Sponsored By

Comcast Creates Cell Tower BusinessComcast Creates Cell Tower Business

New CTI Towers unit created to manage the company's 800 towers and lease access to Sprint, AT&T and other wireless service providers

Jeff Baumgartner

September 28, 2011

2 Min Read
Comcast Creates Cell Tower Business

A unit of Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has formed a separate company dedicated to managing hundreds of cell towers and leasing space to wireless service providers.

Comcast Ventures , the company's venture capital arm, has created CTI Towers Inc. , a unit headquartered in Franklin, Mass., that's getting off the ground with about 800 towers in 39 states that were previously owned by other Comcast Cable subsidiaries.

CTI's website notes that it is already leasing space to several wireless service providers, including AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), T-Mobile US Inc. , MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS) and Leap Wireless International Inc. (Nasdaq: LEAP), alongside some unnamed broadcasters (Comcast owns NBCUniversal LLC ), municipalities and utility companies.

Comcast has tapped Anthony Peduto, late of Optasite Inc. and American Tower Corp. (NYSE: AMT), as CTI Towers's CEO.

Comcast isn't disclosing CTI Towers's current revenue run rate or how many people it employs, but the site lists two other execs: SVP of Sales Sonny Peterman, a former Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and American Tower exec; and General Counsel Carrie Larson. It's also hiring.

Why this matters
Comcast is consolidating its tower business as wireless carriers ratchet up their Long Term Evolution (LTE) network buildout plans in anticipation of increasing use of streaming video and other high-bandwidth apps on mobile devices.

The new company will also consolidate the ownership and operations of cell towers that have previously been handled by Comcast's individual cable systems. Putting all of that under the CTI Towers and having a team dedicated to managing those assets should improve the operational efficiencies of the towers.

The creation of CTI Towers also puts Comcast squarely into a large cell tower market. But it's clearly a mid-tier player. According to Wireless Estimator , Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE: CCI) leads in the U.S. with more than 22,251 towers, followed by American Tower (21,644), AT&T Towers (10,312), and SBA Communications (9,290).

For more
Read more about cable's recent wireless activities.

  • Cable May Plow More Cash Into Clearwire

  • Does Cable Have a Wireless Plan B?

  • Cox: We're Not Selling Our Spectrum

  • TW Cable Stays in Wireless Holding Pattern

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like