Globally, the top 100 cellular towers companies own and operate over 1.5 million sites, which host shared telecommunications infrastructure. These cell towers provide mobile communications coverage and connectivity primarily for wireless carriers, while also supporting the needs of television & radio broadcast companies, and public safety networks.
In total, the 10 largest owners and operators of cellular towers, including American Tower, Indus Towers, Summit Digitel, Cellnex, BSNL Tower, edotco, Vantage Towers, Reliance Infratel, Crown Castle, and IHS Holding, operate 60% of the 1.5 million sites that are held by the broader top 100 cellular towers companies in the world.
Dgtl Infra provides an overview of the largest 100 cellular towers companies worldwide, as measured by tower count. Subsequently, we dive deeper into the portfolios of each of the top 25 cell towers companies, including where their sites are located geographically, how many tenants place equipment on their towers, and who their key customers are. Note that tower owners and operators from China and Russia are excluded from our list.
Top 100 Cellular Towers Companies
|#||Tower Company||Operating Regions||Towers|
|3||Summit Digitel Infrastructure||India||151,000|
|4||Cellnex Telecom||Pan-Europe (12 Countries)||102,712|
|5||BSNL Tower Corporation||India||74,000|
|6||edotco Group (Axiata Group)||Pan-Asia (9 Countries)||50,251|
|7||Vantage Towers||Pan-Europe (8 Countries)||45,700|
|9||Crown Castle||United States||40,159|
|10||IHS Holding||Africa, Latin America, Middle East||38,975|
|11||SBA Communications||United States, LatAm, Africa||36,017|
|12||Sitios Latinoamérica||Pan-Latin America (15 Countries)||36,008|
|14||Protelindo (Sarana Menara)||Indonesia||29,011|
|16||TOTEM (Orange)||France, Spain||26,884|
|20||Opsimex (Telesites)||Mexico, Costa Rica||20,302|
|21||Phoenix Tower International||Europe, LatAm, United States||18,000|
|22||Digital Telecom Infra Fund||Thailand||16,059|
|24||Cornerstone (CTIL)||United Kingdom||14,500|
|25||Helios Towers||Pan-Africa, Middle East (10 Mkts)||13,900|
|26||EdgePoint Infrastructure||Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines||13,000|
|27||Mobile Broadband (MBNL)||United Kingdom||12,000|
|28||CETIN Group||Czech Rep, Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia||11,200|
|29||Global Tower||Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus, Cyprus||11,060|
|32||Millicom (Tigo) Carve-Out||Pan-Latin America (8 Countries)||10,000|
|33||Vertical Bridge||United States||9,000|
|35||Telia Towers AB||Finland, Norway, Sweden||8,500|
|36||Zain Business Limited||Saudi Arabia||8,069|
|38||Magenta Telekom Infra||Austria||7,000|
|39||Ascend Telecom Infra||India||6,500|
|40||Svenska UMTS-nät (SUNAB)||Sweden||6,000|
|42||Amplitel / Telstra InfraCo||Australia||5,500|
|44||Highline do Brasil||Brazil||4,700|
|45||OCK Group||Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia||4,600|
|46||Australia Tower Network (ATN)||Australia||4,312|
|47||U.S. Cellular / TDS||United States||4,310|
|48||3G Infrastructure Services (3GIS)||Sweden||4,100|
|49||Diamond Communications||United States||4,000|
|51||Irrawaddy Green Towers (IGT)||Myanmar||4,000|
|52||Gyro Masts & Towers (Telkom)||South Africa||3,834|
|54||Belgium Tower Partners (BTP)||Belgium||3,326|
|56||IBS Tower (IBST)||Indonesia||3,160|
|57||Mexico Telecom Partners (MTP)||Mexico||3,000|
|58||Andean Telecom Partners (ATP)||Chile, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador||3,000|
|60||Balitower (Bali Towerindo Sentra)||Indonesia||2,640|
|61||QMC Telecom||Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru||2,600|
|64||Tillman Infrastructure||United States||2,300|
|65||Wireless Infrastructure Group||United Kingdom||2,200|
|66||Africa Mobile Networks (AMN)||Pan-Africa (10 Countries)||2,000|
|67||Sacofa Sdn Bhd||Malaysia||1,800|
|68||Centuria, SIA||Latvia, Lithuania||1,700|
|69||Telenor Tower Sweden||Sweden||1,688|
|70||TowerCo of Madagascar||Madagascar||1,500|
|71||Aotearoa Towers||New Zealand||1,484|
|73||Pan African Towers||Nigeria, Ghana||1,300|
|75||Spark TowerCo||New Zealand||1,263|
|76||Torrecom Partners||Pan-Latin America (8 Countries)||1,250|
|77||TPG Telecom Towers (OMERS)||Australia||1,237|
|78||CTI Towers||United States||1,200|
