T-Mobile USA needs to upgrade its network and cut costs. So, it’s selling the rights to thousands of its towers for 28 years.
The $2.4 billion deal between T-Mobile and cellular infrastructure operator Crown Castle International Corp. surfaced on Friday, but reportedly has been in the works since the failed AT&T-T-Mobile merger. And the price has some analysts on edge. It’s too high, they say, probably by about $400 million thanks to another bidder. Nonetheless, observers project that Crown Castle will see growth via the assets.
For T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom, the transaction reduces debt substantially (the amount of the purchase price). It also allows T-Mobile to pump about $4 billion into network upgrades as it tries to free itself from DT, which recently tried to exit the U.S. market.
The lease term runs for 28 years but Crown Castle could pay another $2.4 billion to buy the 7,200 towers outright.
The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. T-Mobile is the fourth-largest wireless provider in the United States.