Both AT&T and Verizon are in the news this week with plans to sell some assets. AT&T is said to be preparing a sale of a data center portfolio reputedly worth some $2B, while Verizon is rumored to be closing in on a sale of wireline and tower assets worth as much as $15B.
One had to figure that with all the buying lately, there would eventually be some selling as well just to balance things. AT&T spent $18.2B in the AWS-3 spectrum auction recently, they’ve made two significant acquisitions down in Mexico, and there’s the DirecTV acquisition still waiting for regulators to make up their minds. Verizon of course spent $130B last year to finally buy the 45% of Verizon Wireless that Vodafone had been hanging onto, and they also bought spectrum in the AWS-3 auction of course – $10.2B or so of it.
Yet while I’m not at all surprised that Verizon is trying to unload more wireline (presumably mostly copper) assets and monetize a few towers, AT&T’s purported data center sales plan is a horse of a different color. While other major carriers are beefing up their cloud infrastructure, why would AT&T be ridding itself of such infrastructure? Perhaps it’s older stuff they’d rather not refit? We’ll just have to see — assuming they find a buyer.
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