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Crown Castle to Purchase 700 Towers in Australia For US$135 Million.

Business Editors & Technology Writers

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 9, 2000

Crown Castle International Corp. (NASDAQ:TWRS) ("Crown Castle") today announced that a subsidiary, Crown Castle Australia Limited ("CCAL"), has signed a definitive agreement to purchase approximately 700 wireless communications towers from Cable & Wireless Optus ("Optus") for approximately US$135 million, including an exclusive right to develop all future tower sites for Optus over the next six years. CCAL is two-thirds owned by Crown Castle and one-third by Fay Richwhite, a New Zealand-based investment firm. This transaction will position Crown Castle as the largest independent tower operator in Australia with a strategic presence in all of Australia's licensed regions including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Additionally, Crown Castle announced today the appointment of Peter Abery as President and Managing Director of CCAL and its subsidiary, CCAL Towers PTY. Mr. Abery was formerly Managing Director of Vodafone Network in Australia. Prior to joining Vodafone, Mr. Abery held various positions with Telstra including Managing Director of Industry Services for Domestic Wholesale Business and Director of Strategy. Mr. Abery has a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, an MBA, and he attended the International Senior Manager Program at Harvard Business School.

"We are pleased to enter the Australian market with the acquisition of a nationwide tower portfolio covering over 90 percent of the population and to have appointed Mr. Abery to head our operations there," stated Ted B. Miller, Jr., Crown Castle Chairman and CEO. "Mr. Abery's background in Australasia combined with his strong technical and management experience provides us with the appropriate leadership to rapidly grow in this important region of the world.

"The demand for co-location on towers in Australia is very strong," continued Mr. Miller. "Three newly licensed wireless operators are deploying regional networks for their 2000 launch and the three incumbent national carriers are expanding their current 900 MHz networks and deploying new 1800 MHz networks.

"This transaction with Optus provides us the foundation to benefit from the explosive growth in wireless demand throughout Australasia and is consistent with the cluster strategy we have executed in the US and UK," said Mr. Miller. "These towers represent a tremendous opportunity to export our expertise in integrating large carrier portfolios and offering existing and insurgent carriers co-location opportunities and speed-to-market solutions."

Crown Castle International Corp. is a leading provider of communication sites and wireless network services and provides an array of related infrastructure and network support services to the wireless communications and radio and television broadcasting industries in the United States and United Kingdom. Pro forma for all closed and previously announced transactions, Crown Castle International owns, operates and manages over 11,000 wireless communication towers internationally. For more information on Crown Castle International, visit: www.crowncastle.com.

This press release contains various forward-looking statements and information that are based on management's belief as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to management. Although the Crown Castle believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Such statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Should one or more of these risks materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected. More information about the potential factors, which could affect the Crown Castle's financial results, is included in the Risks Factors sections of the Crown Castle filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 9, 2000
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