|80||Torresec (Innovattel)||Pan-Latin America (7 Countries)||1,100|
|81||Brazil Tower Company (BTC)||Brazil||1,060|
|83||BNSF Railway Company||United States||1,000|
|84||Octagon Towers (Peppertree)||United States||1,000|
|85||Blue Sky Towers||United States||1,000|
|86||Harmoni Towers||United States||1,000|
|87||Tower Ventures||United States||850|
|88||Open Tower Company (OTC)||Netherlands||800|
|91||Continental Towers||Pan-Latin America (6 Countries)||750|
|93||Union Pacific Railroad||United States||670|
|94||Ceské Radiokomunikace (CRA)||Czech Republic||660|
|98||Parallel Infrastructure||United States||600|
|100||Norfolk Southern Railway||United States||500|
1. American Tower
American Tower (NYSE: AMT) owns 219,226 towers globally, of which 42,861 are located in the United States & Canada and 176,365 reside in international markets. The company’s tower portfolio spans a total of 24 countries in the following geographies:
- Domestic: United States, Canada
- Europe: France, Germany, Poland, Spain
- Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru
- Asia-Pacific: Bangladesh, India, Philippines
- Africa: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda
In terms of property revenue, American Tower’s largest tenants are T-Mobile (17%), AT&T (14%), Verizon (11%), Telefónica (10.5%), and Airtel (8%).
2. Indus Towers
Indus Towers (formerly Bharti Infratel) is the largest tower company in India, owning and managing 185,447 telecom towers. The company has 335,791 tenants with equipment on its towers, equating to a tenancy ratio of 1.81x.
India’s three major wireless carriers, namely Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea are all significant customers of Indus Towers.
3. Summit Digitel Infrastructure
Summit Digitel Infrastructure (formerly Reliance Jio Infratel) is the second largest tower company in India, operating 151,000 telecom towers, which are able to provide pan-India 4G coverage.
The company’s towers primarily serve as the network backbone of Reliance Jio, India’s largest wireless carrier, and, as such, the company’s tenancy ratio is ~1x. To this end, Jio is an anchor tenant of Summit Digitel under a 30-year master service agreement (MSA).
Notably, Brookfield Infrastructure invested in Summit Digitel Infrastructure in August 2020.
4. Cellnex Telecom
Cellnex Telecom (BME: CLNX) manages 102,712 operational tower sites, with 136,249 tenants, which equates to a tenancy ratio of 1.33x. Specifically, these operational sites are in the 12 European countries of France, Italy, Poland, Spain, United Kingdom, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, and Denmark.
Once all of Cellnex’s pending acquisitions and build-to-suit (BTS) agreements have been completed, the company’s portfolio will grow to 137,000 tower sites across its 12 European markets. Additionally, Cellnex operates 5,815 small cells and distributed antenna system (DAS) nodes throughout Europe.
5. BSNL Tower Corporation (BTCL)
BSNL Tower Corporation (BTCL) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the government-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), India’s fourth largest wireless carrier. Presently, BTCL operates 74,000 towers in India and has 79,000 tenants with equipment on its towers (mainly BSNL), equating to a tenancy ratio of 1.07x.
6. edotco Group
edotco Group is a regional tower company in Asia and a 63%-owned subsidiary of Axiata Group (KLSE: AXIATA). The company operates in nine countries, including Malaysia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Laos, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
edotco has a portfolio of 50,251 towers and managed sites across Asia. Of this total, the company controls 27,395 owned towers and 22,856 managed sites. Also, edotco’s owned towers have a tenancy ratio of 1.63x, equating to 44,711 tenants with equipment on its owned towers.
7. Vantage Towers
Vantage Towers (ETR: VTWR) owns a consolidated portfolio totaling 45,700 macro sites in the 8 European countries of Germany, Spain, Greece, Czech Republic, Portugal, Romania, Hungary, and Ireland. In addition, Vantage Towers has a 33.2% stake in INWIT, which holds 22,800 towers, and a 50% stake in Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited (CTIL), which controls 14,500 towers.
