AT&T and Verizon have engaged Tillman Infrastructure to build what the companies said will be hundreds of cell towers.

Privately held Tillman, which owns towers and building sites for small cells and “smart cities” infrastructure, will construct the towers and lease them to host base station equipment from AT&T and Verizon. The structures will provide both operators with new locations and may lead the carriers to relocate equipment from current towers.

Construction will begin during the first quarter of 2018, with equipment installed as soon as individual sites are complete. The number of towers and value of the joint agreement were not disclosed.

In a joint press release, Susan Johnson, SVP of Global Supply Chain at AT&T, said, “We need more alternatives to the traditional tower leasing model with the large incumbents. It's not cost-effective or sustainable. We're creating a diverse community of suppliers and tower companies who will help increase market competition while reducing our overhead.”

Verizon echoed the need to reduce cost. Nicola Palmer, Chief Network Officer for Verizon Wireless, added, “It is imperative to reduce operating costs. We are reviewing all of our long-term contracts as they come up for renewal, and we are excited to develop new vendor partners to diversify our infrastructure providers.”