AT&T is using its relationship with Tillman Infrastructure as a template for its interaction with cell tower companies, according to Susan Johnson, executive vice president– Global Connections and Supply Chain, AT&T. Johnson made her comments about the benefits of the AT&T Tillman deal in an AT&T press release.
The two companies signed an agreement last year. Since then, Tillman has built hundreds of macro cell towers for lease to the carrier. During that time, AT&T said it has “executed a plan, improved operations, and created new initiatives” aimed at improving service and driving down costs.
AT&T Tillman Deal Benefits
The work will continue. “We will continue to work aggressively to construct and operate thousands of additional sites, while improving capacity and coverage for the entire country, especially in underserved rural areas,” Bill Hague, CEO of Tillman Infrastructure said in the press release.
The rollout is associated with AT&T’s large FirstNet project, its 5G rollout and its general need to keep pace with exponential growth in data demand. Data on the carrier’s national wireless network increased more than 360,000% between 2007 and 2017.
AT&T will add towers as necessary to meet this demand. There is the possibility of relocating equipment from current towers as leases expire. The carrier is creating a diverse ecosystem of suppliers and tower companies, according to the press release. One example is a deal to build cell towers that was signed with CitySwitch earlier this year.
The tower industry is changing significantly both because of the huge increase of data and the need to “densify” the infrastructure to fit the characteristics of 5G transmissions.