SNL Kagan recently reported the top 69 tower companies by location, explaining that the leading tower companies have grown locations at a 2.8% compound annual growth rate since 2009, driven by smartphone growth and LTE build-outs. “We estimate the top 69 tower owners ended 2014 with 124,749 active and in-development tower and distributed antenna system locations in the U.S.,” John Fletcher wrote. SNL Kagan doesn’t include small cells in this report, and they anticipate the tower growth to remain strong in the medium term as 4G densification continues. In addition, FirstNet, with its pockets full of AWS-3 cash, can now start seriously planning the nationwide rollout of its first responder wireless network. At the end of 2014, Crown Castle was the largest tower company with more than 40,000 U.S. towers, with American Tower in second with 28,996 towers, SBA at 18,237, and the next four in line being the wireless carriers: Verizon, AT&T, U.S. Cellular, and T-Mobile. “For six years, Crown Castle has retained its No. 1 position as the largest U.S. wireless communication tower owner. Continue reading here.