for tower industry entrepreneurs on a similar quest.
The market south of North America (SONA…we’re making this up since there doesn’t seem to be an adequate acronym, like CALA, that includes South America) has seen 14,000 towers built in 2016-17 according to TowerXchange stats. Almost 9,000 were sold by carriers (MNO’s) giving an indication that, as seen in the U.S., the transference of infrastructure from carrier to towerco is underway.
The CALA market alone provided a good comparative study on how things differ from their northern counterparts:
- 48.2 percent of towers are carrier (MNO)-owned, or “captive sites” as TowerXchange calls them, compared to only 27 percent in the U.S.
- 15.6 percent are owned by “operator-led” towercos (think “Sprint Sites”) opposed to a seven percent market share up north
- 36.1 percent are labeled “pureplay” independent towercos versus those companies gobbling up 66 percent of the market share in “the States.”
The presentations went on to break down each country SONA (hey, it works!) in depth as to what hurdles they face individually and their potential growth. TowerXchange posted some content from the general sessions for those who are looking to add some flavor to their tower diet. Next stop for TowerXchange is “MeetUp China” held in Beijing September 27-28. For the MeetUp schedule click here.
By Jim Fryer, Managing Editor, Inside Towers
June 25, 2018