The stock may be the right one, the low price may be right - but the timing is not. When it is pointed out that a significant rise in the share price cannot be expected anytime soon, the reference is not to one year. That would be too much to hope for: 12 months or so for a full comeback for wireless/telecom/the economy? Not likely.
In five or ten years you may find yourself boasting that you bought AMT and CCI for $2 back in 2002, but while the envious of both sexes are gazing at you with undiluted admiration, some spoil-sport in the crowd may ask why you committed funds to a business that obviously wouldn't be going anywhere for years to come; he might even remind you that your money might have been better employed in the interim, instead of languishing in stocks that went nowhere for a long time.
In other words, the key indicator for a purchase would appear to be not merely a historically low price, but a reliable signal that the price was primed to move out of those doldrums sometime soon. I don't see that now, for more reasons than I care to enumerate. But if you do, I'm sure that I, and others, would be pleased to hear from you.
You are right that patience is required here. Patience is required with all stocks unless you have inside information. It certainly won't take anything like ten years for this stock to make a move. On the contrary, despite slower growth in subscribers there is still significant net growth. More people are using more phones for more minutes each month. One can't predict the exact movements in a stock, but one can predict that if the business plan and projections of management are realized over the next 2-3 years the stock most certainly won't be trading at these levels. So, if you feel the industry growth is falling off a cliff and there is absolutely no growth ahead in wireless then you're right you don't want to own this stock. On the other hand if the numbers they report on Thursday are in line and guidance ahead points to the same, then by this time next year the company will be solidly cash flow positive and the stock will be trading much higher.