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AT&T on Wednesday announced an expansion of the carrier's long-term leasing agreement with tower giant Crown Castle.

The carrier said the deal would streamline lease management and operations and give AT&T more flexibility to deploy new technologies and increase capacity. The company noted that the agreement would cover the small cell installations needed for 5G networks, as well as accelerate construction of its FirstNet public safety network in the 700 MHz band.

"This agreement marks a significant milestone in our relationship with Crown Castle," AT&T Global Connections and Supply Chain EVP Susan Johnson said in a statement. "It establishes a market-based framework and simplifies the lease management and administration process."

Terms of the new agreement were not disclosed.

Wells Fargo senior analyst Jennifer Fritzsche wrote in a note that the announcement would likely benefit CCI — which she said derived more than one-fifth of its site rental revenue from AT&T as of 2017 — and tower companies as a whole.

"We have long thought CCI stands to uniquely benefit from providing a more holistic approach to carriers' network builds by offering macro tower AND small cell solutions in the U.S.," Fritzsche wrote.

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