Cell Tower REITs: Dealers Of The 5G Arms Race
Done deal, or so it seems. The mega-merger between T-Mobile and Sprint got the greenlight from the FCC and DOJ and faces one final showdown with a dozen state AGs.
The emergence of a fourth competitor as a precondition to approval has been an unexpected coup for cell tower REITs. Questions remain, however, about DISH’s viability as a national competitor.
After a hot start to 2019, the high-flying cell tower REIT sector has cooled over the last quarter as investors seek certainty regarding the timing of network deployment post-merger.
The space race has heated up. SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites that it hopes will eventually compete for broadband customers. We view low-orbit satellites as more compliments than competitors.
Fundamentally, cell tower REITs delivered another strong quarter in 3Q19 and continue to deliver sector-leading AFFO growth at nearly 10%. We remain confident in the long-term growth trajectory.