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A Broader Information Superhighway: Cell Carriers and Network Service Providers Respond to Demand with Innovation

Usage of mobile and broadband Internet bandwidth is growing exponentially, creating new opportunities — and challenges — for cell carriers and network service providers, according to Tom Westdyk, Group Head and Managing Director, CIT Corporate Finance, Communications, Information Services & Technology at CIT Group, Inc., (NYSE: CIT) cit.com, a leading provider of commercial lending, leasing and advisory services. Westdyk shares these insights and others in “A Broader Information Superhighway,” (cit.com/westdyk) the latest piece of market intelligence to be featured in CIT’s Executive Insights series (cit.com/executiveinsights).

“In the United States, we’re seeing subscriber growth starting to level off for cell carriers, so more and more bandwidth usage is being driven by consumers’ use of mobile applications, and especially by mobile video,” says Westdyk. “As a result, cell carriers are seeing capacity bottlenecks appear in areas of high population density.”

The cell carriers are pursuing many options to address the increasing demand for bandwidth, including leasing additional space on new cell towers, using supplementary antenna systems in urban areas and continuing to move away from unlimited-data plans.

Westdyk also offers his views on how evolving consumer behavior is impacting cable and fiber-optic network service providers. He notes, “There has been a lot of discussion of the fear of ‘cord-cutting’ among millennials, more and more of whom are happy to stream their TV and video content over the Internet rather than watch traditional cable TV. However, the same company that provides consumers their TV service is most likely the company they’ll turn to for broadband Internet access, so the net number of cable and fiber-optic customers isn’t likely to fall.”

Other trends Westdyk highlights include:

  • Big four mobile operators expected to aggressively pursue additional spectrum in the next round of spectrum auctions: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently in the process of arranging these auctions, which will reallocate spectrum currently set aside for over-the-air TV providers to mobile operators.
  • Expanding access to WiFi: Network service providers are expanding their WiFi coverage, spawning an industry of companies that build out WiFi hotspot networks. As a result, consumers are relying more on WiFi when they’re out and about, helping to manage demand for cellular data.
  • The rise of the “Internet of Things”: An accelerating development that promises to create even more demand for wireless data is the proliferation of machines that can use wireless connections to communicate, creating what’s being called the “Internet of Things.”
  • FCC inclined to protect the underlying openness of the Internet: The FCC Chairman has made some bold statements recently about the protection of access to the Internet, and it seems likely that the FCC will continue to look to see that any agreements struck between content providers and network service providers don’t handicap smaller, newer content providers.

EDITOR’S NOTE:

View CIT’s corporate overview video (cit.com/corporatevideo) and CIT Perspectives (cit.com/perspectives), which showcase our insights and ability to put our knowledge to work for the small business, middle market and transportation sectors. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook or register to receive press releases at cit.com/newsalerts.

About CIT Corporate Finance

Corporate Finance provides lending, leasing and other financial and advisory services to the middle market with a focus on specific industries, including: Aerospace & Defense, Business Services, Communications, Energy, Entertainment, Gaming, Healthcare, Industrials, Information Services & Technology, Restaurants, Retail, and Sports & Media. cit.com/corporatefinance

About CIT

Founded in 1908, CIT (NYSE: CIT) is a financial holding company with more than $35 billion in financing and leasing assets. It provides financing, leasing and advisory services to its clients and their customers across more than 30 industries. CIT maintains leadership positions in middle market lending, factoring, retail and equipment finance, as well as aerospace, equipment and rail leasing. CIT’s U.S. bank subsidiary CIT Bank (Member FDIC), BankOnCIT.com, offers a variety of savings options designed to help customers achieve their financial goals. cit.com

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