Has T-Mobile Hired Advisors To Sell Wireless Towers?

T-Mobile has hired TAP Advisors LLC to help explore the option of selling the company’s wireless towers and raise cash. Deutsche Telekom hired the New York bank to continue the search for a buyer after an attempt to sell off the company’s towers failed last year said people familiar with the matter. A tower sale could raise as much as $3 billion, according to an estimate by Kevin Smithen, an analyst at Macquarie Capital USA Inc.

T-Mobile is considering the sale as part of a self-funding strategy says T-Mobile spokeswoman Michelle Taylerson, though she declined to discuss any details. Back in 2008, Sprint sold tower assets to specialized companies that charge operators for using the infrastructure. Such a sale allows tower companies to use multiple operators on each tower. In 2009, AT&T sold 235 towers to Global Tower Partners for an undisclosed amount.

Deutsche Telekom spokesman Philipp Kornstaedt also confirmed the Bloomberg report stating “T-Mobile USA continues to evaluate a tower sale as part of its self-funding strategy, but have no specific plans to detail at this time,” and went on to say that running towers is not T-Mobile’s core business and could be handled cheaply by a dedicated manager.

This is a logical step for T-Mobile to undertake to find more funding for their planned LTE rollout in 2013. Of course this news comes on the heels of T-Mobile laying off 1900 employees through the closing of 7 call centers around the country.

Bloomberg, Fierce Wireless

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  • MagentaMadness

    Not sure if its the whole tower or just portions of the equipment. With the new LTE direction T-Mobile is going in, the cabinets and antenna structure are going to be totally different, which means equipment swap out. I can find out.

  • Tmo man

    I heard they are doing all this So they can shed out the big bucks for the next iPhone!!

    • z00medu

       I heard youre trolling…. STOP IT!

    • Taron19119

      Ok can we stop the iphone talk

  • http://twitter.com/Matt_Harman76 Matthew Harman

    Before people freak out this is common practice. I am a Field Tech for T-Mobile and we own a small portion of our towers. Most towers are owned by a third part such as American Tower or Crown Castle. We still do all the maintenance on the ground equipment and Antennas we just lease a space on the tower.

    • Jaime Laigo

      Thanks for the info.

  • WirelessRefugee

    Well recall that over a year ago I said that selling towers was a T-Mobile goal, so as Matthew Harman  says, don’t freak out.

    T-Mobile, like any carrier, correctly sees value in selling the towers and leasing back a portion of “space” on the towers.

    Currently, T-Mobile manages some of its towers, but it makes financial sense to get that money and hand off the day to day management to a third party.

    • Dafin

      HMMM, its much better to hold the towers and rent space to other carriers, there is not much maint. involved – trust me I know…
      Don’t do like sprint did back in  the early 90′s and show the towers being blown up because of fiber- towers are needed more than ever and the F/O to get the speeds needed.  KEEP THE TOWERS AND GET BETTER MARKETING AND SALES PEOPLE TO GET OTHERS ON THETOWERS !

  • WirelessRefugee

    I’ll agree that this is poor timing, laying off employees, now selling assets.

    But this tower sale, leaseback item has been on DT’s agenda for quite some time.

  • Gouv

    This makes sense, hopefully this will help them spend less in the future.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/mrjlwilliams?feature=mhee J. Williams

    I was told that on April 1st, they are going to begin rolling out the 1900 band for PCS.  So if you have a phone that’s not T-Mobile with the 1900 PCS band, hopefully it will come to life soon.  Depending on which market goes up first, this will be BIG.

    • P.R.

      I believe they already began with those changes… I have always depended from Wifi on the building I work and Monday when I went to my office I had full 4 bars!!!

      • Scarfacemario

        Where do u work?

        • P.R.

          San Juan, Puerto Rico

        • Jarrod

          What phone do you have? They could have added a new tower because u would have still had edge.

        • P.R.

          Galaxy S2.., I believe it has something to do with the frequency as this used to be a navy building, outside the building and its surroundings I’ve always had 8+mbs

    • illegaloperation

      April Fools!

  • EXIBITman

    I used. To. Get Two Bars In. My office now get 5 bar’s. And I have. Been getting. 4BARS in my BMW.!!!!!!

  • UMA_Fan

    David,

    I would suggest this would be a good opportunity to educate people that this does not necessarily mean coverage will decrease.  Whenever this tower sale comes up people immediately jump to T-Mobile losing out on coverage instead of the sale lease back strategy that was on the table since pre at&t merger.

    There’s this same story on The Verge and everyone from the author to the comments are perceiving that this is a move to  bring more money to DT to make up for the merger instead of a self capital raising strategy for the USA branch.  I have to cringe reading through it.

  • Karl Cieslak

    I know on a recent trip to North Carolina, my coverage through West Virginia had always been limited to Edge and was spotty for the most part in years past. However this trip I was amazed to see 3G ATT on my Tmo Galaxy SII. So some positive changes have occurred due to the breakup

  • Nathensnodgrass

    What they don’t say is how many jobs are being let go of on top of the 1900 cut in every call center.