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EX-21 - SUBSIDIARIES OF CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL CORP - CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL CORPex21123110.htm
EX-12 - COMPUTATION OF RATIO OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES - CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL CORPex12123110.htm
EX-11 - COMPUTATION OF NET INCOME (LOSS) PER COMMON SHARE - CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL CORPex11123110.htm
EX-23 - CONSENT OF KPMG LLP - CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL CORPex23123110.htm
EX-32.1 - CERTIFICATION OF CEO AND CFO (906) - CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL CORPex321123110.htm
EX-31.1 - CERTIFICATION OF CEO (302) - CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL CORPex311123110.htm
EX-31.2 - CERTIFICATION OF CFO (302) - CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL CORPex312123110.htm

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
___________________________________
FORM 10-K
 __________________________
x
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010
or 
o
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15 (d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from              to             
Commission File Number 001-16441
 __________________________
CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL CORP.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 __________________________ 
Delaware
 
76-0470458
(State or other jurisdiction
of incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
 
 
 
1220 Augusta Drive, Suite 500, Houston Texas 77057-2261
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(713) 570-3000
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code) 
Securities Registered Pursuant to
Section 12(b) of the Act
  
Name of Each Exchange
on Which Registered
Common Stock, $.01 par value
  
New York Stock Exchange
Rights to Purchase Series A Participating
Cumulative Preferred Stock
  
New York Stock Exchange
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: NONE.
 __________________________
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Role 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  x    No  o
Indicated by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  o    No  x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x    No  o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive DataFile required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes  x    No  o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.    x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a small reporting company. See definitions of a "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer" and "smaller reporting company" in rule 12B-2 of the Exchange Act.    Large accelerated filer   x    Accelerated filer  o    Non-accelerated filer  o    Smaller reporting company  o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    Yes  o    No  x
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $10.4 billion as of June 30, 2010, the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter, based on the New York Stock Exchange closing price on

that day of $37.26 per share.
Applicable Only to Corporate Registrants
As of February 5, 2011, there were 290,888,523 shares of Common Stock outstanding.
Documents Incorporated by Reference
The information required to be furnished pursuant to Part III of this Form 10-K will be set forth in, and incorporated by reference from, the registrant's definitive proxy statement for the annual meeting of stockholders (the "2011 Proxy Statement"), which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission not later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010.

 
 

CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL CORP.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
  
 
Page
 
  
 
Item 1.
  
Item 1A.
  
Item 1B.
  
Item 2.
  
Item 3.
  
Item 4.
  
 
  
 
Item 5.
  
Item 6.
  
Item 7.
  
Item 7A.
  
Item 8.
  
Item 9.
  
Item 9A.
  
Item 9B.
  
 
  
 
Item 10.
  
Item 11.
  
Item 12.
  
Item 13.
  
Item 14.
  
 
  
 
Item 15.
  
 
 
Cautionary Language Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements that are based on our management's expectations as of the filing date of this report with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Statements that are not historical facts are hereby identified as forward-looking statements. In addition, words such as "estimate," "anticipate," "project," "plan," "intend," "believe," "expect," "likely," "predicted," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements include plans, projections and estimates contained in "Item 1. Business," "Item 3. Legal Proceedings," "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" ("MD&A") and "Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk" herein. Such forward-looking statements include (1) expectations regarding anticipated growth in the wireless communication industry, carriers' investments in their networks, new tenant additions and demand for our towers, (2) availability of cash flows for, and plans regarding, future discretionary investments including capital expenditures, (3) anticipated growth in future revenues, margins, and operating cash flows, and (4) expectations regarding the credit markets, our availability and cost of capital, and our ability to service our debt and comply with debt covenants.
Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including prevailing market conditions, the risk factors described under "Item 1A. Risk Factors" herein and other factors. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected.
 

Unless this Form 10-K indicates otherwise or the context otherwise requires, the terms, "we," "our," "our company," "the company" or "us" as used in this Form 10-K refer to Crown Castle International Corp. ("CCIC"), a Delaware corporation organized on April 20, 1995, and its subsidiaries. Unless this Form 10-K indicates otherwise or the context otherwise requires, the terms "CCUSA" and "in the U.S." refer to our CCUSA segment while the terms "CCAL" and “in Australia” refer to our CCAL segment.
PART I
 
Item 1.     Business
Overview
We own, operate and lease towers and other wireless infrastructure, including distributed antenna system ("DAS") networks in the U.S. and rooftop installations (unless the context otherwise suggests or requires, references herein to "towers" include such other wireless infrastructure). Our core business is renting space on our towers via long-term contracts in various forms, including license, sublease and lease agreements (collectively, "contracts"). Our towers can accommodate multiple customers ("co-location") for antennas and other equipment necessary for the transmission of signals for wireless communication devices. We seek to increase our site rental revenues by adding more tenants on our towers, which we expect to result in significant incremental cash flows due to our relatively fixed tower operating costs.
Information concerning our towers as of December 31, 2010 is as follows:
•    
We owned, leased or managed approximately 23,900 towers, inclusive of 43 completed DAS networks with a varying number of discrete antenna locations ("nodes").
•    
We have approximately 22,300 towers in the United States, including Puerto Rico ("U.S."), and approximately 1,600 towers in Australia.
•    
Approximately 54% and 71% of our towers in the U.S. are located in the 50 and 100 largest U.S. basic trading areas ("BTAs"), respectively. Our towers have a significant presence in 92 of the top 100 BTAs in the U.S. In Australia, 57% of our towers are located in the six major metropolitan areas.
•    
We owned in fee or had perpetual or long-term easements in the land and other property interests (collectively, "land") on which approximately 34% of our site rental gross margin is derived, and we leased, subleased or licensed (collectively "leased") the land on which approximately 65% of our site rental gross margin is derived. In addition, we managed approximately 600 towers owned by third parties. The leases for the land under our towers had an average remaining life of approximately 31 years, weighted based on site rental gross margin.
Information concerning our customers and site rental contracts as of December 31, 2010 is as follows:
 
•    
Our customers include many of the world's major wireless communications companies. In the U.S., Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint Nextel ("Sprint") and T-Mobile accounted for a combined 77% and 73% of our 2010 CCUSA and consolidated revenues, respectively. In Australia, our customers include Telstra, Optus and a joint venture between Vodafone and Hutchison ("VHA").
•    
Revenues derived from our site rental business represented 91% of our 2010 consolidated revenues.
•    
Our site rental revenues are of a recurring nature, and typically in excess of 90% have been contracted for in a prior year.
•    
Our site rental revenues typically result from long-term contracts with (1) initial terms of five to 15 years, (2) multiple renewal periods at the option of the tenant of five to ten years each, (3) limited termination rights for our customers, and (4) contractual escalations of the rental price.
•    
Our customer contracts have a weighted-average remaining life of approximately eight years, exclusive of renewals at the customers' option, and represent $15.3 billion of expected future cash inflows.
To a lesser extent, we also provide certain network services relating to our towers, primarily consisting of antenna installations and subsequent augmentations, as well as the following additional services: site acquisition, architectural and engineering, zoning and permitting, other construction and other services related to network development.
Strategy
Our strategy is to increase long-term stockholder value by translating anticipated future growth in our core site rental business into growth of our results of operations on a per share basis. We believe our strategy is consistent with our mission to deliver the highest level of service to our customers at all times – striving to be their critical partner as we assist them in growing efficient, ubiquitous wireless networks. The key elements of our strategy are to:
•    
Organically grow the revenues and cash flows from our towers. We seek to maximize the site rental revenues derived

1

from our towers by co-locating additional tenants on our towers through long-term contracts as our customers deploy and improve their wireless networks. We seek to maximize additional new tenant additions or modifications of existing installations (collectively, "new tenant additions") through our focus on customer service and deployment speed and by leveraging our web-based proprietary tools. Due to the relatively fixed nature of the costs to operate our towers (which tend to increase at approximately the rate of inflation), we expect the increased revenues from rent received from additional co-locations and the related subsequent impact from contracted escalations to result in incremental site rental gross margin and growth in our operating cash flows. We believe there is considerable additional future demand for our existing towers based on their location and the anticipated growth in the wireless communications industry.
•    
Allocate capital efficiently. We seek to allocate our available capital, including the cash produced by our operations, in a manner that will enhance per share operating results. During 2010, we increased our discretionary investments from 2009 levels, as a result of the financial flexibility afforded by financing activities completed during 2009 and 2010 that extended our debt maturities. Our discretionary investments have historically included those shown below (in no particular order):
◦    
purchase shares of our common stock ("common stock") from time to time;
◦    
acquire towers;
◦    
acquire land under towers;
◦    
selectively construct towers;
◦    
make improvements and structural enhancements to our existing towers; and
◦    
purchase or redeem our debt or preferred stock.
Our long-term strategy is based on our belief that additional demand for our towers will be created by the expected continued growth in the wireless communications industry, which is predominately driven by the demand for wireless voice and data services by consumers. We believe that additional demand for wireless infrastructure will create future growth opportunities for us. We believe that such demand for our towers will continue, will result in organic growth of our revenues due to the co-location of additional tenants on our existing towers and will create other growth opportunities for us such as demand for new towers. However, our results of operations may not always be indicative of the extent of changing demand for our towers in any given period as a result of the application of straight-line accounting.
During 2010, consumer demand for wireless data services continued to grow, driven by user-friendly wireless devices, such as smartphones, high speed networks and a robust offering of software applications. This growth in data services is in contrast to the slowing growth rate in voice services as the role of wireless devices expands. The following is a discussion of the recent growth and our expectations for growth trends in the U.S. wireless communications industry:
•    
We expect that consumers' growing demands for network speed and quality will likely result in wireless carriers continuing their focus on improving network quality and expanding capacity by adding additional antennas and other equipment for the transmission of their services in an effort to improve customer retention and satisfaction.
•    
Our customers have introduced, and we believe they plan to continue to deploy, next generation wireless technologies, including 3G and 4G, in response to consumer demand for high speed networks. We expect these next generation technologies and others, including LTE, HSPA+ and WiMAX, to translate into additional demand for tower space, although the timing and rate of this growth is difficult to predict.
•    
We have seen, and anticipate there could be other, new entrants into the wireless communications industry that should deploy regional or national wireless networks for voice and data services.
•    
Spectrum licensed by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") in 2006 and 2008 has enabled next generation networks, and we expect these and future auctions should continue to enable next generation networks in the U.S.
•    
Consumers are increasing their use of wireless voice and data services according to recent U.S. wireless industry reports.
◦    
Wireless data services grew in 2010 as consumers increased their wireless use of e-mail, internet, social networking, music and video sharing. Wireless data service revenues for the first half of 2010 were nearly $25 billion, which represents a 27% increase over the first half of 2009 and accounted for more than 25% of all wireless services revenues.(a)  
◦    
Wireless connections were nearly 293 million as of June 30, 2010, which represents a year-over-year increase of over 16 million subscribers, or 6%.(a)
◦    
Wireless data consumption per line increased by 450% between the first quarter of 2009 and the second quarter of 2010.(b) 
◦    
Wireless devices are trending toward more bandwidth intensive devices such as smartphones, laptops, netbooks, tablets and other emerging and embedded devices. In particular smartphone shipments are expected to grow by 55% in 2010 from 2009.(c) Despite the growth in smartphones, market penetration for smartphones was approximately 30% at the end of 2010 and is expected to surpass 50% by the end of 2011.(d) 
◦    
Access to the internet by mobile devices has continued to grow during 2010 with 59% of the U.S. population

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accessing the internet on their phones in 2010, up from 25% in 2009.(e) 
 ________________________
(a)    
Source: Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association ("CTIA")
(b)    
Source: Federal Communications Commission
(c)    
Source: International Data Corporation ("IDC")
(d)    
Source: Morgan Stanley Research
(e)    
Source: Pew Research Center
2010 Highlights and Recent Developments
See "Item 7. MD&A" and our consolidated financial statements for a discussion of developments and activities occurring in 2010, including the refinancing of $3.5 billion face value of debt and the settlement of all remaining forward-starting interest rate swaps.
The Company
Virtually all of our operations are located in the U.S. and Australia. We conduct our operations principally through subsidiaries of Crown Castle Operating Company ("CCOC"), including (1) certain subsidiaries which operate our tower portfolios in the U.S. and (2) a 77.6% owned subsidiary that operates our Australia tower portfolio. For more information about our operating segments, as well as financial information about the geographic areas in which we operate, see note 16 to our consolidated financial statements and "Item 7. MD&A."
CCUSA
Site Rental. The core business of CCUSA is the renting of antenna space on our towers, including co-locating tenants on our indoor and outdoor DAS networks, which are located in areas in which zoning restrictions or other barriers may prevent or delay the deployment of a tower and often are attached to public right-of-way infrastructure such as utility poles and street lights. We predominately rent space to wireless carriers under long-term contracts for their antennas which transmit a variety of signals related to wireless voice and data. As a result, we believe our towers are integral to our customers' network and their ability to serve their customers.
Most of our CCUSA towers were acquired from the four largest wireless carriers (or their predecessors) through transactions consummated during the last decade, including (1) approximately 10,700 towers from Global Signal Inc. ("Global Signal") in 2007, of which approximately 6,600 were originally acquired from Sprint, (2) approximately 4,800 towers during 1999 to 2000 from companies now part of Verizon Wireless, (3) approximately 2,700 towers during 1999 to 2000 from companies now part of AT&T, as well as (4) other smaller acquisitions from companies now part of T-Mobile and other independent tower operators.
We generally receive monthly rental payments from tenants, payable under long-term contracts. We have existing master lease agreements with most wireless carriers, including Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Clearwire, which provide certain terms (including economic terms) that govern contracts on our towers entered into by such parties during the term of their master lease agreements. Over the last several years, we have negotiated 15-year terms for both initial and renewal periods for certain of our customers, which often included fixed escalations. We continue to endeavor to negotiate with our existing customer base for longer contractual terms, which often may contain fixed escalation rates.
Our customer contracts have a high renewal rate because of (1) the integral nature of our towers within our customers' networks, (2) customers' cost associated with relocation of their antennas and other equipment to another tower, and (3) zoning and other barriers associated with the construction of new towers. With limited exceptions, the customer contracts may not be terminated. In general, each customer contract which is renewable will automatically renew at the end of its term unless the customer provides prior notice of its intent not to renew.
See note 15 to our consolidated financial statements for a tabular presentation of the minimum rental cash payments due to us by tenants pursuant to contract agreements without consideration of tenant renewal options.
The average monthly rental payment of a new tenant added to a tower varies based on (1) the different regions in the U.S., (2) aggregate customer volume, and (3) the type of signal transmitted by the tenant, primarily as a result of the physical size of the antenna installation and related equipment. We also routinely receive rental payment increases in connection with contract amendments, pursuant to which our customers add additional antennas or other equipment to towers on which they already have equipment pursuant to pre-existing contract agreements.
Approximately two-thirds of our direct site operating expenses consist of ground lease expenses and the remainder includes property taxes, repairs and maintenance, employee compensation and related benefit costs, and utilities. Our cash operating expenses tend to escalate at approximately the rate of inflation, partially offset by reductions in cash ground lease expenses from our purchases of land. As a result of the relatively fixed nature of these expenditures, the co-location of additional tenants is

3

achieved at a low incremental operating cost, resulting in high incremental operating cash flows. Our tower portfolio requires minimal sustaining capital expenditures, including tower maintenance and other non-discretionary capital expenditures, and are typically less than 2% of site rental revenues.
We have an agreement to provide certain management, construction and acquisition services for a third party as to certain tower opportunities in the U.S. with an initial period through March 2011. The arrangement was entered into to permit us to maintain our construction and acquisition capabilities and expertise and further our good relationships with certain major customers with limited capital commitments and expenditures as to such towers.
Network Services. To a lesser extent, we also offer wireless communication companies and their agents certain network services relating to our towers. For 2010, approximately 71% of network services and other revenues related to antenna installations and subsequent augmentation (collectively, "installation services"), and the remainder related to the following additional services: site acquisition, architectural and engineering, zoning and permitting, other construction and other services related to network development. We do not always provide the installation services on our towers as the customer may obtain a third party to complete these services, as reflected in our quarterly market share for installation services on our towers, which has ranged between one-quarter to two-thirds over the last two years (see also "—Competition" below). We have grown our network services business over the last several years as a result of our focus on customer service and increasing our market share for installation services on our towers. We have the capability and expertise to install, with the assistance of our network of subcontractors, equipment and antenna systems for our customers. These activities are typically non-recurring and highly competitive, with a number of local competitors in most markets. Nearly all of our antenna installation services are billed on a cost-plus profit basis.
Customers. We work extensively with large national wireless carriers, and in general, our customers are primarily comprised of providers of wireless voice and data services who operate national or regional networks. The following table summarizes the net revenues from our four largest customers expressed as a percentage of CCUSA's and our consolidated revenues for 2010. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors."
 
