T-Mobile USA’s proposed sale of its wireless towers has attracted interest from major tower companies American Tower and Crown Castle, according to a Bloomberg report.
There has been speculation that T-Mobile would try to sell some 7,000 U.S. towers ever since AT&T and Deutsche Telekom aborted their merger plans.
A tower sale is a way to fund spectrum purchases, notes Fierce Wireless. Analysts have said such a sale could net DT $2 billion to $3 billion. The company received $3 billion in cash from the AT&T failed merger; as well as AWS frequencies in cities such as Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Washington and San Francisco
T-Mobile USA also obtained lower fees for calls into AT&T’s network. AT&T roaming will allow T-Mobile to expand its coverage to 280 million POPs from 230 million.
By the end of June T-Mobile expects to install new, LTE-capable base station equipment at 400 cell sites and will grow that number to 2,500 sites by the end of July.
A tower sale might not make sense, however, if T-Mobile needs towers to support Dish Network’s 40 MHz of 2.1 Ghz spectrum. On the other hand, consolidation of different – and competing – cellular antennas and basestations onto a single tower infrastructure could save a lot of money.