Six crucial tech companies you've never heard of

Behind the headlines, these firms help form the foundation of the IT industry

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Crown Castle International

crowncastle.jpgSource: Robin Drayton/Geograph
This rural eyesore provides delicious mobile connectivity to rural Britain, courtesy of Crown Castle

Wireless connectivity might seem like a ubiquitous and intangible product, but it doesn't happen without thousands of tall metal structures festooned with electronics and radio transmitter. The famous companies whose names are plastered all over your credit card bill in many cases can't be bothered with this kind of nuts and bolts stuff, so they turn to infrastructure companies like Crown Castle International. Crown Castle is based in the U.S. and supplies the wireless backbone in 68 of the 100 largest U.S. cities; elsewhere its even more omnipresent, reaching 92 percent of Australian customers. Your cell phone carrier would like you to blame them when you drop a call.

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