Customer
% of 2010
CCUSA
Net Revenues
 
% of 2010
Consolidated
Net Revenues
AT&T
22
%
 
21
%
Verizon Wireless
22
%
 
21
%
Sprint
21
%
 
20
%
T-Mobile
12
%
 
11
%
Total
77
%
 
73
%
In addition to our four largest customers, new tenant additions for 2010 were derived from customers offering emerging wireless technologies, such as those offering wireless data only technologies and, to a lesser extent, national wireless carriers other than those mentioned in the table above, such as those offering flat rate calling plans. New entrants in the wireless industry are emerging as new technologies become available, including Clearwire, a provider of WiMAX wireless mobile data services.
Sales and Marketing. The CCUSA sales organization markets our towers within the wireless communications industry with the objectives of renting space on existing towers and on new towers prior to construction as well as obtaining network services related to our towers. We seek to become the critical partner and preferred independent tower provider for our customers and increase customer satisfaction relative to our peers by leveraging our (1) technological tools, (2) process centric approach, and (3) customer relationships.
We use public and proprietary databases to develop targeted marketing programs focused on carrier network expansions, including DAS networks, and any related network services. We attempt to match specific towers in our portfolio with potential new site demand by obtaining and analyzing information, including our customers' existing antenna locations, tenant contracts, marketing strategies, capital spend plans, deployment status, and actual wireless carrier signal strength measurements taken in the field. We have developed a web-based tool that stores key tower information above and beyond normal property management information, including data on actual customer signal strength, demographics, site readiness and competitive structures. In addition, the web-based tool assists us in estimating potential demand for our towers with greater speed and accuracy. We believe these and other tools we have developed assist our customers in their site selection and deployment of their wireless networks and provide us with an opportunity to have proactive discussions with them regarding their wireless infrastructure deployment plans and the timing and location of their demand for our towers. A key aspect to our sales and marketing strategy is a continued emphasis on our process-centric approach to reduce cycle time related to new leasing and amendments, which helps provide our customers with faster deployment of their networks.
A team of national account directors maintains our relationships with our largest customers. These directors work to develop

4

tower leasing and network service opportunities, as well as to ensure that customers' tower needs are efficiently translated into new leases on our towers. Sales personnel in our area offices develop and maintain local relationships with our customers that are expanding their networks, entering new markets, bringing new technologies to market or requiring maintenance or add-on business. In addition to our full-time sales and marketing staff, a number of senior managers and officers spend a significant portion of their time on sales and marketing activities and call on existing and prospective customers.
Competition. CCUSA competes with (1) other independent tower owners which also provide site rental and network services, (2) wireless carriers which build, own and operate their own tower networks and lease space to other wireless communication companies, and (3) owners of alternative facilities, including rooftops, water towers, broadcast towers, DAS networks, and utility poles. Some of the larger independent tower companies with which CCUSA competes in the U.S. include American Tower Corporation, SBA Communications Corporation, Global Tower Partners and TowerCo. Wireless carriers that own and operate their own tower networks generally are substantially larger and have greater financial resources than we have. We believe that tower location and capacity, deployment speed, quality of service and price have been and will continue to be the most significant competitive factors affecting the leasing of a tower.
Competitors in the network services business include site acquisition consultants, zoning consultants, real estate firms, right-of-way consulting firms, construction companies, tower owners and managers, radio frequency engineering consultants, telecommunications equipment vendors who can provide turnkey site development services through multiple subcontractors, and our customers' internal staffs. We believe that our customers base their decisions on the outsourcing of network services on criteria such as a company's experience, track record, local reputation, price and time for completion of a project.
CCAL
Our primary business in Australia is the renting of antenna space on towers to our customers. CCAL is owned 77.6% by us and 22.4% by Permanent Nominees (Aust) Ltd, acting on behalf of a group of professional and private investors led by Todd Capital Limited. CCAL is the largest independent tower operator in Australia. As of December 31, 2010, CCAL had approximately 1,600 towers with 57% of such towers located in the six major metropolitan areas, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and the Australian Capital Territory. The majority of CCAL's towers were acquired from Optus (in 2000) and Vodafone (in 2001). CCAL also provides a range of services including site maintenance and property management services for towers owned by third parties.
For 2010, CCAL comprised 5% of our consolidated net revenues. CCAL's principal customers are Telstra, Optus and VHA, which collectively accounted for approximately 93% of CCAL's 2010 revenues. In June 2009, Vodafone and Hutchison merged their Australian operations in a joint venture named VHA Pty Ltd., with the intention to market primarily under the name Vodafone.
In Australia, CCAL competes with wireless carriers, which own and operate their own tower networks; service companies that provide site maintenance and property management services; and other site owners, such as broadcasters and building owners. The other significant tower owners in Australia are Broadcast Australia, an independent operator of broadcast towers, and Telstra and Optus, wireless carriers. We believe that tower location, capacity, quality of service, deployment speed and price within a geographic market are the most significant competitive factors affecting the leasing of a tower.
Employees
At January 31, 2011, we employed approximately 1,200 people worldwide, including approximately 1,100 in the U.S. We are not a party to any collective bargaining agreements. We have not experienced any strikes or work stoppages, and management believes that our employee relations are satisfactory.
Regulatory and Environmental Matters
To date, we have not incurred any material fines or penalties or experienced any material adverse effects to our business as a result of any domestic or international regulations. The summary below is based on regulations currently in effect, and such regulations are subject to review and modification by the applicable governmental authority from time to time. If we fail to comply with applicable laws and regulations, we may be fined or even lose our rights to conduct some of our business.
United States
We are required to comply with a variety of federal, state and local regulations and laws in the U.S., including the FCC and Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") regulations and those discussed under "—Environmental" below.
Federal Regulations. Both the FCC and the FAA regulate towers used for wireless communications, radio and television broadcasting. Such regulations control the siting, lighting and marking of towers and may, depending on the characteristics of particular towers, require the registration of tower facilities with the FCC and the issuance of determinations confirming no hazard

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to air traffic. Wireless communications devices operating on towers are separately regulated and independently licensed based upon the particular frequency used. In addition, the FCC and the FAA have developed standards to consider proposals for new or modified tower and antenna structures based upon the height and location, including proximity to airports. Proposals to construct or to modify existing tower and antenna structures above certain heights are reviewed by the FAA to ensure the structure will not present a hazard to aviation, which determination may be conditioned upon compliance with lighting and marking requirements. The FCC requires its licensees to operate communications devices only on towers that comply with FAA rules and are registered with the FCC, if required by its regulations. Where tower lighting is required by FAA regulation, tower owners bear the responsibility of notifying the FAA of any tower lighting outage and ensuring the timely restoration of such outages. Failure to comply with the applicable requirements may lead to civil penalties.
Local Regulations. The U.S. Telecommunications Act of 1996 amended the Communications Act of 1934 to preserve state and local zoning authorities' jurisdiction over the siting of communications towers. The law, however, limits local zoning authority by prohibiting actions by local authorities that discriminate between different service providers of wireless services or ban altogether the provision of wireless services. Additionally, the law prohibits state and local restrictions based on the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent the facilities comply with FCC regulations.
Local regulations include city and other local ordinances (including subdivision and zoning ordinances), approvals for construction, modification and removal of towers, and restrictive covenants imposed by community developers. These regulations vary greatly, but typically require us to obtain approval from local officials prior to tower construction. Local zoning authorities may render decisions that prevent the construction or modification of towers or place conditions on such construction or modifications that are responsive to community residents' concerns regarding the height, visibility and other characteristics of the towers. To expedite the deployment of wireless networks, the FCC issued a declaratory ruling in November 2009 establishing timeframes for the review of applications by local and state governments of 90 days for co-locations and 150 days for new tower construction. If a jurisdiction fails to act within these timeframes, the applicant may file a claim for relief in court. Notwithstanding this declaratory ruling, decisions of local zoning authorities may also adversely affect the timing and cost of tower construction and modification.
Environmental. We are required to comply with a variety of federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations protecting environmental quality, including air and water quality and wildlife protection. To date, we have not incurred any material fines or penalties or experienced any material adverse effects to our business as a result of any domestic or international environmental regulations or matters. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors."
The construction of new towers and, in some cases, the modification of existing towers in the U.S. may be subject to environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended ("NEPA"), which requires federal agencies to evaluate the environmental impact of major federal actions. The FCC has promulgated regulations implementing NEPA which require applicants to investigate the potential environmental impact of the proposed tower construction. Should the proposed tower construction present a significant environmental impact, the FCC must prepare an environmental impact statement, subject to public comment. If the proposed construction or modification of a tower may have a significant impact on the environment, the FCC's approval of the construction or modification could be significantly delayed.
Our operations are subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to the management, use, storage, disposal, emission, and remediation of, and exposure to, hazardous and non-hazardous substances, materials and wastes. As an owner, lessee or operator of real property, we are subject to certain environmental laws that impose strict, joint-and-several liability for the cleanup of on-site or off-site contamination relating to existing or historical operations; and we could also be subject to personal injury or property damage claims relating to such contamination. In general, our customer contracts prohibit our customers from using or storing any hazardous substances on our tower sites in violation of applicable environmental laws and require our customers to provide notice of certain environmental conditions caused by them.
As licensees and tower owners, we are also subject to regulations and guidelines that impose a variety of operational requirements relating to radio frequency emissions. As employers, we are subject to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (and similar occupational health and safety legislation in Australia) and similar guidelines regarding employee protection from radio frequency exposure. The potential connection between radio frequency emissions and certain negative health effects, including some forms of cancer, has been the subject of substantial study by the scientific community in recent years.
We have compliance programs and monitoring projects to help assure that we are in substantial compliance with applicable environmental laws. Nevertheless, there can be no assurance that the costs of compliance with existing or future environmental laws will not have a material adverse effect on us.
Other Regulations. We hold, through certain of our subsidiaries, certain licenses for radio transmission facilities granted by the FCC, including licenses for common carrier microwave service, commercial and private mobile radio service, specialized mobile radio and paging service, which are subject to additional regulation by the FCC. Our FCC license relating to our 1670-1675

6

MHz U.S. nationwide spectrum license ("Spectrum") contains certain conditions related to the services that may be provided thereunder, the technical equipment used in connection therewith and the circumstances under which it may be renewed. In 2007, after receiving FCC approval, we entered into a long-term lease of the Spectrum with an initial term through 2013.
Australia
Federal Regulations. Carrier licenses and nominated carrier declarations issued under the Australian Telecommunications Act 1997 authorize the use of network units for the supply of telecommunications services to the public. The definition of “network units” includes line links and base stations used for wireless voice services but does not include tower infrastructure. Accordingly, CCAL as a tower owner and operator does not require a carrier license under the Australian Telecommunications Act 1997. Similarly, because CCAL does not own any transmitters or spectrum, it does not currently require any apparatus or spectrum licenses issued under the Australian Radiocommunications Act 1992.
Carriers have a statutory obligation to provide other carriers with access to towers, and if there is a dispute (including a pricing dispute), the matter may be referred to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for resolution. As a non-carrier, CCAL is not subject to this requirement, and our customers negotiate site access on a commercial basis.
While the Australian Telecommunications Act 1997 grants certain exemptions from planning laws for the installation of "low impact facilities," newly constructed towers are expressly excluded from the definition of "low impact facilities." Accordingly, in connection with the construction of towers, CCAL is subject to state and local planning laws that vary on a site by site basis, typically requiring us to obtain approval from local offices prior to tower construction, subject to certain exceptions. Structural enhancements may be undertaken on behalf of a carrier without state and local planning approval under the general "maintenance power" under the Australian Telecommunications Act 1997, although these enhancements may be subject to state and local planning laws if CCAL is unable to obtain carrier cooperation to use such power. For a limited number of towers, CCAL is also required to install aircraft warning lighting in compliance with federal aviation regulations. In Australia, a carrier may arguably be able to utilize the "maintenance power" under the Australian Telecommunications Act 1997 to remain as a tenant on a tower after the expiration of a site license or sublease; however, CCAL's customer access agreements generally limit the ability of customers to do this, and, even if a carrier did utilize this power, the carrier would be required to pay for CCAL's financial loss, which would roughly equal the site rental revenues that would have otherwise been payable.
Local Regulations. In Australia there are various local, state and territory laws and regulations which relate to, among other things, town planning and zoning restrictions, standards and approvals for the design, construction or alteration of a structure or facility, and environmental regulations. As in the U.S., these laws vary greatly, but typically require tower owners to obtain approval from governmental bodies prior to tower construction and to comply with environmental laws on an ongoing basis.
 
Item 1A.     Risk Factors
You should carefully consider all of the risks described below, as well as the other information contained in this document, when evaluating your investment in our securities.
Our business depends on the demand for wireless communications and towers, and we may be adversely affected by any slowdown in such demand.
Demand for our towers depends on the demand for antenna space from our customers, which, in turn, depends on the demand for wireless voice and data services by their customers. The willingness of our customers to utilize our infrastructure, or renew or extend existing contracts on our towers, is affected by numerous factors, including:
•    
consumer demand for wireless services;
•    
availability and capacity of our towers and the land under those towers;
•    
location of our towers;
•    
financial condition of our customers, including their availability and cost of capital;
•    
willingness of our customers to maintain or increase their capital expenditures;
•    
increased use of network sharing, roaming, joint development, or resale agreements by our customers;
•    
mergers or consolidations among our customers;
•    
changes in, or success of, our customers' business models;
•    
governmental regulations, including local and state restrictions on the proliferation of towers;
•    
cost of constructing towers;
•    
technological changes, including those affecting (1) the number or type of towers or other communications sites needed to provide wireless communications services to a given geographic area and (2) the obsolescence of certain existing wireless networks; and

7

•    
our ability to efficiently satisfy our customers' service requirements.
A slowdown in demand for wireless communications or our towers may negatively impact our growth or otherwise have a material adverse effect on us. Over the last several years, new entrants in the marketplace, such as those providing wireless data technologies, have accounted for a significant portion of our new tenant additions. Our expectations for future demand for our towers is based in part on new entrants into the wireless communications industry with unproven business models. The success of new entrants can be influenced by numerous factors, including the items described above, particularly the availability and cost of capital and the success of their business models. If our customers or potential customers are unable to raise adequate capital to fund their business plans, as a result of disruptions in the financial and credit markets or otherwise, they may reduce their spending, which could adversely affect our anticipated growth and the demand for our towers and network services.
A substantial portion of our revenues is derived from a small number of customers, and the loss, consolidation or financial instability of, or network sharing among, any of our limited number of customers may materially decrease revenues and reduce demand for our towers and network services.
For 2010, approximately 73% of our consolidated revenues was derived from AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile, which represented 21%, 21%, 20% and 11%, respectively, of our consolidated net revenues. The loss of any one of our large customers as a result of bankruptcy, insolvency, consolidation, network sharing, roaming, joint development, resale agreements by our customers, merger with other customers of ours or otherwise may result in (1) a material decrease in our revenues, (2) uncollectible account receivables, (3) an impairment of our deferred site rental receivables, towers assets, site rental contracts and customer relationships intangible assets, and (4) other adverse effects to our business. We cannot guarantee that contracts with our major customers will not be terminated or that these customers will renew their contracts with us. See also "Item 1. Business—The Company."
Consolidation among our customers will likely result in duplicate or overlapping parts of networks, which may result in a reduction of cell sites and impact revenues from our towers. In addition, consolidation may result in a reduction in such customers' future capital expenditures in the aggregate because their expansion plans may be similar. For example, Verizon Wireless acquired Alltel in 2009. In addition, Sprint merged with Nextel in August 2005, resulting in their use of two separate wireless technologies. During 2010, Sprint announced multi-year network plans to consolidate their multiple network technologies, including the elimination of their narrow-band push-to-talk network, referred to as iDEN, which is scheduled to be phased out over a period of time beginning in 2013. These plans by Sprint may result in their not renewing certain contracts with us. Any industry consolidation could decrease the demand for our towers, which in turn may result in a reduction in our revenues and cash flows.
Our substantial level of indebtedness could adversely affect our ability to react to changes in our business, and the terms of our debt instruments limit our ability to take a number of actions that our management might otherwise believe to be in our best interests. In addition, if we fail to comply with our covenants, our debt could be accelerated.
As a result of our substantial indebtedness:
•    
we may be more vulnerable to general adverse economic and industry conditions;
•    
we may find it more difficult to obtain additional financing to fund discretionary investments and other general corporate requirements or to refinance our existing indebtedness;
•    
we are or will be required to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flows from operations to the payment of principal and interest on our debt, thereby reducing the available cash flows to fund other projects, including the discretionary investments discussed in "Item 1. Business;"
•    
we may have limited flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and in the industry;
•    
we may have a competitive disadvantage relative to other companies in our industry with less debt;
•    
we may be required to issue equity securities or securities convertible into equity or sell some of our assets, possibly on unfavorable terms, in order to meet payment obligations; and
•    
we may be limited in our ability to take advantage of strategic business opportunities, including tower development and mergers and acquisitions.
Currently we have debt instruments in place that limit in certain circumstances our ability to incur indebtedness, pay dividends, create liens, sell assets and engage in certain mergers and acquisitions. Our subsidiaries, under their debt instruments, are also required to maintain specific financial ratios. Our ability to comply with the financial ratio covenants under these instruments and to satisfy our debt obligations will depend on our future operating performance. If we fail to comply with the debt restrictions, we will be in default under those instruments, which would cause the maturity of a substantial portion of our long-term indebtedness to be accelerated. If our operating subsidiaries were to default on the debt, the trustee could seek to foreclose the collateral securing the debt, in which case we could lose the towers and the revenues associated with the towers. See also "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Debt Covenants."
CCIC and CCOC are holding companies that conduct all of their operations through their subsidiaries. Accordingly, CCIC's

