How to value the Altice towers

Unique crowdsourced business intelligence from M2 evaluates tenancy lease-up potential

Read this article to learn:

  • How M2Catalyst can evaluate the tenancy lease-up potential of every Altice tower
  • The impact of small cell infill
  • How M2Catalyst measures network performance indoors, and distinguishes cellular from Wi-Fi data usage
  • How to evaluate the lease up potential of the 15,000 new towers targeted by the French government in no coverage zones
  • Enabling towercos to sell co-location and new build proactively as business partners of MNOs, rather than passively selling vertical real estate

It’s no secret that Altice is selling thousands of towers across France, Portugal and potentially the Dominican Republic. Prospective bidders have a limited time window in which to conduct their due diligence, evaluate the assets, and make a compelling offer in what is sure to be a competitive process, given that it includes that last substantial tower portfolio to be sold in France, and the market-leading MNO’s towers in Portugal. M2Catalyst has developed the Crowd SiteIntel tool specifically to accelerate towercos’ time to insight.

TowerXchange: Whenever a new portfolio of towers comes to market, as is the case with the Altice towers in France, Portugal and the Dominican Republic, potential bidders urgently need to map the towers for sale relative to the other towers in the market and, more importantly, they need to understand the lease up potential of the towers for sale. How can M2Catalyst help them with this?

Mike Brough, CEO, M2Catalyst:

The Crowd SiteIntel platform from M2 has been designed with a data science approach to disrupt the tower valuation space.

The Crowd SiteIntel Tenancy Lease-Up Potential (CSI-TLUP) reports for France are built upon billions of network performance measurements that have been crowdsourced by M2Catalyst. M2’s proprietary algorithms measure and quantify the current and potential tenant performance for each site in the target M&A portfolio. The CSI-TLUP analysis incorporates a tremendous amount of complex information, such as the range of towers, technologies on each tower, and relative signal strength, quality and performance of current versus non-tenant MNOs within the range of each tower.  This enables M2 to provide data-derived actionable information for the potential bidders.

TowerXchange: M2Catalyst has some experience of studying French cell sites. To what extent is the French network heterogeneous?

Mike Brough, CEO, M2Catalyst:

The macro tower market in France is significantly impacted by the small cell (micro, pico, DAS) infill.  To study the macro and rooftop site value for potential non-tenants, you cannot just look for the next nearest macro or rooftop property.  There needs to be a very thorough analysis of all the small cell antennae utilised in the range of each target site.  The CSI-TLUP France Report covers well over one million antenna sectors, providing a complete picture of the non-tenant MNO small cell coverage in proximity to macro and rooftop sites.

 

Figure One: sample tower locations

 

TowerXchange: Can you share a small sample analysis of the SFR towers?

Mike Brough, CEO, M2Catalyst:

In Figure One you can see that we have analysed two example towers from the Nanterre area of Northwest Paris. Looking at the detail in Figure Two focuses on outdoor street-level network performance. The SFR tower in Téréva Houilles unsurprisingly provides a great customer experience for the anchor tenant’s subscribers, but network performance for Free and Bouygues subscribers in the vicinity is poor, suggesting strong lease-up potential. Orange’s coverage is patchy, showing evidence of small cell in-fill, but not the broad coverage that could be provided by the SFR tower.

Figure Two: SFR Tower Tereva Houilles (48.920556, 2.19972)

SFR Network Performance              

 Bouygues Network Performance

Free Mobile Network Performance

Orange Network Performance

 

SFR Tower Tereva Houilles (48.920556, 2.19972)

Source: M2Catalyst SFR Tower – Tenancy Lease-Up Potential report

M2 can produce a granular study identifying the specific lease-up potential of every tower in the SFR network up for sale, and we can analyse the adjacent competitive sites too, giving the prospective buyer significant comfort in assessing the lease-up potential of the portfolio, and thus the valuation of the assets.

TowerXchange: Given that France has a relatively mature macro tower network, much of the competition among towercos in the country is likely to focus on small cells and in building solutions – how can M2Catalyst help target investment in such innovations?

