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Comcast Creates Cell-Tower Unit

Comcast Ventures, the venture capital arm of Comcast, formed a new portfolio company -- CTI Towers Inc. -- which will own, operate and develop initially about 800 telecommunications towers in 39 U.S. states.

CTI Towers, based in Franklin, Mass., will be headed by CEO Tony Peduto, previously chief operating officer of Optasite, a company that acquired and developed telecommunications tower sites, and a former executive at American Towers Corp.

The company's management team also includes senior vice president of sales John "Sonny" Peterman, previously head of sales and marketing for iPCS Wireless, and general counsel Carrie Larson, a lawyer who has represented national and regional wireless service providers, national and regional tower developers and distributed antenna services providers.

CTI Towers will lease tower space to wireless operators and other tenants. The 800 towers were previously owned and operated by Comcast Cable subsidiaries.

"Consumers are increasingly relying on their mobile devices and consuming high-bandwidth applications, such as streaming video, requiring a next generation of wireless communications infrastructure," Comcast Ventures principal Dave Zilberman said in a statement.

The newly formed CTI Towers will work with mobile operators and other service providers "to improve the quality of the wireless network experience to their customers by leveraging the extensive footprint of urban and suburban towers in CTI's portfolio," Zilberman added.