8

and CCOC's respective sources of cash to pay interest and principal on their outstanding indebtedness and preferred stock are distributions relating to their respective ownership interests in their subsidiaries from the net earnings and cash flows generated by such subsidiaries or from proceeds of debt or equity offerings. Earnings and cash flows generated by their subsidiaries are first applied by such subsidiaries in conducting their operations, including the service of their respective debt obligations, after which any excess cash flows generally may be paid to a holding company, in the absence of any special conditions such as a continuing event of default. However, their subsidiaries are legally distinct from the holding companies and, unless they guarantee such debt, have no obligation to pay amounts due on their debt or to make funds available to us for such payment.
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness. In the event we do not repay or refinance such indebtedness, we could face substantial liquidity issues and might be required to issue equity securities or securities convertible into equity securities, or sell some of our assets to meet our debt payment obligations.
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness (approximately $6.8 billion as of December 31, 2010), which we will need to refinance or repay. See "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources" for a tabular presentation of our contractual debt maturities. We are also required to redeem all outstanding shares of our 6.25% convertible preferred stock in August 2012 for approximately $318.1 million, plus any unpaid dividends on that preferred stock. There can be no assurances we will be able to refinance our indebtedness on commercially reasonable terms, or terms, including with respect to interest rates, as favorable as our current debt and preferred stock, or at all.
Beginning in 2008, the global economy entered a recession, and the credit markets underwent a period of substantial volatility and disruption. Although economic conditions and credit markets have improved during 2009 and 2010, uncertainty and weakness continues. Any renewed financial turmoil, worsening credit environment, economic weakness and uncertainty could impact the availability and cost of debt financing, including with respect to any refinancing of the obligations described above.
If we are unable to refinance or renegotiate our debt, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to generate enough cash flows from operations or that we will be able to obtain enough capital to service our debt, pay our obligations under our convertible preferred stock or fund our planned capital expenditures. In such an event, we could face substantial liquidity issues and might be required to issue equity securities or securities convertible into equity securities, or sell some of our assets to meet our debt payment obligations. Failure to refinance indebtedness when required could result in a default under such indebtedness. Assuming we meet certain financial ratios, we have the ability under our debt instruments to incur additional indebtedness, and any additional indebtedness we incur could exacerbate the risks described above.
Sales or issuances of a substantial number of shares of our common stock may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
Future sales or issuances of a substantial number of shares of our common stock or other equity related securities may adversely affect the market price of our common stock. As of February 5, 2011, we had 290.9 million shares of common stock outstanding, and we reserved (1) 8.9 million shares of common stock for future issuance under our various stock compensation plans and (2) 8.6 million shares of common stock for the conversion of our outstanding convertible preferred stock.
In addition, a small number of stockholders own a significant percentage of our outstanding common stock. If any one of these stockholders, or any group of our stockholders, sells a large quantity of shares of our common stock, or the public market perceives that existing stockholders might sell a large quantity of shares of our common stock, the market price of our common stock may significantly decline.
A wireless communications industry slowdown or a reduction in carrier network investment may materially and adversely affect our business (including reducing demand for our towers and network services).
Historically, the amount of our customers' network investment is cyclical and has varied based upon the various matters described in these risk factors. Changes in carrier network investment typically impact the demand for our towers. As a result, changes in carrier plans such as delays in the implementation of new systems, new technologies or plans to expand coverage or capacity may reduce demand for our towers. Furthermore, the wireless communication industry could experience a slow down or slowing growth rates as a result of numerous factors, including a reduction in consumer demand for wireless services and general economic conditions. There can be no assurances that the weakness and uncertainty in the current economic environment will not adversely impact the wireless communications industry, which may materially and adversely affect our business, including by reducing demand for our towers and network services. In addition, such a slowdown may increase competition for site rental customers and network services. A wireless communications industry slowdown or a reduction in carrier network investment may materially and adversely affect our business.
As a result of competition in our industry, including from some competitors with significantly more resources or less debt than we have, we may find it more difficult to achieve favorable rental rates on our new or renewing customer contracts.

9

Our growth is dependent on entering into new customer contracts as well as renewing or reletting customer contracts when existing customer contracts terminate. We face competition for site rental customers from various sources, including:
•    
other independent tower owners or operators;
•    
wireless carriers that own and operate their own towers and lease antenna space to other wireless communication companies;
•    
owners of alternative facilities including rooftops, water towers, distributed antenna systems, broadcast towers and utility poles; and
•    
new alternative deployment methods in the wireless communication industry.
Wireless carriers that own and operate their own tower portfolios are generally substantially larger and have greater financial resources than we have. Competition in our industry may make it more difficult for us to attract new customers, maintain or increase our gross margins or maintain or increase our market share.
New technologies may significantly reduce demand for our towers and negatively impact our revenues.
Improvements in the efficiency of wireless networks could reduce the demand for our towers. For example, signal combining technologies that permit one antenna to service multiple frequencies and, thereby, multiple customers may reduce the need for our towers. In addition, other technologies, such as Wi-Fi, femtocells, picocells, satellite transmission systems (such as low earth orbiting), and DAS networks, may, in the future, serve as substitutes for or alternatives to leasing that might otherwise be anticipated or expected on towers had such technologies not existed. Any significant reduction in tower leasing demand resulting from the previously mentioned technologies or other technologies may negatively impact our revenues or otherwise have a material adverse effect on us.
New wireless technologies may not deploy or be adopted by customers as rapidly or in the manner projected.
There can be no assurances that new wireless services and technologies, such as 4G, will be introduced or deployed as rapidly or in the manner projected by the wireless or broadcast industries. In addition, demand and customer adoption rates for such new technologies may be lower or slower than anticipated for numerous reasons. As a result, growth opportunities and demand for our towers as a result of such technologies may not be realized at the times or to the extent anticipated.
If we fail to retain rights to our towers, including the land under our towers, our business may be adversely affected.
Our property interests relating to the land on which our towers reside consist primarily of leasehold and sub-leasehold interests, fee interests, easements, licenses and rights-of-way. A loss of these interests may interfere with our ability to conduct our business and generate revenues. For various reasons, we may not always have the ability to access, analyze and verify all information regarding titles and other issues prior to completing an acquisition of towers. Further, we may not be able to renew ground leases on commercially viable terms. Our ability to retain rights to the land on which our towers reside depends on our ability to purchase such land or to renegotiate and extend the terms of the leases relating to such land. Approximately 9% of our site rental gross margins for the year ended December 31, 2010 are derived from towers where the leases for the land under such towers have final expiration dates of less than ten years. If we are unable to retain rights to the land on which our towers reside, our business may be adversely affected.
Approximately 6,500 of our towers are leased or operated for an initial period of 32 years (through May 2037) under master leases and subleases with Sprint ("Sprint Towers"). We have the option to purchase in 2037 all (but not less than all) of the Sprint Towers from Sprint for approximately $2.3 billion. We may not have the required available capital to exercise our right to purchase these towers at the end of the applicable period. Even if we do have available capital, we may choose not to exercise our right to purchase the Sprint Towers for business or other reasons. In the event that we do not exercise these purchase rights, or are otherwise unable to acquire an interest that would allow us to continue to operate these towers after the applicable period, we will lose the cash flows derived from such towers, which may have a material adverse effect on our business. In the event that we decide to exercise these purchase rights, the benefits of the acquisition of the Sprint Towers may not exceed the costs, which could adversely affect our business.
Our network services business has historically experienced significant volatility in demand, which reduces the predictability of our results.
The operating results of our network services business for any particular period may vary significantly and should not necessarily be considered indicative of longer-term results for this activity. Our network services business may be adversely impacted by various factors including competition, economic weakness and uncertainty, our market share, and changes in the type and volume of work performed.
If we fail to comply with laws or regulations which regulate our business and which may change at any time, we may be fined

10

or even lose our right to conduct some of our business.
A variety of federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations apply to our business, including those discussed in "Item 1. Business." Failure to comply with applicable requirements may lead to civil penalties or require us to assume indemnification obligations or breach contractual provisions. We cannot guarantee that existing or future laws or regulations, including state and local tax laws, will not adversely affect our business, increase delays or result in additional costs. These factors may have a material adverse effect on us.
If radio frequency emissions from wireless handsets or equipment on our towers are demonstrated to cause negative health effects, potential future claims could adversely affect our operations, costs and revenues.
The potential connection between radio frequency emissions and certain negative health effects, including some forms of cancer, has been the subject of substantial study by the scientific community in recent years. We cannot guarantee that claims relating to radio frequency emissions will not arise in the future or that the results of such studies will not be adverse to us.
Public perception of possible health risks associated with cellular and other wireless communications may slow or diminish the growth of wireless companies, which may in turn slow or diminish our growth. In particular, negative public perception of, and regulations regarding, these perceived health risks may slow or diminish the market acceptance of wireless communications services. If a connection between radio emissions and possible negative health effects were established, our operations, costs and revenues may be materially and adversely affected. We currently do not maintain any significant insurance with respect to these matters.
Certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation, by-laws and operative agreements and domestic and international competition laws may make it more difficult for a third party to acquire control of us or for us to acquire control of a third party, even if such a change in control would be beneficial to our stockholders.
We have a number of anti-takeover devices in place that will hinder takeover attempts and may reduce the market value of our common stock. Our anti-takeover provisions include:
•    
a staggered board of directors;
•    
the authority of the board of directors to issue preferred stock without approval of the holders of our common stock; and
•    
advance notice requirements for director nominations and actions to be taken at annual meetings.
Our by-laws permit special meetings of the stockholders to be called only upon the request of our Chief Executive Officer or a majority of the board of directors, and deny stockholders the ability to call such meetings. Such provisions, as well as the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, may impede a merger, consolidation, takeover or other business combination or discourage a potential acquirer from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us.
In addition, domestic and international competition laws may prevent or discourage us from acquiring towers or tower networks in certain geographical areas or impede a merger, consolidation, takeover or other business combination or discourage a potential acquirer from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us.
We may be adversely effected by exposure to changes in foreign currency exchange rates relating to our operations in Australia.
Our Australian operations expose us to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. For 2010, approximately 5% of our consolidated net revenues were denominated in Australian dollars. Over the past five years, the Australian dollar has strengthened by 29% against the U.S. dollar. We have not historically engaged in significant hedging activities relating to our Australian operations, and we may suffer future losses as a result of changes in currency exchange rates.
Available Information and Certifications
We maintain an internet website at www.crowncastle.com. Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and current reports on Form 8-K (and any amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) are made available, free of charge, through the investor relations section of our internet website at http://investor.crowncastle.com as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC.
In addition, our corporate governance guidelines, business practices and ethics policy and the charters of our Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee are available through the investor relations section of our internet website at http://www.crowncastle.com/investor/corpgovernance.asp, and such information is also available in print

11

to any stockholder who requests it.
We submitted the Chief Executive Officer certification required by Section 303A.12(a) of the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE") Listed Company Manual, relating to compliance with the NYSE's corporate governance listing standards, to the NYSE on June 11, 2010 with no qualifications. We have included the certifications of our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer required by Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and related rules as Exhibits 31.1 and 31.2 to this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
Item 1B.    Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
 
Item 2.     Properties
Offices
Our principal corporate headquarters is owned and located in Houston, Texas. In the U.S., CCUSA owns or leases area offices located in (1) Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, (2) Charlotte, North Carolina, (3) Alpharetta, Georgia, and (4) Phoenix, Arizona. The principal responsibilities of these area offices are to manage the renting of tower space on a local basis, maintain the towers already located in the area and service our customers in the area. In addition, general and administrative functions are also performed at the Canonsburg, Pennsylvania location. In addition, we lease additional, smaller district offices, which report to the area offices, in locations with high tower concentrations. In Australia, we lease an office in Sydney, Australia.
Towers
Towers are vertical metal structures generally ranging in height from 50 to 500 feet. In addition, wireless communications equipment may also be placed on building rooftops and other structures. Towers are generally located on tracts of land of up to five acres. These tracts of land support the towers, equipment shelters and, where applicable, guyed wires to stabilize the structure.
See "Item 1. Business—Overview" for information regarding our tower portfolio including with respect to our real property interests and for a discussion of the location of our towers in the U.S. and Australia, including the percentage of our U.S. towers in the top 50 and 100 BTAs. See "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Contractual Cash Obligations" for a tabular presentation of the remaining terms to final expiration of the leases for the land which we do not own and on which our towers are located as of December 31, 2010.
Approximately 15,700 towers (66% of our total) and the cash flows from these towers effectively secure $4.7 billion of our debt. Governing documents relating to another approximately 4,900 towers prevent liens from being granted on those towers without approval of a subsidiary of Verizon; however, distributions paid from the entities that own those towers also service our tower revenue notes. See note 6 to our consolidated financial statements.
Approximately 6,500 of our towers are leased or operated for an initial period of 32 years (through May 2037) under master leases and subleases with Sprint. We have the option to purchase in 2037 all (but not less than all) of these Sprint Towers from Sprint for approximately $2.3 billion.
Substantially all of our towers can accommodate another tenant either as currently constructed or with appropriate modifications to the tower. Additionally, if so inclined as a result of a customer request for a new co-location or amendment of an existing installation, we could generally replace an existing tower with another tower in its place providing additional capacity, subject to certain restrictions. As of December 31, 2010, the average number of tenants per tower is approximately 2.9 on our towers. The following is a summary of the number of existing tenants per tower as of December 31, 2010 (see "Item 7. MD&A—Accounting and Reporting Matters—Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates" for a discussion of our impairment evaluation and our towers with no tenants).
 

12

Number of Tenants
  
Percent of Towers
Greater than five
  
10
%
Five
  
8
%
Four
  
13
%
Three
  
18
%
Two
  
23
%
Less than two
  
28
%
Total
  
100
%
 
Item 3.     Legal Proceedings
We are periodically involved in legal proceedings that arise in the ordinary course of business. Most of these proceedings arising in the ordinary course of business involve disputes with landlords, vendors, collection matters involving bankrupt customers, zoning and variance matters, condemnation or wrongful termination claims. While the outcome of these matters cannot be predicted with certainty, management does not expect any pending matters to have a material adverse effect on us.
 
Item 4.     Removed and Reserved
 
PART II
 
Item 5.     Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Price Range of Common Stock
Our common stock is listed and traded on the NYSE under the symbol "CCI". The following table sets forth for the calendar periods indicated the high and low sales prices per share of our common stock as reported by the NYSE.
 
 
High
 
Low
2010:
 
 
 
First Quarter
$
40.49
 
 
$
34.12
 
Second Quarter
40.00
 
 
34.25
 
Third Quarter
44.46
 
 
36.01
 
Fourth Quarter
44.45
 
 
41.10
 
2009:
 
 
 
First Quarter
$
21.99
 
 
$
15.40
 
Second Quarter
27.23
 
 
19.96
 
Third Quarter
32.32
 
 
22.73
 
Fourth Quarter
39.99
 
 
29.47
 
As of February 5, 2011, there were approximately 850 holders of record of our common stock.
Dividend Policy
We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our common stock. It is our current policy to retain our cash provided by operating activities to engage in discretionary investments such as those discussed in "Item 1. Business." Future declaration and payment of cash dividends, if any, will be determined in light of the then-current conditions, including our earnings, cash flows from operations, capital requirements, financial condition, our relative market capitalization, taxable income, taxpayer status, and other factors deemed relevant by the board of directors. In addition, our ability to pay dividends is limited by the terms of our debt instruments under certain circumstances and the terms of our convertible preferred stock.
The holders of our 6.25% Convertible Preferred Stock are entitled to receive cumulative dividends at the rate of 6.25% per annum, payable on a quarterly basis. We have the option to pay the dividends on such series of preferred stock in cash or in shares of common stock. The number of shares of common stock required to be issued to pay such dividends is dependent upon the market value of our common stock at the time such dividend is required to be paid. In 2010 and 2009, dividends on our 6.25%

13

Convertible Preferred Stock were paid in each of those years utilizing approximately $19.9 million in cash each year. We may choose to continue cash payments of the dividends in the future in order to avoid dilution caused by the issuance of common stock as dividends on our preferred stock.
Equity Compensation Plans
Certain information with respect to our equity compensation plans is set forth in Item 12 herein.
Performance Graph
The following performance graph is a comparison of the five year cumulative stockholder return on our common stock against the cumulative total return of the NYSE Market Index and the Dow Jones Telecommunication Equipment Index for the period commencing December 31, 2005 and ending December 31, 2010. The performance graph assumes an initial investment of $100.0 in our common stock and in each of the indices. The performance graph and related text are based on historical data and are not necessarily indicative of future performance.
 
