Cell Tower

Yesterday’s enemy is today’s friend: the top two US carriers have announced that they will be teaming up with Tillman Infrastructure to build hundreds of cell towers.

While we often hear stories about the intense rivalry between America’s two of the biggest carriers and their subtle and not-so-subtle disses at each other, their collaboration is a relative rare phenomenon. Well, today is one of those rare occasions, I suppose: AT&T and Verizon have announced that they are working with a third company, Tillman Infrastructure, to bring hundreds of cell towers across the US. Verizon hopes that “these new structures will add to the overall communications infrastructure in the US, and will fulfill the need for new locations where towers do not exist today.”

AT&T and Verizon have teamed up with a relatively small company to bring hundreds of cell towers in a more cost-effective and sustainable way.

It’s perhaps worth noting that Tillman Infrastructure is rather an unconventional choice when it comes to cell tower companies. Instead of American Tower, Crown Castle, or SBA Communications, the top three cell tower companies in the US, the two carriers are teaming up with a relatively small and unknown firm. Indeed, that decision was an intentional one as Nicola Palmer, Chief Network Officer for Verizon, explains:

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.

Susan Johnson, SVP of Global Supply Chain at AT&T echoes Palmer’s comment, “We need more alternatives to the traditional tower leasing model with the large incumbents. It’s not cost-effective or sustainable. We’re creating a diverse community of suppliers and tower companies who will help increase market competition while reducing our overhead.”

Although the precise impact of these cell towers remains unclear, the two carriers state that construction plans are set to begin early next year, so stay tuned.