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Verizon, AT&T Announce Plans To Build and Share Hundreds of New Cell Towers (fiercewireless.com) 34

An anonymous reader shares a report: Verizon and AT&T announced a joint venture with Tillman Infrastructure to build and share hundreds of cell towers in more in a move that is sure to be seen as a threat to more established tower companies. The companies said the new structures "will add to the overall communications infrastructure in the United States," filling gaps in current tower footprints, but will also enable the nation's two largest network operators to relocate equipment from towers they're currently using. Construction plans on the first towers will begin early next year and will come online "quickly" as they are completed.

Verizon, AT&T Announce Plans To Build and Share Hundreds of New Cell Towers

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  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Monday November 13, 2017 @02:01PM (#55541809)

    But it seems like this summary - and the article itself - would be more useful if it supplied additional information.

    I certainly know very little about how cellular towers are managed - until a few minutes ago, I assumed the carriers themselves owned them. Apparently that is wrong...

    • a lot of towers are owned by third party companies and lease capacity to all carriers. some of these companies are public companies themselves

  • Attention Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, etc. - fire sale on well placed existing communication towers will soon be available for your ramp up to compete with Big 2 networks. The law of unintended consequences shows no mercy.

    • by Shatrat ( 855151 )

      Unlikely. AT&T and VZ are gearing up for 5G expansion which is going to require them to have denser tower footprints. They'll still need all their existing tower locations as well, and will be using those existing towers in many cases as part of their fronthaul for the new towers.

      The other carriers are going to have to solve this problem as well, which is one reason T-Mobile and Sprint were looking at getting hitched.

  • Many Cell towers are owned by tower companies who lease out space in the tower.
    Im sure there area certain levels of services that are contractually included, power, internet feed, etc.
    SO now the providers are trying to cut corners and deal out the middle man by putting up their own towers.
    This means that the providers will supply ancillary services that were previously contracted.
    This would it seems cause a degradation in these areas as there is no longer contractual support and the providers are known for

  • This is exactly the sort of thing competitors shouldn't be doing. The two largest competitors are teaming up to further marginalize their competitors instead of competing with each other.

    While this may have short-term coverage improvements for consumers, the long-term impact if they succeed in squeezing out Sprint would be horrible.

    So how exactly is this legal?

    • by Darkk ( 1296127 )

      I fail to see why this would be an anti-trust issue? If anything it FORCES Sprint to improve their network and compete for their customers.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      Agreed.

      To me this is kind of like a statement that what we really need is just one common cellular network, and that "competition" between carriers mostly just results in duplication of facilities and underutilized spectrum.

    • why aren't existing tower companies building in these places where AT&T and Verizon plan to build?

      How dare cell carriers improve their product

  • by jonatha ( 204526 ) on Monday November 13, 2017 @02:52PM (#55542267)

    In March 2015 Verizon essentially sold off over 11000 cell towers to American Tower.... [americantower.com]

    • In March 2015 Verizon essentially sold off over 11000 cell towers to American Tower....

      Neither VZ nor ATT really cares who owns the towers, so long as the towers exist and someone is maintaining them. You can be sure that they will have kept the towers which are lucrative to operate, and dropped the ones where they have the least subscribers.

  • At my office (30 miles south of Salt Lake City, Utah, just off a major freeway, and in a county of over half a million) my reception is so bad on Verizon to be practically unusable. I tried to do a speedtest, and the first one resulted in: 816ms ping 0.00 mbps down 0.25 mbps up Subsequent runs either failed to complete or failed to run.
  • Im sitting here roght now on att without lte. I want a better carrier
  • The cost of building and maintaining ever faster telecoms networls (celullar and otherwise), paired with smaller cell sizes, and NIMB syndrome were communities reject cell towers (but demand service nonetheless) for aesthetic or "health" reasons (in the case of celullar), lead to this.

    Fisrt came the sharing of the long range towers (think microwave repetition and concentration points), then came the sharing of rural cell towers, then urban cell towers.

    The next step is RAN Sharing. And is being baked in 5G s

  • Lost me there..
  • ATT & Verizon will partner with a smaller private Partner Tillman Towers since apparently the main existing suppliers terms are beatable by the new vendor. Bringing in a new vendor hopefully helps drive down costs across industry. Low balling typically a short term market capture tactic but hard to sustain if poor margins/cash flow. Maybe Carriers can hop around getting prices leaving the investors at Tower Coâ(TM)s With lower returns. Interesting since SoftBank and LendLease also Entering marke

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