Mike Brough, CEO, M2Catalyst:

The general rule of thumb with MNOs in Europe and the Americas is that 80% of mobile data usage is consumed indoors.  M2 has performed some very long and painstaking studies with Tier One operators to validate that the Crowd SiteIntel has the unique capability to determine whether a signal reading in our database is coming from inside or outside a building.  This enables the CSI-TLUP platform to provide an extra layer of service for In-Building Solutions (IBS), i.e., determining the MNO in-building network performance in proximity to target sites. M2 can also measure the amount of LTE versus Wi-Fi data used per building, to help target buildings where higher network capacity is required.

At the Marché du Centre site (Figure Three), in-building coverage is analysed. It’s Free and Orange who have the greatest lease-up potential for frequency bands that can provide indoor coverage, Bouygues RSRP (LTE Signal Strength) is higher than Free Mobile and Orange, but still has several weak spots.

Figure Three: SFR Tower In-Building Network Performance Comparison Marché du Centre (48.90778, 2.24667)

SFR In-Building Strong Performance

Bouygues In-Building Poor Performance

Free Mobile In-Building Poor Performance

Orange In-Building Poor Performance

SFR TowerIn-Building Network Performance Comparison Marché du Centre (48.90778, 2.24667)

Source: M2Catalyst SFR Tower – Tenancy Lease-Up Potential report

TowerXchange: While M2 Catalyst can provide invaluable insights during due diligence, how can your business intelligence platform also help towercos sell co-locations and target new site builds after the transaction?

Mike Brough, CEO, M2Catalyst:

The CSI-TLUP reports can be imported to popular data visualisation tools such as Tableau to provide clear and concise reports to direct and support a towerco’s sales team’s approach to MNO customers. As an example, say you have 3,000 towers in your portfolio in Portugal.  Instead of simply having your sales personnel approach MNOs with the entire portfolio, CSI-TLUP for Portugal allows business development teams to take a targeted approach.  Perhaps 2,500 of the Portugal towers in the 3,000 site portfolio do not have Vodafone as a tenant.  Of these 2,500 towers, the CSI-TLUP Portugal report might indicate that 250 towers have a high level of “No Coverage” dead zones for Vodafone, and another 450 have very poor signal strength and signal quality.  These are clearly the 700 towers with the highest likelihood of consummating a sale.

TowerXchange: The French government has announced a project to fund up to 15,000 new towers in no coverage zones. Again, how can M2 help map both the ‘no coverage spots’ in France, and how does your intelligence inform which of those potential sites might have a near term path to securing a second tenant?

Mike Brough, CEO, M2Catalyst:

M2 maps no coverage zones for each MNO independently and also measures the distribution of no coverage readings as a proxy for potential traffic in the area. In France, as in virtually every country around the world, there are national parks and remote areas with no mobile coverage, but which are not necessarily the best targets for a towerco.  The most valuable green field sites would have the highest traffic of no-coverage readings across all MNOs. CSI-TUPL can identify these high value no-coverage areas, which are often found along train lines, motorways or suburban villages.

TowerXchange: Finally, please sum up how M2Catalyst’s Crowd SiteIntel can improve the accuracy and accelerate the forecasting of lease-up potential of towers in France, Portugal, the Dominican Republic – or anywhere else for that matter!

General reports are already available across the Altice assets that are coming to market in France, Portugal and the Dominican Republic.

Mike Brough, CEO, M2Catalyst:

The Crowd SiteIntel data is continuously gathered, enabling M2Catalyst to provide towercos, MNOs and other prospective investors in the French or other tower markets with business intelligence reports with amazing speed. General reports are often already available for specific markets, as they are across the Altice assets that are coming to market in France, Portugal, and the Dominican Republic. M2Catalyst can also provide custom reports within a matter of days or weeks, depending on the amount of customisation required.

For a demonstration of M2’s Tenancy Lease-Up Potential reports for France, Portugal, the Dominican Republic, or to request a free sample study of another tower market, please email kosmotherly@towerxchange.com, or visit M2’s booth at the TowerXchange Meetup Europe, taking place on April 17-18 in London. www.towerxchange.com/meetup/meetup-europe/

 

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