Shares of SBA Communications (NASDAQ:SBAC) jumped as much as 2.2% on Monday to set a fresh 52-week high. Crown Castle (NYSE:CCI) took a 3.9% leap to reach yearly highs of its own. Determined to top its competitors, American Tower (NYSE:AMT) surged 4.8%, and yes, that's another 52-week high.

Why in the world are these stodgy stocks jumping sky-high? These big winners own and manage networks of cell phone towers in North and South America. We're talking real-estate investments with a side order of long-term infrastructure installations on top. Be still, my beating heart!

But the tower operators actually have good reason to cheer today. Japanese telephony giant Softbank is preparing to pump some $20 billion into American laggard Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), and that deal would pump this sector's cash flow veins full of adrenaline.

Sprint desperately wants to build an advanced 4G LTE network to compete with Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T), but has been held back by a lack of investable funds. High-speed networking partner Clearwire (UNKNOWN:UNKNOWN) suffers from a very similar imbalance between desire to invest and the funds to make it happen. The Softbank deal would free up both companies to buy tower space again -- not to mention how it puts more pressure on the two market leaders to make their networks sparkle and shine.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend American Tower. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.