AT&T strikes $4.85 billion deal with cell tower operator, Crown Castle

AT&T (s T), in what seems to be an effort to shore up its finances for future acquisitions, says it has struck a $4.85 billion deal with Crown Castle, a company that operates wireless towers across the world. As part of the deal, AT&T will lease 9,100 cell towers for an average lease of 28 years and will sell 600 towers outright to Crown Castle. The leased towers can be acquired by Crown Castle for $4.2 billion. It is rumored in telecom circles that AT&T is looking to expand its network footprint internationally.