Though most of Crown Castle International’s revenue (some 85 percent) comes from tall towers now, the company is investing heavily in small cells. “I think small cells could be as big as the tower business” is today, company President and Chief Executive Officer Jay Brown said Wednesday at the NAREIT Investor Forum.
Small cells are key to 5G deployment,
where carriers need speed and less latency and can use small cells to
densify their networks. “The asset we lease
is fiber,” said Brown. Crown is trying to install as many antennas on
distribution points as possible and use fiber to connect those points.
“The lease-up on small cells is about
twice as fast” as it is for Crown’s 40,000 macro towers, according to
Brown, who adds it can take only five years to lease a second tenant.
Crown has 20,000 small cell nodes on-air now and 25,000 in the pipeline
to be built. Thirty percent of those are additional tenants, to be
co-located on existing assets. Continue Reading