AT&T explores potential sale of wireless towers

Sept 20 Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:18pm EDT

Sept 20 (Reuters) - AT&T Inc said on Friday it is exploring options to "monetize" its wireless broadcast towers but noted that its ability to reach a deal would depend on terms it is able to reach with the buyer for long-term operation of the towers.

When wireless service providers sell broadcast towers they typically lease back space from tower operators. Bloomberg reported earlier this week that AT&T had hired bankers for a sale of its towers that could fetch about $5 billion.

Potential acquirers could include Crown Castle International Corp, American Tower Corp and SBA Communications Corp.

AT&T also said it expects record third-quarter smartphone sales, driven by new marketing programs and new devices. It expects to increase its smartphone base by more than 1 million in the quarter.

However, it forecast fewer smartphone upgrades in the fourth quarter compared with the year-earlier quarter, partly due to its higher expectations for the third quarter.

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