 
  
 
Years Ended December 31,
Company/Index/Market
 
2005
 
2006
 
2007
 
2008
 
2009
 
2010
Crown Castle International Corp.
 
$
100.00
 
 
$
120.03
 
 
$
154.59
 
 
$
65.33
 
 
$
145.08
 
 
$
162.88
 
NYSE Market Index
 
100.00
 
 
120.47
 
 
131.15
 
 
79.67
 
 
102.20
 
 
115.88
 
DJ Telecommunication Equipment Index
 
100.00
 
 
116.46
 
 
120.28
 
 
71.50
 
 
107.84
 
 
111.39
 
The performance graph above and related text are being furnished solely to accompany this annual report on Form 10-K pursuant to Item 201(e) of Regulation S-K, and are not being filed for purposes of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and are not to be incorporated by reference into any filing of ours, whether made before or after the date hereof, regardless of any general incorporation language in such filing.
 
Item 6.     Selected Financial Data
Our selected historical consolidated financial and other data set forth below for each of the five years in the period ended December 31, 2010, and as of December 31, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006 have been derived from our consolidated financial

14

statements. Acquisitions and dispositions can affect the year-to-year comparability of our results. In January 2007, we completed the merger of Global Signal into a subsidiary of ours ("Global Signal Merger"), and the results of operations from Global Signal have been included in our results from January 12, 2007. The Global Signal Merger significantly increased our tower portfolio and impacted the comparability of our results and changes in financial condition for periods following the merger to periods prior to the merger. The information set forth below should be read in conjunction with "Item 1. Business," "Item 7. MD&A" and our consolidated financial statements.
 
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
2010
 
2009
 
2008
 
2007
 
2006(a)
 
(In thousands of dollars, except per share amounts)
Statement of Operations Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Site rental
$
1,700,761
 
 
$
1,543,192
 
 
$
1,402,559
 
 
$
1,286,468
 
 
$
696,724
 
Network services and other
177,897
 
 
142,215
 
 
123,945
 
 
99,018
 
 
91,497
 
Total net revenues
1,878,658
 
 
1,685,407
 
 
1,526,504
 
 
1,385,486
 
 
788,221
 
Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Costs of operations(b):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Site rental
467,136
 
 
456,560
 
 
456,123
 
 
443,342
 
 
212,454
 
Network services and other
114,241
 
 
92,808
 
 
82,452
 
 
65,742
 
 
60,507
 
Total costs of operations
581,377
 
 
549,368
 
 
538,575
 
 
509,084
 
 
272,961
 
General and administrative
165,356
 
 
153,072
 
 
149,586
 
 
142,846
 
 
104,532
 
Restructuring charges (credits)
 
 
 
 
 
 
3,191
 
 
(391
)
Asset write-down charges(c)
13,687
 
 
19,237
 
 
16,888
 
 
65,515
 
 
2,945
 
Acquisition and integration costs
2,102
 
 
 
 
2,504
 
 
25,418
 
 
1,503
 
Depreciation, amortization and accretion
540,771
 
 
529,739
 
 
526,442
 
 
539,904
 
 
285,244
 
Operating income (loss)
575,365
 
 
433,991
 
 
292,509
 
 
99,528
 
 
121,427
 
Interest expense and amortization of deferred financing costs(d)
(490,269
)
 
(445,882
)
 
(354,114
)
 
(350,259
)
 
(162,328
)
Impairment of available-for-sale securities(e)
 
 
 
 
(55,869
)
 
(75,623
)
 
 
Gains (losses) on purchases and redemptions of debt(d)
(138,367
)
 
(91,079
)
 
42
 
 
 
 
(5,843
)
Net gain (loss) on interest rate swaps(f)
(286,435
)
 
(92,966
)
 
(37,888
)
 
 
 
491
 
Interest and other income (expense)
1,601
 
 
5,413
 
 
2,101
 
 
9,351
 
 
(2,120
)
Income (loss) before income taxes
(338,105
)
 
(190,523
)
 
(153,219
)
 
(317,003
)
 
(48,373
)
Benefit (provision) for income taxes(g)
26,846
 
 
76,400
 
 
104,361
 
 
94,039
 
 
(843
)
Income (loss) from continuing operations
(311,259
)
 
(114,123
)
 
(48,858
)
 
(222,964
)
 
(49,216
)
Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of tax
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5,657
 
Net income (loss)(h)
(311,259
)
 
(114,123
)
 
(48,858
)
 
(222,964
)
 
(43,559
)
Less: Net income (loss) attributable to the noncontrolling interest
(319
)
 
209
 
 
 
 
(151
)
 
(1,666
)
Net income (loss) attributable to CCIC stockholders
(310,940
)
 
(114,332
)
 
(48,858
)
 
(222,813
)
 
(41,893
)
Dividends on preferred stock
(20,806
)
 
(20,806
)
 
(20,806
)
 
(20,805
)
 
(20,806
)
Net income (loss) attributable to CCIC stockholders after deduction of dividends on preferred stock
$
(331,746
)
 
$
(135,138
)
 
$
(69,664
)
 
$
(243,618
)
 
$
(62,699
)
Income (loss) from continuing operations attributable to CCIC stockholders per common share—basic and diluted
$
(1.16
)
 
$
(0.47
)
 
$
(0.25
)
 
$
(0.87
)
 
$
(0.33
)
Weighted-average common shares outstanding—basic and diluted (in thousands)
286,764
 
 
286,622
 
 
282,007
 
 
279,937
 
 
207,245
 

15

 
Years Ended December 31,
 
2010
 
2009
 
2008
 
2007
 
2006(a)
 
(In thousands of dollars, except per share amounts)
Other Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Summary cash flow information:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net cash provided by (used for) operating activities
$
603,430
 
 
$
571,256
 
 
$
513,001
 
 
$
350,355
 
 
$
275,759
 
Net cash provided by (used for) investing activities
(390,949
)
 
(172,145
)
 
(476,613
)
 
(791,448
)
 
(432,499
)
Net cash provided by (used for) financing activities
(866,624
)
 
214,396
 
 
47,717
 
 
(77,782
)
 
678,914
 
Ratio of earnings to fixed charges(i)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Balance Sheet Data (at period end):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
$
112,531
 
 
$
766,146
 
 
$
155,219
 
 
$
75,245
 
 
$
592,716
 
Property and equipment, net
4,893,651
 
 
4,895,983
 
 
5,060,126
 
 
5,051,055
 
 
3,246,446
 
Total assets
10,469,529
 
 
10,956,606
 
 
10,361,722
 
 
10,488,133
 
 
5,007,464
 
Total debt and other long-term obligations(d)
6,778,894
 
 
6,579,150
 
 
6,102,189
 
 
6,072,103
 
 
3,516,294
 
Total CCIC stockholders' equity
2,445,373
 
 
2,936,241
 
 
2,715,865
 
 
3,166,911
 
 
756,281
 
____________________
(a)    
See introductory remarks regarding the Global Signal Merger.
(b)    
Exclusive of depreciation, amortization and accretion shown separately.
(c)    
2007 is inclusive of $57.6 million related to the write-off of substantially all of the assets other than the Spectrum from our former mobile television business.
(d)    
Over the last five years, we have used debt to refinance other debt and fund discretionary investments such as acquisitions and purchases of common stock. We maintain debt leverage at levels that we believe optimize our weighted-average cost of capital. The following is a discussion of our debt activity for each of the last five years. See also note 6 to our consolidated financial statements.
•    
During 2010 and 2009, we issued $3.5 billion and $2.9 billion face value of debt, respectively, and purchased and repaid $3.4 billion and $2.4 billion face value of debt, respectfully. These refinancings extended the maturities of our debt portfolio and increased our weighted-average cost of debt. We incurred losses on the purchase and repayment of this debt.
•    
During 2007, $1.8 billion of mortgage loans remained outstanding as a result of the Global Signal Merger. We borrowed an aggregate $725.0 million under term loans and a revolving credit facility and predominately used the proceeds to purchase common stock.
•    
During 2006, we increased our debt by approximately $1.2 billion and primarily used the proceeds to fund the cash consideration of the Global Signal Merger, the Mountain Union Telecom, LLC acquisition and purchases of our common stock.
(e)    
In 2008 and 2007, we recorded impairment charges related to an other-than-temporary decline in the value of our investment in FiberTower Corporation ("FiberTower").
(f)    
The 2010 and 2009 amounts are predominately losses on various interest rate swaps that no longer qualified for hedge accounting and included swaps that were no longer economic hedges. The 2008 amount predominately represents losses on our former interest rate swaps with a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. that no longer qualified for hedge accounting. As of December 31, 2010, we had no forward-starting interest rate swaps outstanding.
(g)    
In 2006, we had a full valuation allowance on our deferred tax assets. As a result of a deferred tax liability recorded in connection with the Global Signal Merger, we recorded partial tax benefits for our losses in 2010 and full tax benefits for all of 2009, 2008 and 2007. 2008 includes tax benefits of $74.9 million resulting from the completion of the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") examination of our federal tax return for 2004. See note 9 to our consolidated financial statements regarding our tax position as of and for the year ended December 31, 2010 and our ability to recognize tax benefits in the future.
(h)    
No cash dividends were declared or paid in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 or 2006.
(i)    
For purposes of computing the ratio of earnings to fixed charges, earnings represent income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes, cumulative effect of change in accounting principle and fixed charges. Fixed charges consist of interest expense, the interest component of operating leases, amortization of deferred financing costs and dividends on preferred stock classified as liabilities. For 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006 earnings were insufficient to cover fixed charges by $338.1 million, $190.5 million, $153.2 million, $318.4 million and $49.7 million, respectively.
 

16

Item 7.     Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
General Overview
Overview
We own, lease or manage approximately 23,900 towers for wireless communications, including 43 completed DAS networks. Revenues generated from our core site rental business represented 91% of our 2010 consolidated revenues. CCUSA, our largest operating segment, accounted for 95% of our 2010 site rental revenues. See "Item 1. Business" for a further discussion of our business, including our long-term strategy, certain key terms of our lease agreements and growth trends in the wireless communications industry.
The following are certain highlights of our business fundamentals as of and for the year ended December 31, 2010:
•    
Potential growth resulting from wireless network expansion and new entrants
◦    
We expect wireless carriers will continue their focus on improving network quality and expanding capacity by adding additional antennas and other equipment on our towers.
◦    
We expect existing and potential new wireless carrier demand for our towers will result from (1) next generation technologies, (2) continued development of mobile internet applications, (3) adoption of other emerging and embedded wireless devices, (4) increasing smart phone penetration, and (5) carrier focus on expanding voice and data coverage.
◦    
Substantially all of our towers can accommodate, either as currently constructed or with appropriate modifications to the tower, additional tenants.
◦    
U.S. wireless carriers continue to invest in their networks.
◦    
We expect our site rental revenues will grow between 7% and 8% from the full year 2010 to 2011.
•    
Site rental revenues under long-term customer contracts with contractual escalations
◦    
Initial terms of five to 15 years with multiple renewal periods at the option of the tenant of five to ten years each.
◦    
Weighted-average remaining term at CCUSA of approximately eight years, exclusive of renewals at the customer's option.
•    
Revenues predominately from large wireless carriers
◦    
Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile accounted for 73% of consolidated revenues.
•    
Majority of land under our towers under long-term control
◦    
Approximately 91% and 69% of our site rental gross margin is derived from towers that we own or control for greater than ten and 20 years, respectively. The aforementioned percentages include towers that reside on land that is owned in fee or where we have perpetual or long-term easements, which represent approximately 34% of our site rental gross margin.
•    
Relatively fixed tower operating costs with high incremental margins and cash flows on organic revenue growth
◦    
Our tower operating costs tend to increase at approximately the rate of inflation and are not typically influenced by new tenant additions.
◦    
Our incremental margin on additional site rental revenues represents 93% of the related increase in site rental revenues.
•    
Minimal sustaining capital expenditure requirements
◦    
Sustaining capital expenditures were $24.3 million, which represented less than 2% of net revenues.
•    
Debt portfolio with long-dated maturities extended over multiple years with virtually all of such debt having a fixed rate (see "Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk" for a further discussion of our debt)
◦    
88% of our debt has fixed rate coupons, and an additional 9% has been effectively converted to fixed rate through December 2011.
◦    
Our debt service coverage and leverage ratios were comfortably within their respective covenant requirements. See "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources" for a further discussion of our debt covenants.
•    
Significant cash flows from operations
◦    
Net cash provided by operating activities was $603.4 million.
◦    
We believe our site rental business can be characterized as a stable cash flow stream, which we expect to grow as a result of future demand on our towers.
•    
Capital allocated to drive long-term shareholder value (per share)
◦    
Historical discretionary investments include (in no particular order): purchasing our common stock, acquiring towers, acquiring land under towers, selectively constructing towers, improving and structurally enhancing our existing towers, and purchasing or redeeming our debt or preferred stock. See also "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources."

17

◦    
Discretionary investments included: (1) the purchase of $159.6 million of common stock, (2) $203.7 million in capital expenditures, and (3) the acquisition of NewPath in September 2010 , a provider of DAS networks, for approximately $128 million in cash.
 
Results of Operations
The following discussion of our results of operations should be read in conjunction with "Item 1. Business," "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources" and our consolidated financial statements. The following discussion of our results of operations is based on our consolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S. which require us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts (see "Item 7. MD&A—Accounting and Reporting Matters—Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates" and note 2 to our consolidated financial statements).
Comparison of Consolidated Results
The following is a comparison of our 2010, 2009 and 2008 consolidated results of operations:
 
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
% Change
 
2010
 
2009
 
2008
 
2010
vs.
2009
 
2009
vs.
2008
 
(In thousands of dollars)
 
 
 
 
Net revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Site rental
$
1,700,761
 
 
$
1,543,192
 
 
$
1,402,559
 
 
10
%
 
10
%
Network services and other
177,897
 
 
142,215
 
 
123,945
 
 
25
 
 
15
 
 
1,878,658
 
 
1,685,407
 
 
1,526,504
 
 
11
 
 
10
 
Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Costs of operations(a):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Site rental
467,136
 
 
456,560
 
 
456,123
 
 
2
 
 
 
Network services and other
114,241
 
 
92,808
 
 
82,452
 
 
23
 
 
13
 
Total costs of operations
581,377
 
 
549,368
 
 
538,575
 
 
6
 
 
2
 
General and administrative
165,356
 
 
153,072
 
 
149,586
 
 
8
 
 
2
 
Asset write-down charges
13,687
 
 
19,237
 
 
16,888
 
 
*
 
 
*
 
Acquisition and integration costs
2,102
 
 
 
 
2,504
 
 
*
 
 
*
 
Depreciation, amortization and accretion
540,771
 
 
529,739
 
 
526,442
 
 
2
 
 
1
 
Operating income (loss)
575,365
 
 
433,991
 
 
292,509
 
 
33
 
 
48
 
Interest expense and amortization of deferred financing costs
(490,269
)
 
(445,882
)
 
(354,114
)
 
*
 
 
*
 
Impairment of available-for-sale securities
 
 
 
 
(55,869
)
 
*
 
 
*
 
Gains (losses) on purchases and redemptions of debt
(138,367
)
 
(91,079
)
 
42
 
 
*
 
 
*
 
Net gain (loss) on interest rate swaps
(286,435
)
 
(92,966
)
 
(37,888
)
 
*
 
 
*
 
Interest and other income (expense)
1,601
 
 
5,413
 
 
2,101
 
 
*
 
 
*
 
Income (loss) before income taxes
(338,105
)
 
(190,523
)
 
(153,219
)
 
*
 
 
*
 
Benefit (provision) for income taxes
26,846
 
 
76,400
 
 
104,361
 
 
*
 
 
*
 
Net income (loss)
(311,259
)
 
(114,123
)
 
(48,858
)
 
*
 
 
*
 
Less: Net income (loss) attributable to the noncontrolling interest
(319
)
 
209
 
 
 
 
*
 
 
*
 
Net income (loss) attributable to CCIC stockholders
$
(310,940
)
 
$
(114,332
)
 
$
(48,858
)
 
*
 
 
*
 
____________________
*    Percentage is not meaningful
(a)    
Exclusive of depreciation, amortization and accretion shown separately.
2010 and 2009. Our consolidated results of operations for 2010 and 2009, respectively, predominately consist of our CCUSA

