Falling fuel prices providing early holiday gifts, especially to American Tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator


American Tower President and CEO Jim Taiclet’s early Christmas present was a reduced operating expense, especially in the REIT’s India operations

Contractors and other infrastructure companies have seen free-falling fuel prices prop up their bottom line as gasoline continues to drop across the nation to its lowest prices since 2009.

Although diesel fuel’s drop hasn’t been as dramatic, it too is showing a steady decline.

Even though Spectrum Antenna Service and 23 other Missouri-based contractors can get gas today for as little as $2.04 per gallon, the company that may reap the biggest benefit from oil’s increasing supply is American Tower Corporation.

In addition to enjoying lower prices at the pump, the company had replaced their aging fleet of vehicles and cut their fuel consumption by approximately 14%. They said that this equates to 53,000 fewer gallons of fuel consumed, or roughly having the same impact as removing 25 trucks from service.

But where the international tower owner will really benefit is in a drop in their operating expenses of their 12,000 towers in India.

Since India’ national electricity grid meets less than a third of ATC’s tower site energy needs, the majority of structures are powered by generators, although the company is exploring renewable energy sources.

Shaving their fuel operating expenses even further was the country’s deregulation of fuel prices in October.

If reports are correct that ATC is going to invest $1 billion to buy 51% of Viom, a tower company controlled by Tata Teleserves, the Boston-based REIT will most likely merge Viom’s estimated 42,000 towers into their portfolio.

Off the electric grid sites will then increase to approximately 18,000.