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AT&T Stepping Up Efforts To Reduce Cost On Network Towers

AT&T is wringing savings from its growing network of wireless towers.

The Dallas-based company (NYSE:T), in some cases, is slashing rental rates by about half on the structures that handle mobile data traffic, according to an interview by J.R. Wilson, AT&T’s vice president of Tower Strategy, with FierceWireless.

“The new business model is generally 50 or 60 (percent) less per month from a lease-rate perspective,” Wilson said in the interview that it said was lightly edited. “So, it’s much more favorable, much more lucrative while still providing the tower with a fair return.”

AT&T, as it keeps an eye on costs, is investing in its overall infrastructure as it looks to improve services with customers. The company is counting on its new 5G service — set to be offered this week in parts of a dozen cities — to help distinguish itself from the increasingly competitive industry.

The FierceWireless interview follows a post by AT&T earlier this week about its efforts to expand its tower footprint with an agreement it landed last year with a company called Tillman Infrastructure. It has built “hundreds of new macro cell towers for lease” to the telecommunications and media company.

“Our work with Tillman Infrastructure exemplifies our future model for the cell tower industry,” said Susan Johnson, executive vice president, Global Connections and Supply Chain at AT&T, told FierceWireless. “We’re committed to working with vendors who offer a sustainable cost model while also delivering best in class cycle times and tower construction.”

The demand is growing on the company as more folks use smartphones and other devices to check Twitter, text a photo or like a Facebook post. Mobile data on the national wireless network increased more than 360,000 percent from 2007 to 2017, the company said.

“AT&T is focused on creating a diverse community of suppliers and tower companies that embrace a sustainable business model,” the company said. – Business Journal

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