18

segment, which accounted for (1) 95% and 95% of consolidated net revenues, (2) 95% and 95% of consolidated gross margins, and (3) 100% and 101% of consolidated net income (loss) attributable to CCIC stockholders. Virtually all of the increase in site rental revenues resulted from towers we owned as of January 1, 2009. New tenant additions inclusive of straight-line accounting for certain contractual escalations resulted in an approximately 6% increase in site rental revenues. The remaining 4% increase in site rentals was impacted by the following items, in no particular order: renewals or extensions of customer contracts, escalations and cancellations of customer contracts, inclusive of the impact of straight-line accounting. Our operating segment results for 2010 and 2009, including CCUSA, are discussed below (see "Item 7. MD&A—Results of Operations—Comparison of Operating Segments").
2009 and 2008. Our consolidated results of operations for 2009 and 2008, respectively, predominately consist of our CCUSA segment, which accounted for (1) 95% and 94% of consolidated net revenues, (2) 95% and 94% of consolidated gross margins, and (3) 101% and 79% of consolidated net income (loss) attributable to CCIC stockholders. Virtually all of the increase in site rental revenues resulted from towers we owned as of January 1, 2008. New tenant additions inclusive of straight-line accounting for certain contractual escalations resulted in an approximately 6% increase in site rental revenues. The remaining 4% increase in site rentals was impacted by the following items, in no particular order: renewals or extensions of customer contracts, escalations and cancellations of customer contracts, inclusive of the impact of straight-line accounting. Our operating segment results for 2009 and 2008, including CCUSA, are discussed below (see "Item 7. MD&A—Results of Operations—Comparison of Operating Segments").
Comparison of Operating Segments
Our reportable operating segments for 2010 are (1) CCUSA, primarily consisting of our U.S. tower operations, and (2) CCAL, our Australian tower operations. Our financial results are reported to management and the board of directors in this manner.
See note 16 to our consolidated financial statements for segment results and a reconciliation of net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA (defined below).
Our measurement of profit or loss currently used to evaluate our operating performance and operating segments is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and accretion, as adjusted ("Adjusted EBITDA"). Our measure of Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies, including companies in the tower sector, and is not a measure of performance calculated in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP").
We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income (loss) plus restructuring charges (credits), asset write-down charges, acquisition and integration costs, depreciation, amortization and accretion, interest expense and amortization of deferred financing costs, gains (losses) on purchases and redemptions of debt, net gain (loss) on interest rate swaps, impairment of available-for-sale securities, interest and other income (expense), benefit (provision) for income taxes, cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle, income (loss) from discontinued operations and stock-based compensation expense (see note 12 to our consolidated financial statements). The calculation of Adjusted EBITDA for our operating segments is set forth in note 16 to our consolidated financial statements. Adjusted EBITDA is not intended as an alternative measure of operating results or cash flows from operations as determined in accordance with GAAP, and Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. Adjusted EBITDA is discussed further under "Item 7. MD&AAccounting and Reporting Matters—Non-GAAP Financial Measures."
CCUSA—2010 and 2009. Net revenues for 2010 increased by $175.1 million, or 11%, from 2009. This increase in net revenues resulted from an increase in site rental revenues of $141.6 million, or 10%, for the same periods. This increase in site rental revenues was impacted by the following items, inclusive of straight-line accounting, in no particular order: new tenant additions across our entire portfolio, renewals or extensions of customer contracts, escalations and cancellations of customer contracts. See "Item 7. MD&A—Accounting and Reporting Matters—Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates" for a further discussion of our revenue recognition policies. Tenant additions were influenced by the previously mentioned growth in the wireless communications industry. We amended a site rental contract with one of our four largest customers during 2010 to provide the customer with the ability to add equipment to its existing antennas on our towers without the need to pay additional rent on individual amendments at each tower, with limited exceptions, in exchange for an increase in rent on the customer's existing contracts. During 2010, we continued to derive a large portion of our site rental revenues from the four largest wireless carriers in the U.S., although a significant portion of our new tenant additions were from customers offering emerging wireless services, such as those offering wireless data only technologies, including Clearwire, a provider of wireless mobile internet services. See also "Item 1. Business—The Company—CCUSA."
Site rental gross margins for 2010 increased by $137.3 million, or 13%, from 2009. The increase in the site rental gross margins was related to the previously mentioned 10% increase in site rental revenues. Site rental gross margins for 2010 increased primarily as a result of the high incremental margins associated with tenant additions given the relatively fixed costs to operate a tower. The $137.3 million incremental margin represents 97% of the related increase in site rental revenues.

19

Network services and other revenues for 2010 increased by $33.6 million, or 25%, from 2009, and the related gross margin increased by $14.3 million, or 31%, from 2009. Our network services business is of a variable nature as these revenues are not under long-term contracts. The increase in our network services and other revenues reflect our increased market share, as well as the general volatility in the volume and mix of such work. We were able to achieve this growth in revenues while modestly expanding our related gross margin.
General and administrative expenses for 2010 increased by $7.2 million, or 5%, from 2009 but decreased to 8% of net revenues from 9%. General and administrative expenses are inclusive of stock-based compensation charges, which increased by $6.8 million from 2009 to 2010, as discussed further in note 12 to our consolidated financial statements. The increase in stock-based compensation was driven by the furthered emphasis on the long-term incentive compensation component of total compensation for senior management, which we believe further aligns compensation with stockholder value. Typically, our general and administrative expenses do not significantly increase as a result of the co-location of additional tenants on our towers.
Adjusted EBITDA for 2010 increased by $151.6 million, or 16%, from 2009. Adjusted EBITDA was positively impacted by the growth in our site rental and services businesses, including the high incremental site rental margin on the new tenant additions.
Depreciation, amortization and accretion for 2010 increased by $11.4 million, or 2%, from 2009. The small increase is consistent with the movement in our fixed assets and intangible assets, which did not materially change between 2009 and 2010.
During 2009 and 2010, we refinanced the vast majority of our debt in order to extend and ladder the maturities of our debt portfolio. This refinancing activity included purchasing and early retiring certain of our debt, resulting in a net loss of $138.4 million for 2010, inclusive of make whole payments. The increase in interest expense and amortization of deferred financing costs of $44.9 million, or 10%, in 2010 resulted predominately from (1) a $35.4 million increase in the amortization of interest rate swaps primarily related to the loss on the swaps hedging the refinancing of the 2005 tower revenue notes and the 2006 tower revenue notes and (2) the net impact of our various refinancings. During 2010, we recorded losses on interest rate swaps of $286.4 million, which predominately resulted from an increase in the liability due to changes in the LIBOR yield curve for those swaps not subject to hedge accounting. As of December 31, 2010, all of our forward-starting interest rate swaps are settled. For a further discussion of the debt refinancings and the interest rate swaps see notes 6 and 7 to our consolidated financial statements, "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources" and "Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk."
Benefit (provision) for income taxes for 2010 was a benefit of $28.8 million compared to a benefit of $77.7 million for 2009. As further discussed in note 9 to our consolidated financial statements, we were limited in our ability to recognize federal tax benefits on our losses during 2010, except for $19.8 million of federal tax benefits recorded predominately as a result of discrete events, including acquisitions. As of December 31, 2010, we are unable to recognize additional federal tax benefits in future periods unless discrete events allow us to record additional deferred tax liabilities. Tax benefits for 2009 predominately reflect our recognition of federal tax benefits on our losses and a reversal of $20.6 million of state tax valuation allowance.
Net income (loss) attributable to CCIC stockholders for 2010 was a loss of $310.2 million, inclusive of (1) net losses from interest rate swaps of $286.4 million and (2) net losses from repayments and purchases and early retirement of debt of $138.4 million. Net income (loss) attributable to CCIC stockholders for 2009 was a loss of $115.4 million, inclusive of (1) net losses from repayments and purchases and early retirement of debt of $91.1 million and (2) net losses from interest rate swaps of $93.0 million. The increase in net loss was predominately due to (1) the previously mentioned charges and benefits and (2) the previously mentioned increase in interest expense of $44.9 million, partially offset by (3) growth in our site rental and service businesses.
CCAL—2010 and 2009. The increases and decreases between 2010 and 2009 are inclusive of exchange rate fluctuations. The average exchange rate of Australian dollars to U.S dollars for 2010 was approximately 0.92, an increase of 16% from approximately 0.79 for the same period in the prior year. See "Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk."
Total net revenues for 2010 increased by $18.1 million, or 21%, from 2009. Site rental revenues for 2010 increased by $16.0 million, or 21%, from 2009. The increase in the exchange rate positively impacted net revenues and site rental revenues by approximately $14.3 million and $12.9 million, respectively, and accounted for an increase of 17% in both net revenues and site rental revenues for 2010 from 2009. Site rental revenues were also impacted by various other factors inclusive of straight-line accounting, including, in no particular order: new tenant additions on our towers, renewals of customer contracts, escalations and cancellations of customer contracts.
Site rental gross margins increased by $9.7 million, or 18%, for 2010 from $53.6 million and Adjusted EBITDA for 2010 increased by $7.0 million, or 15%, from 2009. The increase in the site rental gross margin and Adjusted EBITDA were predominately due to exchange rate fluctuations.
Net income (loss) attributable to CCIC stockholders for 2010 was a net loss of $0.7 million, compared to net income of $1.1

20

million for 2009. The change from net income to net loss was predominately due to the following, exclusive of the impact from exchange rate fluctuations: (1) an increase in interest expense and amortization of deferred financing costs, the majority of which was due to an increase in the variable interest rate of our intercompany debt, (2) an increase in general and administrative expenses due to an increase in stock-based compensation, and (3) lower depreciation expense for 2010, as a result of recording depreciation expense for towers that were acquired in 2008 with short useful lives for accounting purposes driven by the short term of the underlying ground lease.
CCUSA—2009 and 2008. Net revenues for 2009 increased by $163.0 million, or 11%, from 2008. This increase in net revenues resulted from an increase in site rental revenues of $141.9 million, or 11%, for the same periods. This increase in site rental revenues was impacted by the following items, inclusive of straight-line accounting, in no particular order: new tenant additions across our entire portfolio, renewals or extensions of customer contracts, escalations and cancellations of customer contracts. See "Item 7. MD&A—Accounting and Reporting Matters—Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates" for a further discussion of our revenue recognition policies. Tenant additions were influenced by the previously mentioned growth in the wireless communications industry. Although we continued to derive a large portion of our site rental revenues from the four largest wireless carriers in the U.S., a significant portion of our new tenant additions were from national wireless carriers other than the four largest wireless carriers, such as those offering flat rate calling plans, and customers offering emerging wireless technologies, such as wireless data only technologies, including Clearwire, a provider of wireless mobile internet services.
Site rental gross margins for 2009 increased by $141.3 million, or 16%, from 2008. The increase in site rental gross margins was related to the previously mentioned 11% increase in site rental revenues. Site rental gross margins increased primarily as a result of the high incremental margins associated with tenant additions given the relatively fixed costs to operate a tower. The $141.3 million incremental margin represents 100% of the related increase in site rental revenues.
Network services and other revenues for 2009 increased by $21.2 million, or 19%, from 2008, and the related gross margin increased by $10.1 million, or 28%, from 2008. The increase in network services and other revenues and the related gross margin reflects (1) the volatility and variable nature of the network services business as these revenues are not under long-term contract, (2) as well as an increase in our market share for installations on our towers driven partially by our focus on delivering customer service and our emphasis on execution and expanding market share in the service business.
General and administrative expenses for 2009 increased by $7.7 million, or 6%, from 2008. General and administrative expenses are inclusive of stock-based compensation charges, which increased by $3.3 million from 2008 to 2009, as discussed further in note 12 to our consolidated financial statements. In addition to stock-based compensation, the increase in general and administrative expenses was primarily due to the increase in salary and employee benefits, including an increase in the annual bonus accrual due to 2009 performance and other non-recurring expenses, partially offset by the realization of certain cost management initiatives. General and administrative expenses were 9% of net revenues for both 2009 and 2008. Typically, our general and administrative expenses do not significantly increase as a result of the co-location of additional tenants on our towers.
Adjusted EBITDA for 2009 increased by $147.0 million, or 18%, from 2008. Adjusted EBITDA was positively impacted by the growth in our site rental business including the high incremental margin on the tenant additions.
Depreciation, amortization and accretion for 2009 increased by $3.2 million, or less than 1%, from 2008. The small increase is consistent with the movement in our fixed assets and intangible assets, which did not materially change between 2008 and 2009.
During 2009, we repaid or purchased $2.3 billion face value of debt using cash from our issuances of debt in order to extend the maturities of our debt portfolio. As a result of purchasing and early retiring certain of our debt, we incurred a net loss of $91.1 million for 2009, inclusive of make whole payments. The increase in interest expense and amortization of deferred financing costs of $92.6 million, or 26%, in 2009 resulted predominately from our total debt increasing by $462.6 million and the impact of completing the refinancings at a higher weighted-average cost of debt. The refinancing of the 2006 mortgage loan did not qualify for hedge accounting as the actual refinancing was not consistent with that anticipated as part of hedge accounting, which resulted in discontinuing hedge accounting and reclassifying $132.9 million from accumulated other comprehensive income ("AOCI") to earnings during 2009. This loss was partially offset by gains on interest rate swaps that resulted from a decrease in the liability for those swaps not subject to hedge accounting. For a further discussion of the debt refinancings and the interest rate swaps see notes 6 and 7 to our consolidated financial statements, "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources" and "Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk."
In 2008, we recorded non-cash impairment charges of $55.9 million, related to declines in the fair value of our investment in FiberTower that were deemed other-than-temporary.
Benefit (provision) for income taxes for 2009 was a benefit of $77.7 million compared to $106.6 million for 2008. The benefit for income taxes for 2009 is inclusive of a $20.6 million reversal of state tax valuation allowances. The effective tax rate for 2009 differs from the federal statutory rate due predominately to these state tax benefits. The effective tax rate for 2008 differs

21

from the federal statutory rate predominately due to income tax benefits resulting from the completion of the IRS examination and a full valuation allowance on our unrealized capital losses from our investment in FiberTower. See note 9 to our consolidated financial statements.
Net income (loss) attributable to CCIC stockholders for 2009 was a loss of $115.4 million, inclusive of (1) net losses from repayments and purchases and early retirement of debt of $91.1 million and (2) net losses from interest rate swaps of $93.0 million. Net income (loss) attributable to CCIC stockholders for 2008 was a loss of $38.4 million, inclusive of (1) non-cash impairment charges of $55.9 million related to our investment in FiberTower, (2) losses on the change in the fair value of certain interest rate swaps of $37.9 million, and (3) tax benefits of $74.9 million resulting from the completion of an IRS examination. The increase in net loss was predominately due to (1) the previously mentioned charges and benefits, (2) the previously mentioned increase in interest expense of $92.6 million, and are partially offset by (3) growth in our core site rental business.
CCAL—2009 and 2008. The increases and decreases between 2008 and 2009 are inclusive of exchange rate fluctuations. The average exchange rate of Australian dollars to U.S dollars for 2009 was approximately 0.79, a decrease of 7% from approximately 0.85 for the same period in the prior year. See "Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk."
Total net revenues for 2009 decreased by $4.1 million, or 5%, from 2008. Site rental revenues for 2009 decreased by $1.2 million, or 2%, from 2008. The decrease in the exchange rate negatively impacted net revenues and site rental revenues by approximately $6.5 million and $5.9 million, respectively, and accounted for a decline of 7% and 8%, respectively, for 2009 from 2008. Site rental revenues were also impacted by various other factors, inclusive of straight-line accounting, including, in no particular order: new tenant additions on our towers, renewals of customer contracts, escalations and cancellations of customer contracts. Net revenues were also impacted by a $2.9 million decrease in network services and other revenues. The decrease in network services and other revenues reflects the volatility and variable nature of the network services business as these revenues are not under long-term contract. See "Item 1. Business—The Company—CCAL."
Adjusted EBITDA for 2009 decreased by $0.9 million, or 2%, from 2008. Adjusted EBITDA was negatively impacted by the exchange rate fluctuations. Site rental gross margins decreased by $1.1 million, or 2%, for 2009 from $54.7 million.
Net income (loss) attributable to CCIC stockholders for 2009 was a net income of $1.1 million, compared to a net loss of $10.5 million for 2008. The change from net loss to net income was primarily driven by a decrease in interest expense and amortization of deferred financing costs of $9.7 million, the majority of which was due to a decrease in the variable interest rate of our intercompany debt.
 
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Overview
General. We believe our site rental business can be characterized as a stable cash flow stream, generated by revenues under long-term contracts, that should be recurring for the foreseeable future. For more than five years, our cash from operations have exceeded our cash interest payments and sustaining capital expenditures and provided us with cash available for discretionary investments. We seek to allocate the cash produced by our operations in a manner that will enhance per share operating results. See "Item 1. Business" for a further discussion of how we seek to allocate our available capital. During 2010, we increased our discretionary investments from 2009 levels, as a result of the financial flexibility afforded by financing activities completed during 2009 and early 2010 that extended our debt maturities. Our significant financing activities during 2010 included the following:
•    
We extended the maturity of our debt by issuing an aggregate of $3.5 billion in face value of the 2010 tower revenue notes, using a portion of the proceeds to repay the remaining outstanding 2005 tower revenue notes and the 2006 tower revenue notes. In addition to repaying these tower revenue notes, we purchased or repaid $237.7 million face value of our debt for $260.1 million in cash.
•    
We paid $697.8 million to settle all of our remaining forward-starting interest rate swaps.
•    
We purchased 4.1 million shares of our common stock for $159.6 million in cash.
Liquidity Position. The following is a summary of our capitalization and liquidity position. See "Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk" and notes 6 and 8 to our consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding our debt.

