The T-Mobile/Sprint merger and Dish 5G network plans will be “net positive” for American Tower’s U.S. operations in the long run, according to James Taiclet, American Tower CEO.
“While there will be some decommissioning of sites as T-Mobile optimizes its network and rolls out 5G, we also expect some demand from the combined company for our extensive U.S. tower portfolio during that process and well into the future,” he said.
With Dish planning to buy Sprint’s prepaid businesses and to build a facilities-based 5G network, Taiclet said American Tower will be positioned to benefit.
“As a result [of the 5G build] we expect to receive meaningful new business from Dish as they transition their current narrowband IoT network design into a full fledge 5G mobile architecture in the coming years,” he said. The deal, however, will not materially affect its 2019 results, Taiclet added.
The agreement between the Department of Justice, T-Mobile and Dish will also be positive for the United States as it attempts to hold a position of global leadership in 5G technology, Taiclet said, while creating a competition that will benefit consumers. He also said it represents an opportunity for American Tower to sign new MLAs with the New T-Mobile and Dish.
“This will be an excellent environment for American Tower, especially with the increasing focus on low and mid-band spectrum for 5G,” Taiclet said. “The transaction might even bolster that environment going forward based on the competitive dynamic between the three largest carriers and the disruptive entrepreneurism of Dish.”