Verizon may be selling all of it’s 12,000 cell phone towers. Apparently AT&T has already sold all of their towers. There’s a story today in the Houston Chronicle, you have to be a subscriber to see it. Crown Castle in running to bid on Verizon cell towers - Houston Chronicle Quoted material: The possible sale of 12,000 cell towers by Verizon could fetch as much as $6 billion for the carrier. And Houston-based Crown Castle stands to expand its position as the largest tower operator in the country, were it to secure a deal. Verizon's chief financial officer, Fran Shammo, prompted talk last month, saying that a sale is in the cards, after several years of the company stressing it would hold onto its towers. Shammo referenced Crown Castle's purchase of about 9,700 AT&T towers for nearly $4.9 billion earlier this year as opening the company's mind to what a favorable agreement could look like. A sale by Verizon would be the last major move in a trend since the 1990s of carriers selling their towers to independent operators and leasing back space for antennas. Carriers pay $21,000 to $24,000 per year to rent antenna space on towers under five- to 15-year contracts, with a 3 percent to 4 percent price escalation a year. For tower companies, "it's quite a good investment to buy a tower and then rent it to two or three other companies," Madden said. Since the 1990s, Crown Castle has bought towers from Bell Atlantic, GTE, T-Mobile and other carriers. Tower companies make more money as they attract more carriers to lease space on their towers. While exclusive towers used to be critical assets for carriers, many are now focusing on building capacity in high-demand areas and updating technology rather than expanding their geographic spread. They would rather free up the cash for other investments, such as Verizon's purchase of Vodafone's 45 percent ownership in Verizon Wireless, which closed in February.