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Tag Archives: tower company

CiG’s Stock Goes Down Even With Towers Up


By J. Sharpe Smith —

Jan. 8, 2015 — While the stock prices of the big three tower companies have soared, CiG Wireless, a tower company that went public in 2012, has watched its stock spiral down from $2.10 to 25 cents a share in the last year. It has gone down even further since Sept. 30, 2012, when the share price peaked at $5.

Why? This company’s stock declined in value during a period while carrier capex is counted in the billions of dollars. Additionally, CiG Wireless has grown aggressively in the last two years and its revenue has followed suit.

CiG Wireless acquired 108 towers from 2013 to 2014, more than doubling its portfolio. It bought 38 towers from Liberty Towers in August 2013, 49 towers from Southern Tower Antenna Rental, 19 towers from PTA-FLA, Inc. and two towers from Fidelity Towers.

CiG Wireless reported $1.8 million in tower revenue for the three months ending September 30, 2014, which was an increase of $0.8 million or 87 percent compared with the same period of the prior year. The increase was primarily attributable to revenue generated from the acquisitions completed during 2013 and 2014.

The company’s loss from operations for the third quarter was flat at $2.1 million year over year. For the second quarter, it reported a loss of $2.5 million, compared with $1.5 million year over year. The loss for the first quarter was $2 million, which was flat compared with the same period for the prior year

The reason CiG Wireless’ stock price of 25 cents, which represents a 92 percent drop from its initial public offering at $3.30, may be found in its financial details. The tower company’s total long-term debt has grown from $19.7 million to $33.2 million in the past year. Additionally, total stockholders’ deficit grew from $6.5 million $20.1 million in the last year.


J. Sharpe Smith is the editor of AGL Link and Small Cell Link newsletters.

Organic Leasing Growth Highlights Q3 for SBA

By J. Sharpe Smith

November 5, 2014 — SBA Communications has experienced unparalleled organic leasing activity in 2014, well above expectations in terms of revenue added per tower, Jeffrey Stoops, president and CEO, said during the company’s third quarter earnings call. Domestic site leasing revenue for the quarter grew to $283 million from $252 million year over year.

Domestic tower cash flow for the third quarter of 2014 was $228.8 million compared with $199.2 million in the year earlier period, an increase of 14.8 percent.

“Our organic leasing activity, which has been particularly strong this year and materially ahead of our expectations, was once again the reason for our outperformance [in the third quarter],” Stoops said. “We are experiencing strong demand across our portfolio, both domestic and international. We are seeing the benefits of the demand in both our leasing and services segments.”

Although SBA expects strong leasing activity for years to come, the 2015 forecast will return to growth more similar to 2011 to 2013, Stoops said. Similar to the other public tower companies, SBA is factoring in the decommissioning of iDEN sites and possible terminations from MetroPCS, LEAP and Clearwire, which represent $80 million in annual revenues. SBA expects to retain at least a third of that $80 million in the long term.

The 2015 outlook for site leasing revenue, tower cash flow, adjusted EBITDA and AFFO includes an assumed negative impact of $16 million associated with 2015 iDEN lease terminations.

“We expect the continued benefits of solid leasing activity for the next few years as carriers build out their initial [LTE] footprints to be followed by capacity spending as consumer adoption increases. Our network speed and quality are now and will remain a priority,” Stoops said.

Leasing activity levels at AT&T and Verizon continue to be high, representing the majority of new business for SBA, which also benefited from continued contributions from Sprint’s Network Vision project and now from the carrier’s 2.5 GHz build out. T-Mobile’s 4G network upgrade activity has been accelerating, and, overall, backlogs continue to be healthy.

SBA reported that its services business continued to be strong in the third quarter, with Sprint and T-Mobile serving as the primary customers, with an increase in activity from Verizon. In Q4, services are expected to remain strong, resulting in an increased outlook. Services outlook for 2015 is strong but tempered somewhat by uncertainties concerning Sprint’s 2.5 GHz build.

1Q Signals Start of Phase 2 of LTE – Moreland

The next wave of tower leasing, network densification, has taken root, Ben Moreland, CEO, president and director of Crown Castle International, told the company’s first quarter earnings call.

With all four major U.S. wireless carriers engaged in major network upgrades, Crown experienced a significant amount of activity in the first quarter, logging more than 75 percent of the 2013 leasing activity into its application pipeline.

Application volume by revenue in the first quarter grew at twice the pace of last year, and 60 percent of that number was from new tenants collocating on towers they were not previously on.

“This is a trend we have been anticipating for some time, as some of the carriers are nearing completion of their LTE nationwide build out,” Moreland said. “We have been expecting to see in-fill sites, or densification, as a second wave of LTE network deployment, providing us with a longer runway of expected future growth as the carriers strive to maintain network quality and reliability through cell splitting in the face of exponential growth in mobile technology demand.”

Given the location of 74 percent of Crown’s sites in the top 100 markets, the company expects to benefit from the majority of network densification through new leases. Overall, LTE deployment should be the gift that keeps on giving to the tower industry into the future, Ted Abrams, Abrams Wireless, told AGL Bulletin.

“Working with clients deploying LTE, and those responding to major carrier requests, I see strong indications that LTE deployments are only just beginning. Evidence indicates demand growth for wireless network infrastructure — assets that support and connect small cells and macros – continuing for many years to come,” Abrams said.


GTP Allies with REHAU to Deploy First Geothermal Cell Tower

Global Tower Partners has deployed the first geothermally cooled wireless site in the small village of Bluemont at the base of the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Virginia. Working in partnership with REHAU, a Leesburg, Va., a global company known for providing plastics for cars and airplanes, the tower company deployed the stealth, alternative energy source to power a cell site located next to the historic Bluemont Grain Elevator.

Loudon County officials had been promoting the 70-foot tall grain elevator, which was built in 1905 and abandoned during the Depression, as a cell site for many years, but it is a registered historic landmark making it difficult to develop. Ultimately, a memorandum of understanding was required with the Virginia State Historic Preservation Office and the FCC.

With a residential area nearby, the noise from air conditioning and heating units was going to be untenable and available space was limited. In order to maintain the historic feel of the grain elevator and the area and because early 1900s buildings did not have air conditioners hanging off of them, geothermal was the answer that allowed GTP to essentially hide the heating and cooling infrastructure.

“To create a much-needed cellular site that maintains the historical look and feel of this Virginia village was a huge undertaking,” stated Tim Dennis, GTP’s site development director on the Bluemont project. “After spending eight years to see this project through to fruition, we’ve created an infrastructure to serve thousands of wireless customers while preserving the significance of Bluemont’s history and providing an environmentally-friendly energy solution at the same time,” added Dennis.

Key to the undertaking was GTP’s relationship with REHAU, which entered heating and cooling in 2010. REHAU created the tools and extruded plastic pipe and provided the engineering and process to circulate the water underground to heat and cool the base station technology.

The resulting solution provides an environmentally sound cooling and heating system by utilizing the sub-surface conductive heat transfer where temperatures of the earth’s crust are used as a heat sink in the summer months and a heat source in the winter.

“The solution is suitable for controlling the climate of a large structure such as the Bluemont site to provide an efficiently produced and stable climate environment for our tenants’ equipment inside this historic building,” Dennis said.

The Bluemont site may be a one of a kind. GTP has no plans at this time to roll out geothermal systems to its other sites. Dennis estimated that the geothermal solution came at a cost of about twice what it would if five carriers all deployed heating and air conditioning at the site. Although it does cut electrical costs by about 40 percent.

So far, GTP has three tenants. Verizon Wireless has signed a master lease agreement to add service to the tower, joining AT&T and Roadstar.