Overall, Vantage Towers’ consolidated portfolio of 45,700 macro sites have 65,700 tenants, resulting in a tenancy ratio of 1.44x. Of these tenants, Vodafone represents ~81% of Vantage Towers’ revenue base, which has high customer concentration.
8. Reliance Infratel
Reliance Infratel is the tower division of Reliance Communications (RCom), a former wireless carrier in India which filed for bankruptcy in 2019. Presently, Reliance Infratel operates 43,000 towers in India and has 39,000 tenants with equipment on its towers, equating to a tenancy ratio of 0.9x. Notably, this tenancy ratio implies that many of Reliance Infratel’s towers are unoccupied.
9. Crown Castle
Crown Castle (NYSE: CCI) has a digital infrastructure portfolio, which resides entirely in the United States, consisting of 40,159 towers, over 80,000 route miles of fiber, and 115,000 small cells on-air or under contract. The company’s towers have a tenancy ratio of 2.4x, equating to ~96,400 tenants with equipment on its towers.
In terms of site rental revenues, Crown Castle’s largest tenants are T-Mobile (37%), AT&T (19%), and Verizon (19%) – collectively comprising 75% of the company’s site rental revenues.
10. IHS Holding
IHS Holding (NYSE: IHS) has a portfolio of 38,975 owned and managed tower sites in 11 total countries. Specifically, these sites have a tenancy ratio of 1.42x, equating to 55,343 tenants with equipment on the company’s towers.
IHS Holding’s sites span 7 countries in Africa, 3 countries in Latin America, and 1 country in the Middle East. Overall, the company’s top five markets by tower count include Nigeria (16,856 sites), Brazil (6,786 sites), South Africa (5,700 sites), Côte d’Ivoire (2,690 sites), and Cameroon (2,243 sites).
11. SBA Communications
SBA Communications (NASDAQ: SBAC) owns or operates 36,017 communication sites, 17,363 of which are in the United States and 18,654 that are located internationally. More specifically, the company’s international markets include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, South Africa, the Philippines, and Tanzania.
In terms of domestic site leasing revenue, SBA Communications’ largest tenants are T-Mobile (40%), AT&T (30%), and Verizon (20%). While the company’s largest tenants, based on international site leasing revenue, are Oi SA (26%), Telefónica (14%), and América Móvil (12%).
12. Sitios Latinoamérica
Sitios Latinoamérica is being spun-off from América Móvil, the largest wireless carrier in Latin America. The company operates 36,008 tower sites across 15 countries in Latin America, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Uruguay.
Sitios Latinoamérica’s three largest markets are Brazil with 12,539 sites (35% of total), Argentina with 4,435 sites (12% of total), and Peru with 3,687 sites (10% of total).
13. Deutsche Funkturm
Deutsche Funkturm (DFMG) is Germany’s largest tower company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom (ETR: DTE). Presently, the company operates 33,500 towers in Germany and has ~47,000 tenants with equipment on its towers, equating to a tenancy ratio of ~1.4x.
Additionally, Deutsche Funkturm’s sites are ~30% ground-based towers and ~70% rooftop sites.
14. Protelindo (Sarana Menara Nusantara)
Protelindo (Sarana Menara Nusantara) operates 29,011 towers in Indonesia, which have 54,580 tenants, equating to a tenancy ratio of 1.88x. Within Indonesia, 55% of the company’s towers are located in the Java region, while 45% are in the ex-Java region.
Additionally, Protelindo has 50,529 miles (81,319 kilometers) of revenue generating fiber.
Mitratel operates 28,577 towers in Indonesia, which have 43,101 tenants, equating to a tenancy ratio of 1.51x. Within Indonesia, 42% of the company’s towers are located in the Java region, while 58% are in the ex-Java region.
Additionally, Mitratel has a fiber-optic portfolio that provides transport connectivity for towers. Presently, the company has 1,315 miles (2,117 kilometers) of fiber-optic orders received, to be deployed.
16. TOTEM (Orange)
TOTEM is the European tower company subsidiary of Orange, a wireless carrier in France. The company operates 26,884 tower sites, including 19,155 sites in France and 7,729 sites in Spain. Overall, TOTEM’s tower portfolio of 26,884 sites have 36,336 tenants, resulting in a tenancy ratio of 1.35x.
