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AT&T In $4.85B Deal To Lease, Sell Wireless Towers

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – AT&T says it will sell or lease the rights for 9,700 wireless communications towers to Crown Castle International for about $4.85 billion.

Crown Castle will lease about 9,100 towers and buy another 600. AT&T will sublease capacity on the towers for at least 10 years, with an option for 50 more.

Crown Castle operates wireless towers across the U.S. and Australia. The deal gives it the right to lease space on the AT&T towers to additional tenants.

After the leases expire, Crown Castle can buy the towers for about $4.2 billion. The average lease runs for about 28 years.

The deal lets the company get cash from its towers, while it can still add capacity as needed.

AT&T is spending about $12 billion upgrading its wireless network this year.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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