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Fiber-to-the-Tower Milestones for Zayo

February 1st, 2012 by · Leave a Comment

Zayo Group (news, filings) has been a pioneer in the fiber-to-the-tower space for some time now, and today they gave a status update on just how big that buildout has become. 

They have now passed the 2,000 tower threshold, adding 4,000+ metro route miles to hook up 3,000+ tenants across 46 markets. That’s nearly 40% of their on-net buildings, whose total stands at 5,124 according to their January list.  Actually I think it’s above 40% by now, because they were past 2,000 towers last quarter already.  The threshold Zayo is celebrating today is that the total bandwidth now adds up to more than 100G which is quite a sum when you think about it. Spread across 2,000 sites, it’s an average of about 50Mbps on each. They’ve still got another 500 towers in the works, and six new markets they are bringing online.

But with T-MobileUSA being one of their biggest customers, there is a chance that 2012 may be rather enjoyable for Zayo. With the extra spectrum and cash Deutsche Telecom AG (ETR:DTE, news, filings) picked up as part of the breakup fee, the German giant may put some of that money back into that HSPA+ network’s expansion and hence into more backhaul.  T-MobileUSA drifted a bit last year while the deal hung in the balance. Even if DT takes a different route than a major LTE buildout, in 2012 they’ve still got some catching up to do.

The other tower backhaul story out there this winter is hybrid operator FiberTower (NASDAQ:FTWR, news, filings), which is currently in default and trying to sell itself.  If Zayo is making good money on this many towers, they may have the scale needed to do a bit of consolidation while adding reach via wireless backhaul that would let them expand their efforts further.  I mean, heck it’s been a whole two months now since they closed the 360networks deal.

Categories: Metro fiber · Wireless

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