Tower REITs will revel in the 5G rollout – The Property Chronicle
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Tower REITs will revel in the 5G rollout

The Analyst

As the calendar turns to 2021 and we talk about the great digital pivot everyone experienced in 2020, one of the many themes that comes up in any digitally focused conversation is 5G. A lot of fun stuff comes up in any 5G talk, including (but not limited to) faster speeds, AR/VR, IoT and autonomous cars. Last month, Verizon’s keynote at the CES trade show talked about how 5G will change the way the typical consumer experiences sporting events, museums, concerts and traffic flow in cities.

While all of this discussion creates a lot of excitement, the conversation that should really be the focus is the whole chicken and egg of it all. The ‘egg’ of 5G cannot be laid without a whole lot of ‘chickens’ – the wireless infrastructure players. And there is some big-time heavy lifting still to do in that regard! For investors, this offers a significant opportunity.

When describing 5G infrastructure, the analogy of a cardiovascular system is useful. Why? Because, like the human body, in a 5G infrastructure deployment there are many important parts that need to work with one another in a dense environment. There are three critical pillars in a healthy cardiovascular system: veins, capillaries and, of course, a beating heart. Bringing that to 5G infrastructure, think of three critical pieces necessary for it all to work: lots of fibres (the veins), small cells (the capillaries at the end of these veins) – but perhaps most critical is the macro towers (that all-important beating heart).

Stating the obvious, none of us can really live without a healthy heart. Similarly, any discussion about all the exciting things that can come with 5G needs to be focused on the essentials of what is necessary to get there.

The more tools that tower companies have in their toolbox, the more carriers will seek their services

The Analyst

About Jennifer Fritzsche

Jennifer Fritzsche is CFO, Manager and board member of Canopy Spectrum – a company focused on the wireless spectrum space. Prior to this role, she served as Managing Director and senior equity analyst at Wells Fargo Securities for 25 years, where she has focused on the telecoms, cable, data centre and tower sectors. During her tenure at Wells, Fritzsche received top rankings from Institutional Investor in the communications infrastructure space in each of the last four years (2017-20). She has made numerous media appearances and has often been a guest on Bloomberg and CNBC, speaks at many of the industry and trade conferences and often is asked to participate in Washington, D.C. regulatory telecom seminars and events. In addition to her role at Canopy Spectrum, she is a Senior Fellow at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

Articles by Jennifer Fritzsche

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