What You Should Know About AT&T Cell Site Leases






There are three main reasons that landowners, venue owners and local governments consult with us regarding AT&T TowerLeases:

1. New AT&T Cell Tower Lease Proposals

AT&T representatives or site acquisition agents may have contacted you to acquire a wireless tower lease on your property. In the past 5 years, this company has added approximately 10,000 cell sites- of which 20-30% are new AT&T wireless towers. The remainder are rooftop installations or collocations. In the next 5 years, we anticipate that AT&T will be adding 6,500 or so new macrocells of which 2,000 or so will be new cell towers:

If you have received an AT&T cell tower land lease proposal for a new location, here is how we can help.

  • Educate you regarding the real world effects of entering into a Landlord/ Tenant lease with AT&T;
  • Determine appropriate rent, escalation and lease duration terms; and/ or
  • Get tips on favorably negotiating the terms of the proposed Lease Agreement prior to signing.

2. AT&T Lease Modification Requests

If you are already party to an AT&T cell tower land lease, then you have almost certainly been contacted by AT&T in recent years with requests for you to “Consent” to the modification of equipment on the tower or on your rooftop or other structures. Currently AT&T has approximately 67,000 cell sites across the US and on an average basis, they are making modifications to 20,000 of them each year. AT&T’s reps will contact you with a request for consent to make modifications. They frequently represent that they are authorized under the lease to make these modifications even in cases where the lease clearly provides that they don’t have that right. We assist our clients with:

  • Understanding AT&T’s reasons for requesting the change;
  • Reviewing the proposed drawings to understand what equipment is being changed by AT&T and whether it is outside the scope of the lease
  • Determining what fees or rent (if any) should be charged to AT&T;
  • Evaluating whether or not changes to the language and terms of the Lease are in your favor; and/ or
  • Negotiating the AT&T wireless lease in a way that protects and supports your interests.

3. AT&T Wireless Tower Lease Extension Requests

With 67,000 towers and sites in existence and with AT&T starting building towers in the early 1990s, a number of existing AT&T cell site leases are coming up for expiration over the next 5-10 years. Both AT&T and Crown Castle (who acquired AT&T towers both from Bell South and AT&T previously) are contacting landowners to extend their leases. Crown Castle is also offering to purchase AT&T tower leases.

If you have received an AT&T lease proposal for the extension of a cell phone tower lease, here is how we can help.

  • Educate you regarding the practical consequences of extending AT&T leases;
  • Evaluate the probability that AT&T and/or Crown Castle could move the AT&T cellphone tower site if negotiations prove to be too expensive
  • Determine how much you can increaserent, escalation and lease duration terms; and/ or
  • Get tips on favorably negotiating the terms of the proposed Lease Extension Amendmentprior to signing.