AT&T touted the construction of hundreds of new wireless towers with partner Tillman Infrastructure over the past year, which the operator said will give it leeway to relocate equipment and buck overpriced leases.
An AT&T representative said the macro sites were built as part of a deal between the operator and Tillman Infrastructure which is separate from a co-location deal the pair signed alongside Verizon.
The operator declined to specify the number of towers being built as part of its individual agreement with Tillman Infrastructure, saying only hundreds of sites have already been built and more are being completed on a monthly basis.
However, the representative noted “there is no time limit on our agreement with Tillman,” adding the infrastructure provider is “scaling operations for the capacity to build many hundreds of new towers.”
The first batch of towers from the co-location deal are expected to be launched by the close of this year, with additional towers being built in 2019, the representative added.
AT&T said it is using the new towers to speed deployment of both its 5G and FirstNet networks, along with filling in and expanding coverage where necessary.
But the operator’s alliance with Tillman Infrastructure is also part of its effort to gain the upper hand in lease negotiations and reward vendors which offer a “sustainable cost model”. AT&T also signed tower deals with CitySwitch and Crown Castle in its quest for better terms.
Tillman Infrastructure CEO William Hague hinted the company is hoping the cost-conscious fever will catch with others providers, noting it is “bringing a real alternative to the tower infrastructure space for all mobile operators”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter