Cell Phone Tower Profits Multi Billions

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Competition and Market Share

After recent consolidation in the industry, domestic competition between wireless infrastructure rental companies has become relatively consolidated among three major players: American Towers, Crown Castle International (CCI), and SBA Communications (SBAC). American Tower is the largest by revenue and market share, but following CCI’s 2007 merger with Global Signal, Inc., the company is neck-and-neck in terms of number of towers. Below is a comparison of relevant operating metrics.

Company Tower Rev. 2006 ($M)[10]
# of Towers Revenue per Tower US Market Share (by rental revenue)[11]

American Tower $1,249 22,000 $58,818 42%
Crown Castle International (CCI)[12]
$697 12,912 $53,958 29%
Global Signal, Inc. (merged with CCI in early 2007) N/A 10,749 N/A 18%
SBA Communications (SBAC)
$351 5,551 $46,118 11%

All of these companies, however, also compete against wireless carriers who choose to maintain their own networks and build their own infrastructure. Many of the wireless carriers also draw revenue from their towers. For example, AT&T Mobility owns and operates at least 8,500 towers and has established a separate division within the company to manage the tenant leasing business. T-Mobile and Verizon have similar tower leasing divisions. The leased tower segment of the above tower owners comprises around 55,000 of the total 200,000 towers across the country.[13]

Myanmar, Rangoon
Malta, Valletta
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Finland, Helsinki
Fort Collins, Colorado
Irvine, California
Italy, Rome
Central African Republic, Bangui
Irving, Texas
Yonkers, New York

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