22

 
December 31, 2010
 
(In thousands of dollars)
Cash and cash equivalents(a)
$
112,531
 
Undrawn revolver availability(b)
243,000
 
Debt and other long-term obligations
6,778,894
 
Redeemable preferred stock
316,581
 
Stockholders' equity
2,444,994
 
____________________
(a)    
Exclusive of $226.0 million of restricted cash.
(b)    
Availability at any point in time is subject to certain restrictions based on the financial maintenance covenants contained in our credit agreement. See "MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Debt Covenants."
Over the next 12 months, we expect that our cash on hand, undrawn revolver availability and cash flows from operating activities (net of cash interest payments), should be sufficient to cover our expected (1) debt service obligations of $28.7 million (principal payments) and (2) capital expenditures in excess of $300 million (sustaining and discretionary). As CCIC and CCOC are holding companies, this cash flow from operations is generated by our operating subsidiaries.
Over the next twelve months we have no debt maturing other than nominal principal payments on amortizing debt. We may utilize cash flows from operations to repay some or all of the $157.0 million outstanding under the revolver prior to its maturity in September 2013. We do not anticipate the need to access the capital markets to refinance our existing debt until at least 2014 when our term loans mature ($625.6 million outstanding as of December 31, 2010). However, we may access the capital markets to fund our obligation to redeem all outstanding shares of 6.25% convertible preferred stock in August 2012 for approximately $318 million plus any unpaid dividends on that preferred stock. See "Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk" for a tabular presentation of our debt maturities as of December 31, 2010.
Long-term Strategy. We seek to maintain a capital structure that we believe drives long-term shareholder value and optimizes our weighted-average cost of capital. Over the long term, we target leverage of approximately five times Adjusted EBITDA and interest coverage of approximately three times Adjusted EBITDA, subject to various factors such as the availability and cost of capital and the potential long-term return on our discretionary investments. In furtherance of this long-term strategy, we contemplate funding our discretionary investments primarily with operating cash flows and, in certain instances, potential future debt financings and issuances of equity or equity related securities. As a result, anticipated future growth in site rental cash flows and corresponding increases in Adjusted EBITDA should reduce our leverage. Conversely, as our cash flows and Adjusted EBITDA grow, we may seek to increase our debt in nominal dollars to maintain or achieve a certain targeted leverage. Despite this long-term strategy, we may increase our leverage over the shorter term in order to pursue a discretionary investment.
Summary Cash Flows Information 
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
2010
 
2009
 
2008
 
(In thousands of dollars)
Net cash provided by (used for):
 
 
 
 
 
Operating activities
$
603,430
 
 
$
571,256
 
 
$
513,001
 
Investing activities
(390,949
)
 
(172,145
)
 
(476,613
)
Financing activities
(866,624
)
 
214,396
 
 
47,717
 
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash
528
 
 
(2,580
)
 
(4,131
)
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents
$
(653,615
)
 
$
610,927
 
 
$
79,974
 
Operating Activities
The increase in net cash provided by operating activities for 2010 from 2009 and 2008 was due primarily to growth in our core site rental business, partially offset by an increase in the amount of cash used to meet working capital needs. The year-over-year increase in the working capital used in 2010 from 2009 of $99.3 million resulted primarily from changes in accrued interest and deferred site rental receivables. Changes in working capital, and particularly changes in deferred site rental receivables, deferred rental revenues, prepaid ground leases, restricted cash and accrued interest, can have a significant impact on net cash from operating activities, largely due to the timing of prepayments and receipts. We expect net cash provided by operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2011 will be sufficient to cover the next 12 months of our expected debt service obligations and capital expenditures. We expect to grow our cash flows provided by operating activities in the future (exclusive of movements

23

in working capital) if we realize expected growth in our site rental business.
We pay minimal cash income taxes as a result of our net operating loss carryforwards. We expect to generate taxable income in the future, and based upon current projections, we expect to fully utilize our $2.4 billion of federal net operating losses by 2017.
Investing Activities
Capital Expenditures. We categorize our capital expenditures as sustaining or discretionary. Sustaining capital expenditures include capitalized costs related to (1) maintenance activities on our towers, which are generally related to replacements and upgrades that extend the life of the asset, (2) vehicles, (3) information technology equipment, and (4) office equipment. Discretionary capital expenditures, which we also commonly refer to as "revenue-generating capital expenditures," include (1) purchases of land under towers, (2) tower improvements in order to support additional site rentals, and (3) the construction of towers.
A summary of our capital expenditures for the last three years is as follows: 
 
For Years Ended December 31,
 
2010
 
2009
 
2008
 
(In thousands of dollars)
Discretionary:
 
 
 
 
 
Land purchases
$
109,097
 
 
$
25,495
 
 
$
201,255
 
Tower improvements and other
73,917
 
 
101,298
 
 
90,111
 
Construction of towers
20,718
 
 
18,683
 
 
132,301
 
Sustaining
24,326
 
 
28,059
 
 
27,065
 
Total
$
228,058
 
 
$
173,535
 
 
$
450,732
 
As previously mentioned, during 2010 we increased our capital expenditures from our 2009 levels following our financing activities in 2009 and 2010 that extended our debt maturities. Other than sustaining capital expenditures, which we expect to be approximately $20 million to $25 million for the year ended December 31, 2011, our capital expenditures are discretionary and are made with respect to activities which we believe exhibit sufficient potential to improve our long-term results of operations on a per share basis. We expect to use in excess of $300 million of our cash flows on capital expenditures (sustaining and discretionary) for full year 2011, with less than one-third of our total capital expenditures targeted for our existing tower assets related to customer installations and related capacity improvement. Our decisions regarding capital expenditures are influenced by the availability and cost of capital and expected returns on alternative investments. The following is a discussion of certain aspects of our capital expenditures.
•    
Tower improvement capital expenditures typically vary based on (1) the type of work performed on the towers, with the installation of a new antenna typically requiring greater capital expenditures than a modification to an existing installation and (2) the existing capacity of the tower prior to installation.
•    
We increased our purchases of land from 2009 to 2010 as a result of our focus on maintaining long-term control of our assets. We expect to retain long-term control of our towers by continuing to supplement land purchases with extensions of the terms of ground leases for land under our towers.
Acquisitions.  In September 2010, we acquired NewPath, a provider of DAS networks, through a merger with and into a subsidiary of ours. The total cash consideration was approximately $128 million. See note 3 to our consolidated financial statements for a further discussion of the NewPath acquisition.
Financing Activities
As discussed in "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Overview," as a result of the financial flexibility afforded us after completing these financing activities, we increased our discretionary investments, including purchases of our common stock and the settlement of all remaining forward-starting interest rate swaps.
Issuances of Debt. During 2010, we refinanced the 2005 tower revenue notes and the 2006 tower revenue notes through the issuance of the January 2010 tower revenue notes and the August 2010 tower revenues notes (collectively, "2010 tower revenue notes"). These refinancings extended our debt maturities. As of December 31, 2010, 71% of our CCUSA towers and the cash flows from these towers effectively secure $4.7 billion of our debt. In addition, distributions paid from our entities that hold approximately 4,900 towers will also service this secured debt. See note 6 to our consolidated financial statements for a further discussion on the refinancing of our tower revenue notes.

24

Debt Purchases and Repayments. See note 6 to our consolidated financial statements for a summary of our purchases and repayments of debt during 2009 and 2010, including the gains (losses) on purchases and repayments.
Interest Rate Swaps. During 2010, we settled all of our forward-starting interest rate swaps. See note 7 to our consolidated financial statements for a further discussion of interest rate swaps, including (1) cash payments made to settle all remaining forward-starting interest rate swaps and (2) the impact on our earnings.
Common Stock Activity. As of December 31, 2010, 2009 and 2008, we had 290.8 million, 292.7 million and 288.5 million common shares outstanding, respectively. During 2010, we purchased 4.1 million shares of common stock at an average price of $38.62 per share utilizing $159.6 million in cash. We may continue to purchase our common stock in the future as we seek to allocate capital to discretionary investments in a manner that we believe will enhance per share results. See "Item 1. Business—Strategy."
Revolving Credit Agreement. The proceeds of our revolving credit facility may be used for general corporate purposes, which may include the financing of capital expenditures, acquisitions and purchases of our common stock. Typically, we use our revolving credit facility to fund discretionary investments and not for operating activities such as working capital since we generate cash flows from operations. Our only borrowing under the revolving credit facility during 2010 was $157.0 million in December to fund a portion of the cash settlement of our previously outstanding forward-starting interest rate swaps. As of December 31, 2010, the weighted-average interest rate of the revolving credit facility was 2.4% (including the credit spread). See note 6 to our consolidated financial statements.
Preferred Stock Dividends. We have the option to pay dividends on our 6.25% convertible preferred stock in cash or shares of common stock (valued at 95% of the current market value of the common stock, as defined) (see "Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities"). Since 2005, we have elected to pay the dividends in cash and expect to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. We are required to redeem all outstanding shares of our 6.25% convertible preferred stock on August 15, 2012 at a price equal to the liquidation preference plus accumulated and unpaid dividends. The shares of 6.25% convertible preferred stock are convertible, at the option of the holder, in whole or in part at any time, into shares of common stock at a conversion price of $36.875 per share of common stock. Under certain circumstances, we have the right to convert the 6.25% convertible preferred stock, in whole or in part, into 8.6 million shares of common stock if the price per share of our common stock equals or exceeds 120% of the conversion price or $44.25 for at least 20 trading days in any consecutive 30-day trading period.
Restricted Cash. Pursuant to the indenture governing our operating companies' debt, all rental cash receipts of the issuers of these debt instruments and their subsidiaries are restricted and held by an indenture trustee. The restricted cash in excess of required reserve balances is subsequently released to us in accordance with the terms of the indentures. See also notes 2 and 6 to our consolidated financial statements.
Contractual Cash Obligations
The following table summarizes our contractual cash obligations as of December 31, 2010. These contractual cash obligations relate primarily to our outstanding borrowings and lease obligations for land under our towers. The debt maturities reflect contractual maturity dates and do not consider the impact of the principal payments that will commence following the anticipated repayment dates on the tower revenue notes (see footnote (b)). 
 
Years Ending December 31,
Contractual Obligations (a)
2011
 
2012
 
2013
 
2014
 
2015
 
Thereafter
 
Totals
 
(In thousands of dollars)
Debt and other long-term obligations(b)
$
28,687
 
 
$
29,637
 
 
$
185,670
 
 
$
628,413
 
 
$
889,606
 
 
$
5,105,577
 
 
$
6,867,590
 
Interest payments on debt and other long-term obligations(b) (c)
398,956
 
 
397,632
 
 
396,252
 
 
386,641
 
 
366,833
 
 
7,803,572
 
 
9,749,886
 
Lease obligations(d)
298,377
 
 
302,865
 
 
305,600
 
 
306,164
 
 
306,938
 
 
3,659,949
 
 
5,179,893
 
Redeemable preferred stock
 
 
318,050
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
318,050
 
Dividend payments on redeemable preferred stock(e)
19,877
 
 
14,907
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
34,784
 
Other
10,617
 
 
1,172
 
 
518
 
 
1,787
 
 
 
 
 
 
14,094
 
Total contractual obligations
$
756,514
 
 
$
1,064,263
 
 
$
888,040
 
 
$
1,323,005
 
 
$
1,563,377
 
 
$
16,569,098
 
 
$
22,164,297
 
____________________  
(a)    
The following items are in addition to the obligations disclosed in the above table:
•    
We have a legal obligation to perform certain asset retirement activities, including requirements upon lease termination to remove towers or remediate

25

the land upon which our towers reside. The cash obligations disclosed in the above table, as of December 31, 2010, are exclusive of estimated undiscounted future cash outlays for asset retirement obligations of approximately $1.7 billion. As of December 31, 2010, the net present value of these asset retirement obligations was approximately $63.8 million.
•    
We are obligated under letters of credit to various landlords, insurers and other parties in connection with certain contingent retirement obligations under various tower land leases and certain other contractual obligations. The letters of credit were issued through one of CCUSA's lenders in amounts aggregating $13.5 million and expire on various dates through December 2011.
•    
We are obligated to pay or reimburse others for property taxes related to our towers. See note 14 to our consolidated financial statements.
•    
We have unrecognized tax benefits of $9.2 million as of December 31, 2010. See note 9 to our consolidated financial statements.
(b)    
If the tower revenue notes are not repaid in full by their anticipated repayment dates (ranging from 2015 to 2020), then the interest rate increases by an additional approximately 5% per annum and monthly principal payments commence using the Excess Cash Flow of the issuers of the tower revenue notes. The tower revenue notes are presented based on their contractual maturity dates and include the impact of an assumed 5% increase in interest rate that would occur following the anticipated repayment dates but exclude the impact of monthly principal payments that would commence using Excess Cash Flow of the issuers of the tower revenue notes. The full year 2010 Excess Cash Flow of the issuers was approximately $425.0 million.
(c)    
Interest payments on the floating rate debt are based on estimated rates currently in effect.
(d)    
Amounts relate primarily to lease obligations for the land on which our towers reside, and are based on the assumption that payments will be made through the end of the period for which we hold renewal rights. See table below summarizing remaining terms to expiration.
(e)    
The dividends on the preferred stock can be paid in cash or common stock at our election. See note 10 to our consolidated financial statements.
The following table summarizes our rights to the land under our towers, including renewal terms at our option, as of December 31, 2010. As of December 31, 2010, the leases for land under our towers had an average remaining life of approximately 31 years, weighted based on site rental gross margin. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors." 
Remaining Term, In Years(c)
  
Percent of Total Towers
 
Percent of Total Site Rental
Gross Margins(a) (b)
Owned in fee or perpetual or long-term easements
 
26
%
 
34
%
20+ years
  
36
%
 
35
%
10 years to less than 20 years
  
27
%
 
22
%
5 years to less than 10 years
  
7
%
 
6
%
1 year to less than 5 years
  
3
%
 
2
%
0 to less than 1 year
  
1
%
 
1
%
Total
  
100
%
 
100
%
____________________ 
(a)    
For the year ended December 31, 2010.
(b)    
Without consideration of the term of the customer contract agreement.
(c)    
Inclusive of renewal terms at our option.
Debt Covenants
Our debt obligations contain certain financial covenants with which CCIC or our subsidiaries must maintain compliance in order to avoid the imposition of certain restrictions. Various of our debt obligations also place other restrictions on CCIC or our subsidiaries, including the ability to incur debt and liens, purchase our securities, make capital expenditures, dispose of assets, undertake transactions with affiliates, make other investments and pay dividends. We are permitted to issue additional indebtedness at CCIC and at our operating subsidiaries if no covenant violations occur (including the below mentioned restrictive covenants) and certain other requirements are met, which may include rating agency confirmations. See note 6 to our consolidated financial statements for further discussion of our debt covenants.
Factors that are likely to determine our subsidiaries' ability to comply with their current and future debt covenants include their (1) financial performance, (2) levels of indebtedness, and (3) debt service requirements. Given the current level of indebtedness and debt services requirements of our subsidiaries, the primary risk of a debt covenant violation would be from a deterioration of a subsidiary's financial performance. Should a covenant violation occur in the future as a result of a shortfall in financial performance (or for any other reason), we might be required to make principal payments earlier than currently scheduled and may not have access to additional borrowings under these facilities as long as the covenant violation continues. If we fail to comply with the debt restrictions, we will be in default under those instruments, which could cause the maturity of a substantial portion of our long-term indebtedness to be accelerated. If our operating subsidiaries were to default on the debt, the trustee could seek to pursue the collateral securing the debt, in which case we could lose the towers and the future revenues associated with the towers. We currently have no financial covenant violations; and based upon our current expectations, we believe our operating results will be sufficient to comply with our debt covenants over the near and long-term. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors."
The financial maintenance covenants under our debt agreements, exclusive of cash trap reserve covenants, are as follows:

26

 
Debt
 
Current Covenant
Requirement
 
As of
December 31,
2010(d)
 
At Inception(d)
Consolidated Leverage Ratio(a)
Credit Agreement
 
≤7.50
 
5.4
 
 
8.9
Consolidated Interest Coverage Ratio(b)(c)
Credit Agreement
 
≥2.00
 
3.1
 
 
1.9
____________________
(a)    
For consolidated CCIC, this ratio is calculated as the ratio of Consolidated Total Debt (as defined in the credit agreement and calculated in accordance with GAAP) to Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA (as defined in the credit agreement) for the most recently completed quarter multiplied by four; at inception the covenant requirement was less than 9.25 and decreased thereafter in accordance with the credit agreement. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA is calculated in substantially the same manner as Adjusted EBITDA used in our segment reporting, which is discussed further in "Item 7. MD&A—Accounting and Reporting Matters—Non-GAAP Financial Measures" and note 16 to our consolidated financial statements.
(b)    
For consolidated CCIC, this ratio is calculated as the ratio of Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA for the most recently completed quarter multiplied by four to Consolidated Pro forma Debt Service (as defined in the credit agreement). Consolidated Pro forma Debt Service is calculated as interest to be paid over the succeeding 12 months on the principal balance of debt then outstanding based on the then current interest rate for such debt.
(c)    
In addition, the credit agreement contains covenants related to the debt service coverage ratios of 2.00, 1.75 and 1.75, respectively, for the 2010 tower revenue notes, 2009 securitized notes and 7.75% secured notes, which are calculated in substantially the same manner as the covenants in the respective debt agreements discussed under the cash trap reserve covenants below. The covenants in the credit agreement are more stringent than the cash trap covenants in the respective debt agreements.
(d)    
The covenant requirement ratios have become more stringent since the inception date in accordance with the credit agreement. The covenant requirement ratios were in compliance with the credit agreement at the date of inception.
The following are the ratios applicable to the cash trap reserve covenants under our debt agreements that could require the cash flows generated by the issuers and their subsidiaries to be deposited in a reserve account and not released to us:
 
 
Debt
 
Current
Covenant
Requirement(a)
 
As of
December 31,
2010
 
At Inception
Debt Service Coverage Ratio(b)
2010 Tower Revenue Notes
 
>1.75
 
3.4
 
2.9
Debt Service Coverage Ratio(b)
2009 Securitized Notes
 
>1.30
 
2.7
 
2.4
Consolidated Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio(b)
7.75% Secured Notes
 
>1.35
 
2.9
 
2.5
____________________
(a)    
The 2009 securitized notes and 2010 tower revenue notes also have amortization coverage thresholds of 1.15 and 1.45, respectively, which could result in applying current and future cash in the reserve account to prepay the debt with applicable prepayment consideration. For the 7.75% secured notes, if the Consolidated Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio is equal to or less than 1.20 and the aggregate amount of cash deposited in the reserve account exceeds $100.0 million, the issuing subsidiaries will be required to commence an offer to purchase the 7.75% secured notes using the cash in the reserve account. See note (b) below for a discussion of the calculation of the Debt Service Coverage Ratio and Consolidated Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio.
(b)    
The Debt Service Coverage Ratio and Consolidated Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio are both calculated as site rental revenue (in accordance with GAAP), less: (1) cost of operations (in accordance with GAAP), (2) straight-line rental revenues, (3) straight-line ground lease expenses, (4) management fees, and (5) sustaining capital expenditures, using the results for the previous 12 months then ended to the amount of interest to be paid over the succeeding 12 months per the terms of the respective agreement.
The 9% senior notes and 7.125% senior notes contain restrictive covenants with which CCIC and our restricted subsidiaries must comply, subject to a number of exceptions and qualifications, including restrictions on our ability to incur incremental debt, issue preferred stock, guarantee debt, pay dividends, repurchase our capital stock, use assets as security in other transactions, sell assets or merge with or into other companies, and make certain investments. Certain of these covenants are not applicable if there is no event of default and if the ratio of our Consolidated Debt (as defined in the senior notes indenture) to our Adjusted Consolidated Cash Flows (as defined in the senior notes indenture) is less than 7.0 to 1. As of December 31, 2010, such restrictions were not applicable because there has been no event of default and our ratio of Consolidated Debt to Adjusted Consolidated Cash Flows is less than 7.0 to 1; based on our estimates of Consolidated Debt to Adjusted Consolidated Cash Flows and our current indebtedness, we do not expect such restrictions to be applicable for the foreseeable future. The 9% senior notes and 7.125% senior notes do not contain any financial maintenance covenants.
Off-balance Sheet Arrangements
We have no off-balance sheet arrangements as defined in Item 303(a)(4)(ii) of Regulation S-K.
 
Accounting and Reporting Matters
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
The following is a discussion of the accounting policies and estimates that we believe (1) are most important to the portrayal of our financial condition and results of operations and (2) require our most difficult, subjective or complex judgments, often as a result of the need to make estimates about the effect of matters that are inherently uncertain. The critical accounting policies and

27

estimates for 2010 are not intended to be a comprehensive list of our accounting policies and estimates. See note 2 to our consolidated financial statements for a summary of our significant accounting policies. In many cases, the accounting treatment of a particular transaction is specifically dictated by GAAP, with no need for management's judgment. In other cases, management is required to exercise judgment in the application of accounting principles with respect to particular transactions.
Revenue Recognition. Over 90% of our total revenue for 2010 consists of site rental revenues, which are recognized on a monthly basis over the fixed, non-cancelable term of the relevant contract (generally ranging from five to 15 years), regardless of whether the payments from the customer are received in equal monthly amounts. If the payment terms call for fixed escalations (as in fixed dollar or fixed percentage increases) or rent free periods, the effect is recognized on a straight-line basis over the fixed, non-cancelable term of the contract. When calculating our straight-line rental revenues, we consider all fixed elements of tenant contractual escalation provisions, even if such escalation provisions contain a variable element (such as an escalator tied to an inflation-based index) in addition to a minimum. Up-front billings to customers for their negotiated share of the cost of tower modifications required to accommodate the installation of customer equipment are initially deferred and recognized over the term of the applicable site rental contract. Since we recognize revenue on a straight-line basis, a portion of the site rental revenue in a given period represents cash collected or contractually collectible in other periods. We record a deferred site rental receivable for the difference between the straight-lined amount and the rent billed. We record an allowance for uncollectible deferred site rental revenues for which increases or reversals of this allowance impact our site rental revenues. See note 2 to our consolidated financial statements.
We provide network services relating to our towers, which represent less than 10% of our total revenues for 2010. Network services and other revenue relate to installation services, as well as the following additional services: site acquisition, architectural and engineering, zoning and permitting, other construction and other services related to network development. Network services revenues are recognized after completion of the applicable service. We account for network services separately from the customer's subsequent site rental.
See "Item 1. Business—CCUSA" for a further discussion of our site rental and network services business.
Accounting for Long-Lived Assets — Valuation. As of December 31, 2010, our largest asset was our telecommunications towers (representing approximately $3.9 billion, or 80%, of our $4.9 billion in net book value of property and equipment), followed by intangible assets and goodwill (approximately $2.3 billion and $2.0 billion in net book value, respectively, resulting predominately from the Global Signal Merger in 2007 and other acquisitions of large tower portfolios). Nearly all (approximately $2.2 billion net book value at December 31, 2010) of our identifiable intangibles relate to the site rental contracts and customer relationships intangible assets. See note 2 to our consolidated financial statements for further information regarding the nature and composition of the site rental contracts and customer relationships intangible assets.
We allocate the purchase price of acquisitions to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed based on their estimated fair value at the date of acquisition. Any purchase price in excess of the net fair value of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed is allocated to goodwill. In the case of the Global Signal Merger, we paid a purchase price that resulted in goodwill for two primary reasons (1) as a strategic measure to ensure that we maintained a tower portfolio of a comparable size to our largest competitor and (2) to deliver the needed control premium necessary to effect the transaction. The fair value of the vast majority of our assets and liabilities is determined by using either:
(1)    
estimates of replacement costs (for tangible fixed assets such as towers) or
(2)    
discounted cash flow valuation methods (for estimating identifiable intangibles such as site rental contracts and customer relationships and above-market and below-market leases).
The purchase price allocation requires subjective estimates that, if incorrectly estimated, could be material to our consolidated financial statements, including the amount of depreciation, amortization and accretion expense. The most important estimates for measurement of tangible fixed assets are (1) the cost to replace the asset with a new asset and (2) the economic useful life after giving effect to age, quality and condition. The most important estimates for measurement of intangible assets are (1) discount rates and (2) timing and amount of cash flows including estimates regarding customer renewals and cancellations. The determination of the final purchase price allocation could extend over several quarters resulting in the use of preliminary estimates that are subject to adjustment until finalized.
We record the fair value of obligations to perform certain asset retirement activities, including requirements, pursuant to our ground leases, to remove towers or remediate the land upon which our towers reside. In determining the fair value of these asset retirement obligations we must make several subjective and highly judgmental estimates such as those related to: (1) timing of cash flows, (2) future costs and (3) discount rates. See note 2 to our consolidated financial statements.
Accounting for Long-Lived Assets — Useful Lives. We are required to make subjective assessments as to the useful lives of our tangible and intangible assets for purposes of determining depreciation, amortization and accretion expense that, if incorrectly

28

estimated, could be material to our consolidated financial statements. Depreciation expense for our property and equipment is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of our various classes of tangible assets. The substantial portion of our property and equipment represents the cost of our towers which is depreciated with an estimated useful life equal to the shorter of (1) 20 years or (2) the term of the lease (including optional renewals) for the land under the tower.
The useful life of our intangible assets are estimated based on the period over which the intangible asset is expected to benefit us and gives consideration to the expected useful life of other assets to which the useful life may relate. Amortization expense for intangible assets is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful life of each of the intangible assets. The useful life of the site rental contracts and customer relationships intangible assets is limited by the maximum depreciable life of the tower (20 years), as a result of the interdependency of the tower and site rental contracts and customer relationships. In contrast, the site rental contracts and customer relationships are estimated to provide economic benefits for several decades because of the low rate of customer cancellations and high rate of renewals experienced to date. Thus, while site rental contracts and customer relationships are valued based upon the fair value of the site rental contracts and customer relationships which includes assumptions regarding both (1) customers' exercise of optional renewals contained in the acquired contracts and (2) renewals of the acquired contracts past the contractual term including exercisable options, the site rental contracts are amortized over a period not to exceed 20 years as a result of the useful life being limited by the depreciable life of the tower.
Accounting for Long-Lived Assets — Impairment Evaluation — Intangibles. We review the carrying values of property and equipment, intangible assets and other long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amounts may not be recoverable. We utilize the following dual grouping policy for purposes of determining the unit of account for testing impairment of the site rental contracts and customer relationships:
(1)    
we pool site rental contracts and customer relationships intangible assets and property and equipment into portfolio groups and
(2)    
we separately pool site rental contracts and customer relationships by significant customer or by customer grouping for individually insignificant customers, as appropriate.
We first pool site rental contracts and customer relationships intangible assets and property and equipment into portfolio groups for purposes of determining the unit of account for impairment testing, because we view towers as portfolios and a tower in a given portfolio and its related customer contracts are not largely independent of the other towers in the portfolio. We re-evaluate the appropriateness of the pooled groups at least annually. This use of grouping is based in part on (1) our limitations regarding disposal of towers, (2) the interdependencies of tower portfolios and (3) the manner in which towers are traded in the marketplace. The vast majority of our site rental contracts and customer relationships intangible assets and property and equipment are pooled into the U.S. owned tower group. Secondly, and separately, we pool site rental contracts and customer relationships by significant customer or by customer grouping for individually insignificant customers, as appropriate, for purposes of determining the unit of account for impairment testing because we associate the value ascribed to site rental contracts and customer relationships intangible assets to the underlying contracts and related customer relationships acquired.
Our determination that an adverse event or change in circumstance has occurred that indicates that the carrying amounts may not be recoverable will generally involve (1) a deterioration in an asset's financial performance compared to historical results, (2) a shortfall in an asset's financial performance compared to forecasted results, or (3) changes affecting the utility of the asset. When considering the utility of our assets, we consider events that would meaningfully impact (1) our towers or (2) our customer relationships. For example, consideration would be given to events that impact (1) the structural integrity and longevity of our towers or (2) our ability to derive benefit from our existing customer relationships, including events such as bankruptcy or insolvency or loss of a significant customer. During 2010, there were no events or circumstances that caused us to review the carrying value of our intangible assets and property and equipment due in part to our assets performing consistently with or better than our expectations.
If the sum of the estimated future cash flows (undiscounted) from an asset, or portfolio group, significant customer or customer group (for individually insignificant customers), as applicable, is less than its carrying amount, an impairment loss is recognized. If the carrying value were to exceed the undiscounted cash flows, measurement of an impairment loss would be based on the fair value of the asset, which is based on an estimate of discounted future cash flows. The most important estimates for such calculations of undiscounted cash flows are (1) the expected additions of new tenants and equipment on our towers and (2) estimates regarding customer cancellations and renewals of contracts. We could record impairments in the future if changes in long-term market conditions, expected future operating results or the utility of the assets results in changes for our impairment test calculations which negatively impact the fair value of our property and equipment and intangible assets, or if we changed our unit of account in the future.
When grouping assets into pools for purposes of impairment evaluation, we also consider individual towers within a grouping for which we currently have no tenants. Approximately 2% of our total towers currently have no tenants. We continue to pay

29

operating expenses on these towers in anticipation of obtaining tenants on these towers in the future, primarily because of the individual tower site demographics. In fact, we have current visibility to potential tenants on approximately half of these towers. To the extent we do not believe there are long-term prospects of obtaining tenants on an individual tower and all other possible avenues for recovering the carrying value of the tower have been exhausted, including sale of the tower, we appropriately reduce the carrying value of such towers.
Accounting for Long-Lived Assets — Impairment Evaluation — Goodwill. Nearly all of our goodwill is recorded at CCUSA. We test goodwill for impairment on an annual basis, regardless of whether adverse events or changes in circumstances have occurred. The annual test begins with goodwill and all intangible assets being allocated to applicable reporting units. Goodwill is then tested using a two-step process that begins with an estimation of fair value of the reporting unit using an income approach, which looks to the present value of expected future cash flows. The first step, commonly referred to as a "step one impairment test," is a screen for potential impairment while the second step measures the amount of impairment if there is an indication from the first step that one exists. Our reporting units are the operating segments since segment management operates their respective tower portfolios as a single network. Our measurement of the fair value for goodwill is based on an estimate of discounted future cash flows of the reporting unit. The most important estimates for such calculations are (1) expected additions of new tenants and equipment on our towers, (2) estimates regarding customer cancellations and renewal of customer contracts, (3) the terminal multiple for our projected cash flows, (4) our weighted-average cost of capital, and (5) control premium.
On October 1, 2010, we performed our annual goodwill impairment test. The results of this test indicated that goodwill was not impaired at either of our reporting units. The fair value of our net assets as measured by our market capitalization was over five times greater than the aggregate carrying amount of the reporting units as of December 31, 2010. Although we currently are not at risk of failing a step one impairment test, a future change in our reporting units (unit of account) or assumptions surrounding the most important estimates included in our impairment test could result in the recognition of an impairment.
Interest Rate Swaps. We enter into interest rate swaps to manage and reduce our interest rate risk. The designation of our interest rate swaps as cash flow hedges requires judgment, including with respect to the required assessment of the effectiveness of hedging relationships both at inception and on an on-going basis. The effective portion of changes in fair value of interest rate swaps designated as cash flow hedges is recorded in AOCI and is recognized in earnings when the hedged item affects earnings. In contrast, the change in fair value of interest rate swaps related to hedge ineffectiveness and for those not designated as cash flow hedges is immediately marked to market in earnings. In assessing the effectiveness of our forward-starting swaps both at inception and on an on-going basis, we must make several highly subjective and judgmental estimates such as assessing (1) the timing, amount, nature and probability of future expected refinancings and (2) whether it is probable that the counterparties to our swaps will default. See also notes 2, 7 and 8 to our consolidated financial statements.
Deferred Income Taxes. We record deferred income tax assets and liabilities on our consolidated balance sheet related to events that impact our financial statements and tax returns in different periods. In order to compute these deferred tax balances, we first analyze the differences between the book basis and tax basis of our assets and liabilities (referred to as "temporary differences"). These temporary differences are then multiplied by current tax rates to arrive at the balances for the deferred income tax assets and liabilities. A valuation allowance is provided on deferred tax assets that do not meet the "more likely than not" realization threshold. We recognize a tax position if it is more likely than not it will be sustained upon examination. The tax position is measured at the largest amount that is greater than 50 percent likely of being realized upon ultimate settlement.
Before giving effect to any valuation allowances, we are in an overall net deferred tax asset position. Due to our history of tax operating losses, we have recorded a valuation allowance on our net deferred tax assets that do not meet the "more likely than not" realization threshold. As a result, we are in effect limited in our ability to recognize tax benefits in our results of operations in the future. As further discussed in note 9 to our consolidated financial statements, we do not anticipate recognizing additional federal tax benefits, unless future discrete events allow us to record additional deferred tax liabilities. If our expectations about the future tax consequences of past events should prove to be inaccurate, the balances of our deferred income tax assets and liabilities could require significant adjustments in future periods. Such adjustments could cause a material effect on our results of operations for the period of the adjustment.
Impact of Accounting Standards Issued But Not Yet Adopted and Those Adopted in 2010
In October 2009, FASB issued guidance that addressed how to recognize revenue for transactions with multiple deliverables. This guidance revises the criteria for separating, measuring and allocating arrangement consideration to each consideration deliverable, which must be estimated if there is not a history of selling the deliverable on a stand-alone basis or third-party evidence of selling price.  The provisions of this guidance are effective for us as of January 1, 2011 and will be applied prospectively.  We expect that the adoption of this guidance will not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements and will not result in a change to the pattern and timing of our revenue recognition.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures

30

Our measurement of profit or loss currently used to evaluate the operating performance of our operating segments is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and accretion, as adjusted, or Adjusted EBITDA. Our definition of Adjusted EBITDA is set forth in "Item 7. MD&A—Results of Operations—Comparison of Operating Segments." Our measure of Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies, including companies in the tower sector, and is not a measure of performance calculated in accordance with GAAP. Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for operating income or loss, net income or loss, cash flows provided by (used for) operating, investing and financing activities or other income statement or cash flow statement data prepared in accordance with GAAP.
We believe Adjusted EBITDA is useful to an investor in evaluating our operating performance because:
•    
it is the primary measure used by our management to evaluate the economic productivity of our operations, including the efficiency of our employees and the profitability associated with their performance, the realization of contract revenue under our long-term contracts, our ability to obtain and maintain our customers and our ability to operate our site rental business effectively;
•    
it is the primary measure of profit and loss used by management for purposes of making decisions about allocating resources to, and assessing the performance of, our operating segments;
•    
it is similar to the measure of current financial performance generally used in our debt covenant calculations;
•    
although specific definitions may vary, it is widely used in the tower sector to measure operating performance without regard to items such as depreciation, amortization and accretion, which can vary depending upon accounting methods and the book value of assets; and
•    
we believe it helps investors meaningfully evaluate and compare the results of our operations from (1) period to period and (2) to our competitors by removing the impact of our capital structure (primarily interest charges from our outstanding debt) and asset base (primarily depreciation, amortization and accretion) from our operating results.
Our management uses Adjusted EBITDA:
•    
with respect to compliance with our debt covenants, which require us to maintain certain financial ratios including, or similar to, Adjusted EBITDA;
•    
as the primary measure of profit and loss for purposes of making decisions about allocating resources to, and assessing the performance of, our operating segments;
•    
as a performance goal in employee annual incentive compensation;
•    
as a measurement of operating performance because it assists us in comparing our operating performance on a consistent basis as it removes the impact of our capital structure (primarily interest charges from our outstanding debt) and asset base (primarily depreciation, amortization and accretion) from our operating results;
•    
in presentations to our board of directors to enable it to have the same measurement of operating performance used by management;
•    
for planning purposes, including preparation of our annual operating budget;
•    
as a valuation measure in strategic analyses in connection with the purchase and sale of assets; and
•    
in determining self-imposed limits on our debt levels, including the evaluation of our leverage ratio and interest coverage ratio.
There are material limitations to using a measure such as Adjusted EBITDA, including the difficulty associated with comparing results among more than one company, including our competitors, and the inability to analyze certain significant items, including depreciation and interest expense, that directly affect our net income or loss. Management compensates for these limitations by considering the economic effect of the excluded expense items independently as well as in connection with their analysis of net income (loss).
 
