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  • Alex Pettee, CFA

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.

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Hoya Capital Research & Index Innovations is an affiliated index provider and research firm that builds custom indexes tracking U.S. commercial and residential real estate sectors, including indexes tracked by exchange-traded funds (ETFs). 

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