Light Reading
After an initial deal with Verizon, tower company hopes to attract more wireless operators to lease its small cell real estate with the help of the big-name vendors.

Towerstream Teams With AlcaLu on Small Cells

Sarah Reedy
5/14/2014
50%
50%

Towerstream has a new ally in its quest to sign up operator customers for small cell deployments. It revealed on its first-quarter earnings call Monday evening that Alcatel-Lucent is its first partner to jointly market and sell small cell deals.

And, according to Towerstream Corp. (Nasdaq: TWER) CEO Jeff Thompson, it already has a master lease agreement with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), but plans to work through Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) to target deals with other operators.

Together, the companies will "offer carriers a single end-to-end solution," Thompson said on the call.

Towerstream VP of Engineering and Network Operations Arthur Giftakis told Light Reading in March that the tower company, via its HetNets unit, wanted to lease its tower real estate and high-capacity backhaul network to operators looking to deploy small cells. Obtaining mounting rights has been a formidable challenge for them, so a pre-built solution would likely appeal to some, even if it meant sharing some of the revenues. (See Towerstream Proposes a Small-Cell Alternative .)

Towerstream, however, is a relatively small company with most of its real estate concentrated in New York City, so its broader appeal is limited. That's where its partnerships come into play. Alcatel-Lucent is the first, but Thompson said the company hopes to have similar agreements in place with Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) that will give it "compete coverage of all carrier vendor preferences and technical needs."

"We are more confident than ever before that we will see initial small cell deployments and contracts in the second half of this year helped by our partnerships with leading 4G equipment vendors," Thompson said on the call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

Thompson added that small cell deployments are much more confusing than traditional tower deployments. The vendors -- Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, and Nokia -- are working to "take all these moving parts" and simplify deployments under one roof. He said they are interested in working with Towerstream because they can market its rooftops to the carriers. The carriers will have a direct contract with Towerstream, which will do the installation and equipment deployment. Alcatel-Lucent markets the rooftops; Towerstream in turn markets their services.

"They will take almost any backhaul they can get to certain locations, and we are actually pretty excited with what we might get in our first RFPs for some of those small cells using our fixed wireless," Thompson said. "We think our fixed wireless is a great asset to be able to get to certain locations."

The problem may be that the location operators are most interested in is light posts, not rooftops where Towerstream has the most real estate. Current Analysis analyst Ed Gubbins agrees that small cells are a tougher proposition, in general, and for Towerstream, which has done the most work with WiFi. (See Public Access Small Cells: Off to a Slow Start.)

That said, tying up with AlcaLu was a smart move. The vendor, more so than its competitors, has been proactive in pulling together everyone from backhaul equipment vendors to billboard owners to tackle small cell deployments, the analyst says.

"So ALU can definitely help Towerstream, and maybe also help them find other partners in the ecosystem that are also interested in working with ALU," Gubbins writes in an email to Light Reading. "If there's the potential to find a critical mass of sites that way, working with ALU is the best bet for trying to achieve it."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/29/2014 | 9:54:48 AM
press release official
Looks like the pair officially announced their deal today. No mention of Verizon though. That was probably a slip up on the call. http://ir.towerstream.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=851120
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/14/2014 | 12:35:22 PM
leasing competition
Partnering with their established vendor partners seems like the best route for Towerstream to sign up operator partners. As Thompson admitted in the call though, Crown Castle is offering a similar deal in NYC. It'll come down to location and where they have the most desirable locations for small cells.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Is your network built on 'The Old IP,' or are you part of 'The New IP' revolution?
LRTV Documentaries
A Cultural Shift for an OTT World

9|26|14   |   01:41   |   (3) comments


Telcos need to embrace a new approach to partnerships if they are to generate extra revenues quickly and give customers what they want.
LRTV Documentaries
New Skills Needed as Telecom, IT Collide

9|26|14   |   4:07   |   (1) comment


As telecom and IT collide, new technologies are emerging, new skills are needed and new opportunities for women are arising.
UBB Forum News
Do IP Networks Need An Overhaul?

9|25|14   |   02:01   |   (0) comments


As traffic levels ramp, do IP networks need new technologies and topologies?
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley

9|25|14   |   3:09   |   (11) comments


Anne-Louise Kardas, Sprint's connection to startups in the Valley, explains how telcos can be innovative and find new opportunities with partners.
LRTV Documentaries
SDN, NFV & The Future of XO's Network

9|25|14   |   3:47   |   (1) comment


XO Communications COO Don MacNeil explains how cloud, SDN and NFV are altering its network requirements as well as changing data centers of the future.
UBB Forum News
The OTT Conundrum

9|24|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


What is holding back prosperous partnerships between telcos and the OTT players?
LRTV Documentaries
Putting Broadband to Work

9|24|14   |   01:26   |   (0) comments


High-speed broadband network rollout is key to telco strategies, but it's what happens after the network is built that counts.
Light Reedy
Light Reading's Women in Telecom Recap

9|24|14   |   0:55   |   (4) comments


Our first Women in Telecom breakfast was a huge success, and we hope you'll join us in London for the next event on November 6.
UBB Forum News
Monetizing Ultra-Broadband

9|24|14   |   01:43   |   (2) comments


Ultra-broadband networks need to be built, with fiber-to-the-premises the ultimate goal, but they need to be monetized, too.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Half of the world's population will be connected to the Internet by 2017, but not just by smartphones and desktops.
Hot Topics
Facebook Pokes Around LTE Direct
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
Is Redbox Instant Shutting Down?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/30/2014
US Ignite Cultivates Gigabit Apps
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed