THE giant metal tripods that supply cellular services are an eyesore for some, but they are essential to everyday communication.Cellular network towers are an increasingly important investment opportunity as a result, offering steady, fixed returns.There has been a spate of deals in Europe in the past year as a growing number of tower portfolios were sold by operators trying to cut costs and raise cash.Analysts at Macquarie say, "We are at a unique point in the European tower company business".Mast-building is not the most glamorous part of the mobile industry, but it is essential. Cellular operators need to develop larger networks, better able to handle rising demand for mobile services.More masts mean better mobile coverage, but the industry bemoans restrictive planning policies that mean there are too few towers, many are too short, and some are in the wrong place.The need for better, shared networks that can help cut costs for the large cellular operators has led to a growing nu...

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