July 11, 2017

Brattle Report Discusses the Impact of the Wireless Infrastructure Industry on the U.S. Economy

Brattle economists have authored a report discussing how the wireless infrastructure industry will impact the U.S. economy in the coming years, as mobile wireless services and networks continue to expand.

The report, prepared for the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) with cooperation from American Tower, Crown Castle, and SBA Communications, explains that wireless infrastructure providers, the largest being organized as real estate investment trusts (REITs), have played a key role in wireless infrastructure funding for years. REITs in particular help to drive the expansion of the industry by answering wireless carriers’ demands for more network capacity with increased monetary investments, allowing smaller investors to participate, as well. In this manner, REITs solve a market challenge by ensuring that capital is efficiently invested in wireless telecommunications infrastructure.

To explain the impact of these wireless infrastructure investments on the U.S., the authors examine the industry’s capital expenditures as well as the flow-through impact of those investments on the general economy. They find that the industry has supported approximately $6.8 billion in spending and 32,500 jobs in the U.S. in 2016 through direct, indirect, and induced expenditures resulting from its capital and operating expenditures.

The authors note that as the economic importance of universal broadband grows and as advanced wireless services spread across industries, the wireless infrastructure’s role in supporting the U.S. economy’s continuing growth will only expand. In addition, the REIT structure will also continue to play an important role in ensuring that efficient amounts of capital are invested in wireless infrastructure deployment.

The report, “REIT Supported Wireless Infrastructure: Foundation of the Mobile Economy,” is authored by Brattle Principals Coleman Bazelon and Pallavi Seth. It is available for download using the link below.

Associated Experts
Bazelon 066
Principal
+1.202.955.5050
Dr. Bazelon consults and testifies in numerous telecommunications matters, ranging from wireless license auctions, spectrum management, and competition policy, to patent infringement, wireless reselling, and broadband deployment. More icon f02782c24cccaf6d90e1da53920c42f20e5a8955f54ac2ca5727ec7dc89987b4
Seth 083
Principal
+1.202.955.5050
Dr. Seth specializes in intellectual property and economic policy. She has testified on a range of economic issues and has assisted leading technology companies in more than two dozen intellectual property investigations at the ITC. She is experienced in applying the tools of economic analysis to policy questions and has performed policy analyses across various industries for trade associations and government agencies. More icon f02782c24cccaf6d90e1da53920c42f20e5a8955f54ac2ca5727ec7dc89987b4