Thursday, June 21, 2018

“Tower Geeks” From Around the World Meet in “Boca”

In a not so veiled swipe at other trade shows (and you know who you are) the promoters at TowerXchange Meetup Americas in Boca this week suggest the Florida event is more focused. “Passive infrastructure is typically hidden away as an under-appreciated small part of a broader show,” is their assessment of the others. Their show, they claim, is a “networking club for tower geeks” attracting 80 to 90 percent “of the CXO’s who lead tower strategy.” While I’m not here to document that personally, the mix of international players in attendance in the macro tower arena is unmistakable.  The international markets are active, alive and open for business. Industry veteran Maria Scotti, CEO of Torrecom, said it is very reminiscent of the old days in the U.S. tower industry. “It’s back to the future!” she said enthusiastically.

Analysis of the CALA telecom infrastructure industry kicked off the conference with a address by Kieron Osmotherly, CEO of TowerXchange.  Taking a global perspective, Osmotherly said commercial tower companies (i.e., non-carrier, utility or government) own 67.4 percent of the world’s towers, with the top 12 owning 56 percent of those. Skewing that number a bit is China Tower, on the cusp of an IPO, holding roughly 1.9 million sites.  However, even active international markets, he cautioned, are “reaching a degree of saturation” as to their acquisition potential. Additional revenue opportunities are being considered and applied, he said, with towercos laying and buying their own cable and the rise of micro data centers. Continue Reading

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