AT&T: We moved hundreds of tower sites in 2019 to get better deals
AT&T said it continues to negotiate with cell tower owners in order to reduce spending on tower space. And the company is boasting about the results its hardball negotiating tactics are generating.
Specifically, the company appears to have terminated more than 600 agreements with tower owners during 2019 in pursuit of cheaper tower fees.
“We are constantly evaluating our current tower leases for both efficiency and service as part of a long-term ‘build to relocate’ strategy we began implementing in 2017,” the operator said in a statement in response to questions from Light Reading. “As we find ways to reduce costs, we try to negotiate with owners but may determine that relocating to a newer nearby tower makes the most economic sense. We’ve already completed hundreds of these relocations, which help us keep costs down while ensuring our customers get the service they expect from us.”
The issue came to light recently via Ken Schmidt of cell tower consultation company Steel in the Air. Schmidt published a letter he said was from AT&T asking an unnamed cell tower owner to renegotiate rental rates. “AT&T has terminated over 630 sites for economic and operational reasons,” the company stated in the letter – a tacit threat that it could walk away from the deal if necessary.
AT&T officials declined to comment directly on Schmidt’s post, but executives familiar with the matter suggested to Light Reading that the total number of sites the operator relocated during 2019 was more than the 630 referenced in the letter.
To read the complete article, visit Light Reading.