SBC deal boosts SpectraSite to 9,000 towers
In a transaction worth $1.3 billion, the SpectraSite Communications subsidiary of SpectraSite Holdings, Cary, NC, will lease 3,900 communications towers owned by SBC Communications, with the right to sublease them. In addition, SpectraSite has the option to purchase the 3,900 towers at the end of individual tower lease terms (on average, about 27 years) at a present value of $251 million. The transaction gives SpectraSite the largest tower portfolio in the 50 largest U.S. markets. The transaction gives SpectraSite control of 9,000 towers in the United States.
Consideration for the transaction includes $983 million in cash and $325 million in SpectraSite common stock. The transaction includes a five-year agreement for SpectraSite to build an estimated 800 new towers for SBC.
SBC Wireless will sublease space from SpectraSite on the towers for $65.5 million per year with annual lease-rate escalators. The transaction is expected to close in increments, beginning in the fourth quarter.
The SBC towers are concentrated in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Dallas, St. Louis, Las Vegas, Chicago and Cleveland.
“The build-to-suit component of this transaction represents tremendous long-term value for SpectraSite,” said Stephen H. Clark, president of SpectraSite.
Lawrence B. Sorrel, SpectraSite’s chairman and a general partner of SpectraSite’s largest investor, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, added: “SBC’s investment in SpectraSite is a strong sign of support in SpectraSite by yet another industry leader. SBC is the third substantial carrier transaction that SpectraSite will complete.
“The SBC portfolio was highly sought after among the major consolidators in the tower industry, and SBC was the first carrier to have the opportunity to truly evaluate the progress and overall performance of the tower companies from each of the prior carrier deals. The fact that SpectraSite was selected from a competitive field validates that we are the leading operator, and the partner of choice for carriers,” Stowe said.
The California Highway Patrol’s Los Angeles Communications Center is ready to go online with its new wireless 9-1-1 system, compliments of Plant Equipment. The system provides the telephone number of the device making the call to enable CHP to call back if calls are disconnected. Erik Estrada could not be reached for comment on how the system would have benefitted his character “Ponch” on “CHiPs.”
In other California-related news, Long Beach Gas & Electric will update its exisiting wireless workforce management system from Mobile Data Solutions to a more current version of Advantex. It will manage about 60 mobile workers who perform routine maintenance and customer service work in the metropolitan Long Beach area.
Comsearch has sold its microwave path design software to Dolphin Telecom of Germany for about $550,000. The software licenses will be used to support Dolphin’s TETRA network in Germany.
Tessco Technologies reached an agreement with Adaptive Broadband to market and deliver Adaptive’s Ab-Access fixed wireless broadband product to a variety of local exchange carriers and wireless Internet service providers. “Our opportunity with the fixed wireless broadband market is so huge, that our biggest challenge is deploying resources to maximize our market coverage,” John Skoro, Adaptive Broadband’s senior vice president of sales and market development, said.
So much for smoking in the boys’ room. Tewksbury High School, MA, has installed the Motorola RemoteVU integrated digital video system that enables remote monitoring of the school by police and other emergency services. “If a student is injured at a sporting event, or a fire alarm is activated in the school, we no longer have to wait until we’re on the scene to assess the situation,” Tewksbury Police Chief John Mackey said.
Contract news: Radio Frequency Systems has been awarded a contract to enhance the MTRC metro system in Hong Kong to include 3G mobile wireless service … Dataradio, has been awarded a contract for a multisite, 800MHz mobile data network for the municipality of Anchorage, AK. The network will provide officers with CAD, records management, NCIC access, and automatic vehicle location. Mobex Communications and Cerulean Technology were also involved in the deal.
This month’s sign that RF waves may cause brain decay: A freshman at William Patterson University, Wayne, NJ, has vowed to go a year without speaking. His only means of communication: a Motorola Talkabout T900. With an idea this absurd, it’s a good bet he didn’t have much to say in the first place.