AT&T and Verizon have partnered with a third company to build hundreds of cell towers, Verizon announced today. The third company, Tillman Infrastructure, is a private company that makes and owns towers, and it will construct the towers to suit AT&T and Verizon.
The new towers are going to be added in locations in need of more coverage. AT&T and Verizon may also relocate equipment from current towers to serve these new ones.
It’s notable that the two carrier giants chose Tillman Infrastructure, a relatively small company based in New York, instead of any of the top three cell tower companies in the US: American Tower, Crown Castle, or SBA Communications. Executives from both carriers indicated that the decision to go with an industry underdog was purposeful.
Verizon’s chief network officer Nicola Palmer said these new partnerships would improve customer experience and also help cut costs. “It is imperative to reduce operating costs,” Palmer said. AT&T’s SVP of global supply chain echoed that sentiment, saying, “We need more alternatives to the traditional tower leasing model with the large incumbents. It’s not cost-effective or sustainable.”
Construction on the first towers will begin early next year, and the towers will go live soon after they’re built.