fixed wirelessA Verizon AT&T cell tower deal calls for tower company Tillman Infrastructure to build towers for the carriers. The two carriers are not known for making joint deals. They did so in this case, however.

Tillman will build hundreds and perhaps “significantly” more towers that the carriers will co-lease and co-anchor, according to a press release. Virtually no details about the deal — the precise number or locations of the towers, any details about the cooperation by the two carriers, the deal’s dollar value or the length of the contract — were released.

The companies did say that construction work on the first tower will begin during the first quarter of 2018.

Verizon AT&T Cell Tower Deal
Despite the lack of details, this appears to be a significant deal, with some focus on small cells. “We continue to focus on technology innovation and investing in the latest software platforms to provide the best possible customer experience on our network,” Nicola Palmer, Chief Network Officer for Verizon Wireless said in the press release. “At the same time, it is imperative to reduce operating costs. We are reviewing all of our long-term contracts as they come up for renewal and we are excited to develop new vendor partners to diversify our infrastructure providers.”

Finances were also a motivator for AT&T. “We need more alternatives to the traditional tower leasing model with the large incumbents. It’s not cost-effective or sustainable,” said Susan Johnson the senior vice president of Global Supply Chain for AT&T. “We’re creating a diverse community of suppliers and tower companies who will help increase market competition while reducing our overhead. We look forward to working with Verizon as we establish site locations and sign new lease agreements with additional suppliers in the coming years.”

Coverage of the announcement has focused on the fact that the two carriers bypassed the top three tower companies (SBA Communications, Crown Castle and American Tower Corp.) to go with Tillman.

Image courtesy of flickr user Stefano Brivio.

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