YOU ARE AT:BusinessFiber is king: Crown Castle to buy Lightower for $7.1 billion

Fiber is king: Crown Castle to buy Lightower for $7.1 billion

With the pending acquisition, Crown Castle will own or have access to 60,000 route miles of fiber

Shared network infrastructure provider Crown Castle announced plans to nearly double its fiber optic holdings with the acquisition of Lightower for $7.1 billion.

Crown Castle CEO Jay Brown said in a statement: ““We are excited about the addition of Lightower given its attractive fiber footprint and the value we believe it will create for our shareholders. Lightower’s dense fiber footprint is well-located in top metro markets in the Northeast and is well-positioned to facilitate small cell deployments by our customers.  Following the transaction, we will have approximately 60,000 route miles of fiber with a presence in all of the top 10 and 23 of the top 25 metro markets.”

Small cells are seen as a key infrastructure element for bolstering LTE network capacity and coverage, particularly in dense urban markets, as well as central to operators’ plans for deploying 5G.

According to Lightower, its fiber network provides connectivity to more than 22,000 service locations, 275 data centers and 7,000 macro towers and small cells. Crown manages and services more than 40,000 cell towers and, prior to the combination, with 71% in the top 100 domestic markets.

This is the latest in a series of fiber acquisitions made by Houston-based Crown Castle. Last year the company agreed to pay $1.5 billion for FPL FiberNet Holdings LLC, which added more than 11,000 fiber route miles in Texas and Florida. In April, Crown Castle agreed to buy Wilcon Holdings LLC, which added 1,900 route miles of fiber primarily in Southern California.

According to Investor’s Business Daily, Barclays analyst Amir Rozwadowski told clients ahead of the announcement, “Crown Castle has not been shy about its desire to acquire more of the right type of fiber assets to bolster its small-cell business. Should reported valuation levels prove true, an equity component to financing a deal is likely.”

Verizon and AT&T are reported to be customers of Crown Castle.

 

 

ABOUT AUTHOR

Sean Kinney, Editor in Chief
Sean Kinney, Editor in Chief
Sean focuses on multiple subject areas including 5G, Open RAN, hybrid cloud, edge computing, and Industry 4.0. He also hosts Arden Media's podcast Will 5G Change the World? Prior to his work at RCR, Sean studied journalism and literature at the University of Mississippi then spent six years based in Key West, Florida, working as a reporter for the Miami Herald Media Company. He currently lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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