Item 7A.    Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Our primary exposures to market risks are related to changes in interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates which may adversely affect our results of operations and financial position. We seek to manage exposure to changes in interest rates where economically prudent to do so by utilizing predominately fixed rate debt. We do not currently hedge against foreign currency exchange risks.
Interest Rate Risk
Our interest rate risk relates primarily to the impact of interest rate movements on the following:
•    
the potential refinancing of our existing debt;
•    
our $782.6 million of floating rate debt representing approximately 11% of total debt, of which $600 million has been fixed until December 2011 through interest rate swaps; and

31

•    
potential future borrowings of incremental debt.
Potential Refinancing of Existing Debt
Over the next 12 months we have no debt maturities other than nominal principal payments on amortizing debt. We do not anticipate the need to access the capital markets to refinance our existing debt until at least 2014 when our term loans mature. In addition, we may access the capital markets to fund our obligation to redeem all outstanding shares of 6.25% convertible preferred stock in August 2012 for approximately $318 million in addition to any unpaid dividends on that preferred stock. As of December 31, 2010, we have no interest rate swaps hedging any refinancings. See "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Overview."
Floating Rate Debt
We manage our exposure to market interest rates on our existing debt by (1) controlling the mix of fixed and floating rate debt and (2) utilizing interest rate swaps to hedge variability in cash flows from changes in LIBOR on our outstanding floating rate debt. As of December 31, 2010, we had $782.6 million of floating rate debt, of which $600.0 million is effectively converted to a fixed rate through an interest rate swap until December 2011. As a result, a hypothetical unfavorable fluctuation in market interest rates on our existing debt of two percentage points over a twelve-month period would increase our interest expense by approximately $3.7 million.
Potential Future Borrowings of Incremental Debt
We typically do not hedge our exposure to interest rates on potential future borrowings of incremental debt for a substantial period prior to issuance. See "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources" regarding our short-term liquidity strategy.
 

32

The following table provides information about our market risk related to changes in interest rates. The future principal payments and weighted-average interest rates are presented as of December 31, 2010. These debt maturities reflect contractual maturity dates, and do not consider the impact of the principal payments that will commence following the anticipated repayment dates on the tower revenue notes (see footnote (c)). See note 6 to our consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding our debt.
 
Future Principal Payments and Interest Rates by the Debt Instruments' Contractual Year of Maturity
 
2011
 
2012
 
2013
 
2014
 
2015
 
Thereafter
 
Total
 
Fair Value(a)
 
(Dollars in thousands)
Fixed rate debt (c)
$
22,187
 
 
$
23,137
 
 
$
22,170
 
 
$
22,288
 
 
$
889,606
 
 
$
5,105,577
 
(c)
$
6,084,965
 
(c)
$
6,344,787
 
Average interest rate (b)(c)
5.5
%
 
5.9
%
 
6.0
%
 
6.1
%
 
8.9
%
 
9.3
%
(c)
9.2
%
(c)
 
Variable rate debt
$
6,500
 
 
$
6,500
 
  
$
163,500
 
 
$
606,125
 
 
$
 
 
$
 
 
$
782,625
 
 
$
776,369
 
Average interest rate (d)
1.8
%
 
1.8
%
 
2.4
%
 
1.8
%
 
 
 
 
 
1.9
%
 
 
 ____________________
(a)    
The fair value of our debt is based on indicative quotes (that is, non-binding quotes) from brokers that require judgment to interpret market information, including implied credit spreads for similar borrowings on recent trades or bid/ask offers. These fair values are not necessarily indicative of the amount, which could be realized in a current market exchange.
(b)    
The average interest rate represents the weighted-average stated coupon rate (see footnote (c)).
(c)    
The impact of principal payments that will commence following the anticipated repayment dates are not considered. The anticipated repayment dates are 2015, 2017 and 2020, as applicable for the 2010 tower revenue notes. As previously discussed, if the tower revenue notes are not repaid in full by their anticipated repayment dates, the applicable interest rate increases by an additional approximately 5% per annum and monthly principal payments commence using the Excess Cash Flow of the issuers of the tower revenue notes. The tower revenue notes are presented based on their contractual maturity dates ranging from 2035 to 2040 and include the impact of an assumed 5% increase in interest rate that would occur following the anticipated repayment dates but exclude the impact of monthly principal payments that would commence using Excess Cash Flow of the issuers of the tower revenue notes. The full year 2010 Excess Cash Flow of such issuers was approximately $425.0 million.
(d)    
The interest rate represents the rate currently in effect and excludes the impact of interest rate swaps. We have effectively fixed the interest rate on $600.0 million of debt at approximately 1.3% (plus the applicable credit spread) through an interest rate swap until December 2011.
 
 
 

33

Foreign Currency Risk
The vast majority of our foreign currency risk is related to the Australian dollar which is the functional currency of CCAL. CCAL represented 5% of our consolidated revenues and 4% of our consolidated operating income for 2010. As of December 31, 2010, the Australian dollar exchange rate had strengthened compared to the U.S. dollar by approximately 16% from the average rate for 2009. See "Item 7. MD&A—Results of Operations—Comparison of Operating Segments."
Foreign exchange markets have recently been volatile, and we expect foreign exchange markets to continue to be volatile over the near term. We believe the risk related to our financial instruments (exclusive of inter-company financing deemed a long-term investment) denominated in Australian dollars is not significant to our financial condition. A hypothetical increase or decrease of 25% in Australian dollar exchange rate would increase or decrease the fair value of our financial instruments by approximately $8 million.
 
Item 8.    Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
 
Crown Castle International Corp. and Subsidiaries
Index to Consolidated Financial Statements
 
 

34

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
The Board of Directors and Stockholders
Crown Castle International Corp.:
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Crown Castle International Corp. and subsidiaries (the Company) as of December 31, 2010 and 2009, and the related consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive income (loss), cash flows, and equity for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2010. In connection with our audits of the consolidated financial statements, we also have audited financial statement schedule II. These consolidated financial statements and the financial statement schedule are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these consolidated financial statements and the financial statement schedule based on our audits.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Crown Castle International Corp. and subsidiaries as of December 31, 2010 and 2009, and the results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2010, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Also in our opinion, the related financial statement schedule, when considered in relation to the basic consolidated financial statements taken as a whole, presents fairly, in all material respects, the information set forth therein.
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), Crown Castle International Corp.'s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2010, based on criteria established in Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), and our report dated February 15, 2011 expressed an unqualified opinion on the effectiveness of the Company's internal control over financial reporting.
/s/ KPMG LLP
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
February 15, 2011
 
 

35

CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL CORP. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET
(In thousands of dollars, except share amounts)
 
December 31,
 
2010
 
2009
ASSETS
 
 
 
Current assets:
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
$
112,531
 
 
$
766,146
 
Restricted cash
221,015
 
 
213,514
 
Receivables net of allowance of $5,683 and $5,497, respectively
59,912
 
 
44,431
 
Prepaid expenses
65,856
 
 
68,551
 
Deferred income tax assets
59,098
 
 
76,089
 
Deferred site rental receivables and other current assets, net
26,733
 
 
27,302
 
Total current assets
545,145
 
 
1,196,033
 
Property and equipment, net
4,893,651
 
 
4,895,983
 
Goodwill
2,029,296
 
 
1,984,804
 
Site rental contracts and customer relationships, net
2,197,378
 
 
2,302,256
 
Other intangible assets, net
116,551
 
 
103,166
 
Deferred site rental receivables, long-term prepaid rent, deferred financing costs and other assets
687,508
 
 
474,364
 
Total assets
$
10,469,529
 
 
$
10,956,606
 
LIABILITIES AND EQUITY
 
 
 
Current liabilities:
 
 
 
Accounts payable
$
39,649
 
 
$
33,053
 
Accrued interest
65,191
 
 
69,476
 
Deferred revenues
202,123
 
 
179,649
 
Interest rate swaps
5,198
 
 
160,121
 
Other accrued liabilities
100,037
 
 
94,610
 
Short-term debt, current maturities of debt and other obligations
28,687
 
 
217,196
 
Total current liabilities
440,885
 
 
754,105
 
Debt and other long-term obligations
6,750,207
 
 
6,361,954
 
Deferred income tax liabilities
66,686
 
 
74,117
 
Deferred ground lease payable, interest rate swaps and other liabilities
450,176
 
 
514,691
 
Total liabilities
7,707,954
 
 
7,704,867
 
Commitments and contingencies (note 14)
 
 
 
Redeemable preferred stock, $0.1 par value; 20,000,000 shares authorized; shares issued and outstanding: December 31, 2010 and 2009—6,361,000; stated net of unamortized issue costs; mandatory redemption and aggregate liquidation value of $318,050
316,581
 
 
315,654
 
CCIC stockholders' equity:
 
 
 
Common stock, $.01 par value; 600,000,000 shares authorized; shares issued and outstanding: December 31, 2010—290,826,284 and December 31, 2009—292,729,684
2,908
 
 
2,927
 
Additional paid-in capital
5,581,525
 
 
5,685,874
 
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)
(178,978
)
 
(124,224
)
Accumulated deficit
(2,960,082
)
 
(2,628,336
)
Total CCIC stockholders' equity
2,445,373
 
 
2,936,241
 
Noncontrolling interest
(379
)
 
(156
)
Total equity
2,444,994
 
 
2,936,085
 
Total liabilities and equity
$
10,469,529
 
 
$
10,956,606
 
 
See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

36

CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL CORP. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS)
(In thousands of dollars, except per share amounts)
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
2010
 
2009
 
2008
Net revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
Site rental
$
1,700,761
 
 
$
1,543,192
 
 
$
1,402,559
 
Network services and other
177,897
 
 
142,215
 
 
123,945
 
 
1,878,658
 
 
1,685,407
 
 
1,526,504
 
Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
Costs of operations(a):
 
 
 
 
 
Site rental
467,136
 
 
456,560
 
 
456,123
 
Network services and other
114,241
 
 
92,808
 
 
82,452
 
General and administrative
165,356
 
 
153,072
 
 
149,586
 
Asset write-down charges
13,687
 
 
19,237
 
 
16,888
 
Acquisition and integration costs
2,102
 
 
 
 
2,504
 
Depreciation, amortization and accretion
540,771
 
 
529,739
 
 
526,442
 
Total operating expenses
1,303,293
 
 
1,251,416
 
 
1,233,995
 
Operating income (loss)
575,365
 
 
433,991
 
 
292,509
 
Interest expense and amortization of deferred financing costs
(490,269
)
 
(445,882
)
 
(354,114
)
Impairment of available-for-sale securities
 
 
 
 
(55,869
)
Gains (losses) on purchases and redemptions of debt
(138,367
)
 
(91,079
)
 
42
 
Net gain (loss) on interest rate swaps
(286,435
)
 
(92,966
)
 
(37,888
)
Interest and other income (expense)
1,601
 
 
5,413
 
 
2,101
 
Income (loss) before income taxes
(338,105
)
 
(190,523
)
 
(153,219
)
Benefit (provision) for income taxes
26,846
 
 
76,400
 
 
104,361
 
Net income (loss)
(311,259
)
 
(114,123
)
 
(48,858
)
Less: Net income (loss) attributable to the noncontrolling interest
(319
)
 
209
 
 
 
Net income (loss) attributable to CCIC stockholders
(310,940
)
 
(114,332
)
 
(48,858
)
Dividends on preferred stock
(20,806
)
 
(20,806
)
 
(20,806
)
Net income (loss) attributable to CCIC stockholders after deduction of dividends on preferred stock
$
(331,746
)
 
$
(135,138
)
 
$
(69,664
)
Net income (loss)
$
(311,259
)
 
$
(114,123
)
 
$
(48,858
)
Other comprehensive income (loss):
 
 
 
 
 
Available-for-sale securities, net of taxes of $0, $0, and $0:
 
 
 
 
 
Unrealized gains (losses), net of taxes
738
 
 
6,799
 
 
(55,869
)
Amounts reclassified into results of operations, net of taxes
 
 
 
 
55,869
 
Derivative instruments, net of taxes of $(14,997), $60,324 and $48,879:
 
 
 
 
 
Net change in fair value of cash flow hedging instruments, net of taxes
(140,194
)
 
80,789
 
 
(392,993
)
Amounts reclassified into results of operations, net of taxes
56,890
 
 
154,891
 
 
6,949
 
Foreign currency translation adjustments
27,908
 
 
41,399
 
 
(48,451
)
Comprehensive income (loss)
(365,917
)
 
169,755
 
 
(483,353
)
Less: Comprehensive income (loss) attributable to the noncontrolling interest
(223
)
 
(18
)
 
 
Comprehensive income (loss) attributable to CCIC stockholders
$
(365,694
)
 
$
169,773
 
 
$
(483,353
)
Net income (loss) attributable to CCIC common stockholders, after deduction of dividends on preferred stock, per common share – basic and diluted
$
(1.16
)
 
$
(0.47
)
 
$
(0.25
)
Weighted-average common shares outstanding – basic and diluted (in thousands)
286,764
 
 
286,622
 
 
282,007
 
____________________
(a)    
Exclusive of depreciation, amortization and accretion shown separately.
 
See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

37

CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL CORP. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS
(In thousands of dollars)
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
2010
 
2009
 
2008
Cash flows from operating activities:
 
 
 
 
 
Net income (loss)
$
(311,259
)
 
$
(114,123
)
 
$
(48,858
)
Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to net cash provided by (used for) operating activities:
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation, amortization and accretion
540,771
 
 
529,739
 
 
526,442
 
Gains (losses) on purchases and redemptions of long-term debt
138,367
 
 
91,079
 
 
(42
)
Amortization of deferred financing costs and other non-cash interest
85,454
 
 
61,357
 
 
24,830
 
Stock-based compensation expense
36,540
 
 
29,225
 
 
25,896
 
Asset write-down charges
13,687
 
 
19,237
 
 
16,888
 
Deferred income tax benefit (provision)
(26,196
)
 
(74,410
)
 
(113,557
)
Income (expense) from forward-starting interest rate swaps
286,435
 
 
90,302
 
 
34,111
 
Impairment of available-for-sale securities
 
 
 
 
55,869
 
Other adjustments
857
 
 
821
 
 
(1,745
)
Changes in assets and liabilities, excluding the effects of acquisitions:
 
 
 
 
 
Increase (decrease) in accrued interest
(4,285
)
 
52,705
 
 
(1,031
)
Increase (decrease) in accounts payable
1,702
 
 
(1,703
)
 
(2,564
)
Increase (decrease) in deferred revenues, deferred ground lease payables, other accrued liabilities and other liabilities
39,012
 
 
9,317
 
 
80,701
 
Decrease (increase) in receivables
(11,653
)
 
(4,830
)
 
(5,010
)
Decrease (increase) in prepaid expenses, deferred site rental receivables, long-term prepaid rent, restricted cash and other assets
(186,002
)
 
(117,460
)
 
(78,929
)
Net cash provided by (used for) operating activities
603,430
 
 
571,256
 
 
513,001
 
Cash flows from investing activities:
 
 
 
 
 
Proceeds from disposition of property and equipment
3,092
 
 
3,988
 
 
1,855
 
Payment for acquisitions of businesses, net of cash acquired
(139,158
)
 
(2,598
)
 
(27,736
)
Capital expenditures
(228,058
)
 
(173,535
)
 
(450,732
)
Payments for investments and other
(26,825
)
 
 
 
 
Net cash provided by (used for) investing activities
(390,949
)
 
(172,145
)
 
(476,613
)
Cash flows from financing activities:
 
 
 
 
 
Proceeds from issuance of long-term debt
3,450,000
 
 
2,726,348