Cell service provider titans AT&T and Verizon recently announced they have agreed to build hundreds of cell towers together with a third company, Tillman Infrastructure. Tillman is a private company that owns and operates towers and will now build towers to suit both AT&T and Verizon networks. In return, AT&T and Verizon have committed to lease the new co-located, compatible towers.
Tillman, a relatively new and smaller company was selected to help reduce operating costs while improving the customer experience. Tillman Infrastructure has been building a reputation for tower and rooftop assets over the past couple of years. In selecting an industry underdog, AT& T and Verizon hope to reduce overhead by sharing towers as sticking with traditional tower leasing models has increasingly grown expensive.
Ideally, these new towers will improve coverage in areas where it is most needed. For property owners, that could mean increased opportunities to engage in negotiations for a cell tower lease agreement. Interested property owners need to begin by educating themselves on property value and lease agreements. Without the proper information, property owners will be at significant disadvantage against the larger tower companies.
It is possible that the cell service providers will relocate some of the equipment in current sites to serve the new towers. Property owners with existing contracts may want to review lease agreements for any potential early cell lease termination notices and what rights/options they may have going forward.