Additionally, Orange is pursuing a carve-out of its passive mobile infrastructure within the company’s footprint, starting with Romania, Slovakia, and Moldova.
17. GTL Infrastructure
GTL Infrastructure operates 26,038 towers in India and has 24,076 tenants with equipment on its towers, equating to a tenancy ratio of 0.92x. However, of this total, only 11,988 of these towers are occupied, with the remaining 14,050 towers unoccupied. Therefore, GTL Infrastructure’s average tenancy ratio per occupied tower is 2.0x.
INWIT is Italy’s largest tower company, which operates 22,800 cellular towers and has 46,800 tenants with equipment on its towers, equating to a tenancy ratio of 2.05x. Of these tenants, the majority of INWIT’s revenue derives from master service agreements (MSAs) with wireless carriers TIM (Telecom Italia) and Vodafone. With these two companies, INWIT has 36,400 anchor tenants on its cell towers.
Additionally, INWIT operates 6,600 small cell and distributed antenna system (DAS) nodes, as well as providing backhaul connectivity solutions.
19. Tower Bersama
Tower Bersama operates 20,760 telecommunication towers in Indonesia, which have 39,446 tenants, equating to a tenancy ratio of 1.90x. Additionally, the company has 111 distributed antenna system (DAS) networks.
Regarding tenants, Tower Bersama’s cell sites serve all of Indonesia’s major telecommunications companies, including Telkomsel, Indosat, and XL Axiata.
20. Opsimex (Telesites)
Telesites, the largest owner, operator, and developer of passive wireless infrastructure in Mexico completed its merger into Operadora de Sites Mexicanos (Opsimex) in March 2022. Presently, the company operates 20,302 towers in Mexico and Costa Rica, including 19,995 towers located in Mexico and 307 sites located in Costa Rica.
Across both Mexico and Costa Rica, Opsimex has 25,521 tenants, equating to a tenancy ratio of 1.26x. The company was created as a result of the spin-off of cellular towers in Mexico by América Móvil, which remains Opsimex’s largest customer.
21. Phoenix Tower International
Phoenix Tower International owns and operates over 18,000 cellular towers and 613 miles (986 kilometers) of fiber. Geographically, the company’s cellular tower portfolio spans 18 countries throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America.
Phoenix Tower’s countries of operation are Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, French West Indies, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Malta, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and the United States.
22. Digital Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund
Digital Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund is Thailand’s largest tower company, which operates a portfolio of 16,059 cellular towers located in all 77 provinces of Thailand. Of this total, 9,727 towers are owned by the fund (True Tower and TUC Towers) and 6,332 towers, are managed by the fund, with the fund entitled to receive the net revenue (BFKT Towers and AWC Towers).
TAWAL owns a portfolio of more than 15,000 cell towers located throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), which represents a 40% market share amongst peer companies. Notably, Saudi Telecom Company (stc), Saudi Arabia’s largest wireless carrier, founded TAWAL in December 2018 to be an independent provider of telecommunications infrastructure. By April 2019, TAWAL was permitted by Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission to begin operating.
24. Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited (CTIL)
Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited (CTIL) is a 50%/50% joint venture between wireless carrier Telefónica (operating as O2 in the UK) and Vantage Towers. The company operates 14,500 cellular towers in the United Kingdom, which have ~29,000 tenants, equating to a tenancy ratio of 2.0x.
In January 2021, Telefónica and Vodafone each entered into new master service agreements (MSAs) with CTIL. These two companies agreed to use CTIL’s cell towers for an initial term of 8 years, with three 8-year renewal periods, and a 3-year exit period if not renewed.
25. Helios Towers
Helios Towers is an independent tower company operating in 10 countries across Africa and the Middle East. More specifically, these countries are Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Gabon, Ghana, Madagascar, Malawi, Oman, Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania.
Pro forma for all pending acquisitions, Helios Towers controls 13,900 sites, which have 24,000 tenants, equating to a tenancy ratio of 1.7x. In turn, this makes Helios Towers the 3rd largest amongst all cell tower companies operating in Africa.
To get the most important digital infrastructure stories of the week delivered to your inbox, including on the topic of cell tower companies, subscribe to Dgtl Infra’s Weekly News Roundup here.