Analyst: Tower companies will benefit from wireless operator drive to densify networks

The U.S. wireless industry will add more than 2,000 wireless towers over the next three years. And that does not include small cell deployments, which could be in the tens of thousands. These predictions come from BTIG analyst Walt Piecyk, whose firm just initiated coverage of the tower sector due to this escalating growth.

According to BTIG, there are currently 2.5 tenants per tower and the number of towers will increase as wireless operators densify their networks. This combination of new towers, more tenants per tower and deployments of small cells will create significant new opportunities for the tower companies and their workers, says BTIG.

The entrance of new players in the wireless sector, such as cable companies with Wi-Fi offerings and other tech companies, such as Google, getting more involved in the wireless sector, will also benefit tower firms.

But perhaps the biggest growth factor is the escalating demand for data. CTIA last week released a report saying that mobile data traffic in the U.S. increased 26 percent in 2014, reaching 4.1 trillion MB of data.

Piecyk noted that the predicted growth in the Internet of things and the connected car, coupled with the decline in LTE pricing will drive higher penetration of LTE and significantly higher network utilization.

For more:
- see this report from BTIG Research (reg. req.)
- see this CTIA post
- see this CTIA presentation (PDF)

Related articles:
CTIA: U.S. mobile data traffic increased 26% in 2014, but growth rate falls sharply from previous year
Tower companies see lower Q1 network spending from Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile - with Sprint as the wild card
Pew: 64% of American adults have a smartphone, and 10% rely on it for their broadband connection

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