News by Andrew Kameka on Friday September 28, 2012.
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T-Mobile USA has agreed to sell the rights to 7,200 cell towers to Crown Castle, a wireless communications infrastructure operator, for $2.4 billion. The agreement states that Crown Castle will pay T-Mobile $2.4 billion cash for the exclusive rights to lease and operate 7,200 T-Mobile towers for an average of 28 years. Castle could then buy the towers for an additional $2.4 billion to have permanent ownership once the lease agreement ends. The deal is subject to conditions and not expected to close until the fourth quarter of 2012.
T-Mobile says that it will use money generated from the deal to accelerate its efforts to launch LTE and a modernized HSPA+ network next year. The fourth-place carrier has already committed $4 billion to enhance its wireless network, and the cash from this deal will help it fund its Challenger initiative that aims to regain some of its market share lost in recent years. The company will also use the money to retire corporate debt.
Subtracting the 7,200 towers sold to Crown Castle, T-Mobile still has 51,000 cell sites, most of which are leased from other companies. The carrier plans to upgrade many of those sites and refarm existing spectrum to enable faster speeds on Apple iPhone devices and build an LTE network. T-Mobile is currently the only major U.S. carrier to not support LTE.source: T-Mobile
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.