Global tower market maturation
Towercos and infracos now own 61.9% of the world’s 3.4mn towers
During Q1 2016 the proportion of the world’s telecom and broadcast towers owned and operated by towercos or specialist infracos rose from 60.3% to 61.9%. A new, parallel industry to retail telecommunications, the tower industry is building the vast majority of the world’s new towers. This 20 year old, US$192bn infrastructure asset class currently owns 2,092,865 of the world’s 3,379,806 towers. In this quarter’s global tower market overview, I’d like to take the opportunity to contrast the maturity of different tower markets worldwide.
There remains a pronounced difference in MNOs’ attitude toward passive infrastructure ownership, ranging from North and Northeast Asia, where operators cling to their towers as a primary source of differentiation, to the US tower market, where a significant majority of towers were long since transferred from MNOs to independent towercos, a critical evolution in vaulting the US mobile market from laggard to leadership status.