By Nikki Cabus

Verizon and Boca Raton-based Vertical Bridge forge agreement to expand Verizon’s 4G and 5G Ultra Wideband services

Read Time 3 Minutes

Verizon Communications Inc (VZ:NYSE) and Vertical Bridge have entered into an agreement to build cell towers across the US to expand Verizon’s 4G and 5G Ultra Wideband services.

Vertical Bridge has agreed to construct these towers to-suit with Verizon as the anchor tenant. The towers will be held in an LLC formed by Vertical Bridge in which Verizon has a profits interest. The new towers will add to the overall communications infrastructure in the US, and will help to fulfill the need for new locations where towers do not exist today to continue to enhance the wireless experience.

“Our new agreement with Vertical Bridge is an excellent alternative to the traditional tower leasing model. This cost-effective, sustainable and efficient model will allow us to accelerate our build program and provide additional services to customers,” said Lynn Cox, Chief Engineering Officer for Verizon.

“We continue to focus on technology innovation and fast deployment to enable greater connectivity for our customers.”

The deal is structured in so that the new towers will be held in an LLC owned by Vertical Bridge and Verizon will have a profit interest in that company. This allows the partners to decide where to build out the towers according to what areas need them most, but also both profit on the tower space.

Vertical Bridge has rapidly become the largest private owner and operator of communications infrastructure in the U.S., with more than 500,000 sites nationwide, including wireless and broadcast towers, rooftops, convenience stores, land parcels, utility structures and billboards. We continue to grow and enhance our infrastructure each year to meet the evolving needs of our customers.

New technologies like 5G and ATSC 3.0 need new infrastructure solutions. As a private company, Vertical Bridge is often better positioned to respond with agility than any other competitor. Yet their expansive asset portfolio puts them in the same class as the largest public providers. Vertical Bridge is currently the largest private company in the industry.

“This new model, designed to deliver value for both parties, is a demonstration of strong collaboration and mutual benefit between a carrier and a tower company to accelerate infrastructure development in the US,” said Ron Bizick, President and CEO, Vertical Bridge. “We are committed to rapidly building the infrastructure needed to drive the wireless telecommunications industry forward.”

Ron alluded in his statement that this is a “new model” and not typically how business is done in the U.S. market.

The comprehensive solution at scale provides an outstanding opportunity to deliver value and meet Verizon’s wireless infrastructure needs for years to come.

Ron, new to his seat as President & CEO, has only been in the role for days as he was appointed just last week. Although, he is not completely new to Vertical Bridge as he served as COO for a little over a year. He comes with lots of experience from roles prior to Vertical Bridge. Ron served as CEO of Tarpon Towers, LLC, EVP & COO of Global Signal, Inc. and EVP and COO of SBA Communications.

The Co-Founder and former CEO, Alex Gellman, has stepped into a new role as Executive Chairman. He is responsible for developing and leading the firm’s overall strategy and growth.