DALLAS (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.