Crown Castle: Crown Castle changes focus to small cells as building towers

Jun 12, 2024 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

Crown castle which operates more than 40,000 towers, has acknowledged that it's become more difficult to build new infrastructure. This is due to opposition from residents and the fact that some municipalities don't want more telecom masts at all.

"It's generally because it's very difficult to build towers in addition to the ones that already exists in the US," said Daniel Schlanger, chief financial officer at Crown Castle, in an investors call last week. "It's hard to build more because nobody wants them. They're ugly. Most people look at them and say, I don't want that anywhere near me. It's not in my backyard issue that most things like this are infrastructure as that negative to it. But if somebody already owns the infrastructure, that's a huge positive. And so it's difficult to build because municipalities don't want additional towers.

However, Schlanger did add that Crown Castle has identified small cells as an "avenue for growth in the US" for the business.

"A small cell is typically on already existing street infrastructure like lampposts or street lights that are 25, 30 feet tall. The necessity of those smaller towers is because it's really hard to build towers, and these small cells enable this crush of demand to be satisfied by our customers," he said. "And the densification of our network to smaller and smaller areas of operation is what's happened over time and small cell is just another example of just densifying the network and we've seen good demand for our small cells, which I'm sure we'll get into in this conversation that's given us another avenue for growth in the US that's been attractive for us."