|Is US Cell Phone Tower Growth Dead?|
Is this an ominous sign that one of the largest tower operators is now focusing its efforts more overseas for growth? Will AT&T, Verizon, Sprint & T-Mobile be able to live up to their coverage map and 4G / LTE hype? My speculation is we have finally crossed the chasm and Wifi is now a viable competitor to challenge traditional cell phone towers for connectivity. WiFi is now growing 5X faster than cell phone towers. What is driving this? Skype, Google Voice and Smartphones that can't connect due to cell tower network congestion in major cities.
American Tower Corp. (AMT) reported plans to buy 1,400 cell phone towers from South Africa's Cell C for $430 million. They will also be build an additional 1,800 towers. As of March 1, 2010, the company owned and operated approximately 27,000 cell tower sites in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and India. American Tower Corporation was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. American Tower Corp. (AMT) reported net income of $258.2 million on $499.8 million in revenue during its quarter ending Sept. 30. Income was up 19.2% and revenue jumped 16.1% from the year-ago period.
CEO Jim Taiclet said: "Our development activity during the quarter included nearly tripling our portfolio in India to 7,600 communication tower sites and the launch of operations in two new countries in Latin America, Peru and Colombia. We also look forward to completing the announced acquisition of 1,400 towers in South Africa, our first entry into the Europe, Africa, Middle East (EMEA) region. We believe that our commitment to maximizing the operating leverage of our current business, while growing our asset base and international presence, positions us well for solid growth in the remainder of 2010 and beyond.”