Subscribers and Coverage
Verizon serves 118 million subscribers and owns 45,000 cell sites nationwide. In April of 2014, it announced plans to purchase Cincinnati Bell's cellular assets and spectrum, and will likely add many of Cincinnati Bell's 370,000 subscribers to it's total count, although they would have to change from their existing GSM network to Verizon's CDMA network, which may be a deterrent.
Spectrum and Technology
According to the FCC, as of August 2012, Verizon owned licenses to the following portions of the available spectrum: 29.4% of 700 MHz; 25.2% of Cellular (850 MHz); 20.6% of PCS (1.9 GHz); and 32.1 AWS (1.7/2.1). In January, 2014, Verizon sold its lower 700 MHz spectrum to T-Mobile. The deal is expected to close by second quarter 2014. Verizon's acquisition of Cincinnati Bell will add 700MHz, AWS and PCS spectrum in southeastern Indiana, southwestern Ohio, and northwestern Kentucky to it's total spectrum base.
In 2012, Verizon struck a deal with cable-company Comcast, to purchase a 20 MHz block of AWS (1.7/2.1) spectrum. As a result, it was required to divest some of its spectrum, which was promptly bought by AT&T (located in the 700 MHz range and spanning region of 42 million people).
In November, 2012, Verizon was the nation's first and foremost provider of LTE services, covering a population base of over 250 million (the company had decided early on to dedicate a nationwide block of spectrum to LTE deployment). By March, 2013, along with its LTE in Rural America Partners, LTE was deployed to service 2.8 million rural customers across 14 states. During Summer 2013, Verizon completed its 500th market and announced that its LTE roll-out was complete. Verizon's 4G LTE network now covers 298 million people, 95% of the market. Verizon is already working on its next generation of LTE, and says that going forward, Verizon will use small cells networks to improve its LTE capacity performance.
On the other hand, Verizon Wireless has been using a 10MHz wide channel for LTE all across the board, since it has a nationwide block of spectrum available for it. Combined with excellent backhaul, Verizon's LTE service promises to be best in class.
Evolution of Verizon Wireless
MCI 1963 – 2004
- MCI was founded as Microwave Communications in 1963 and was restructured into MCI Corporations in 1971, at which point it began absorbing region wireless carriers.
- In 1974, MCI filed an anti-trust lawsuit against AT&T.
- In 1984, MCI was the first company to deploy single-mode fiber-optic cable (between NYC and D.C.), which is now the industry standard.
- In 1997, MCI was bought-out by WorldCom, and in 1998 MCI WorldCom opened for business. In 2000, MCI WorldCom rebranded as WorldCom.
- In 2004, WorldCom filed for bankruptcy, which at the time was the largest Chapter 11 filing in U.S. history, and reemerged as MCI.
NYNEX Mobile 1984 – 1993
- NYNEX was the Baby Bell created to serve the five New England states: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, as well as most of New York state. Its cellular service was NYNEX Mobile. In 1993, NYNEX Mobile had 410,000 subscribers and was licensed to service a population of 19.5 million.
Bell Atlantic 1984 – 1997
- Bell Atlantic was the Baby Bell licensed to serve Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C. In 1991 Bell Atlantic bought Metro Mobile CTS Inc, and became the second largest independent wireless provider in the United States.
- By 1993 Bell Atlantic had 753,000 subscribers and served a population of 34.7 million, including the major government markets in Washington D.C.
- In 1997, Bell Atlantic merged with NYNEX in what was, at the time, the second largest merger in American corporate history, resulting in Bell Atlantic Mobile.
US West 1984 – 2000 and New Vector 1993
- In 1993, US West, the Baby Bell that combined Mountain Bell, Pacific Northwest Bell, and Northwestern Bell into a 14 state entity (Washington, Oregon, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa and New Mexico), had 426,000 wireless subscribers and served a population of 17.6 million. US West branded its wireless service, New Vector.
- In 2000. Qwest acquired US West, and US West ceased to exist. (Qwest began doing business as CenturyLink in 2011).
Pacific Telesis 1984 and AirTouch 1998
- In 1994, Pacific Telesis, a former Baby Bell that served a population area of 33 million in California, including the greater Los Angeles and San Diego areas, spun off new wireless services company, AirTouch, leaving Pacific Telesis serving only landlines. By the third quarter of 1994 AirTouch reported it had 1.3 million U.S. wireless subscribers.
- In 1996 AirTouch and New Vector merged their wireless operations.
- In 1997, SBC purchased Pacific Telesis.
- In 1998, AirTouch acquired New Vector. The deal boosted AirTouch's customer base, by more than 2.2 million to 6.2 million subscribers, with licenses in 16 of the nation's top 30 markets.
Vodafone AirTouch 1999
- In January 1999 British mobile-phone giant, Vodafone Plc, won the bidding war for AirTouch Communications (when Bell Atlantic declined to counter Vodafone's $56 billion offer) and rebranded as Vodafone AirTouch.
Verizon Wireless 2000 – present
- It was named Verizon Wireless, and launched in April 2000.
- In 2000, Bell Atlantic acquired GTE, and brought it into Verizon, creating the nation's largest wireless company.
- In 2005, Verizon acquired MCI.
- In 2008, Verizon acquired Alltel, once again surpassing AT&T in terms of wireless subscribers, and restating its claim as the nation's largest wireless services provider.
- In 2009, the FCC approved Verizon's buyout of Centennial Communications, under which terms Verizon divested five markets in Louisiana and Mississippi to AT&T. This acquisition added 1.1 million subscribers to Verizon's national network footprint.
- In 2011, Verizon acquired Terremark Worldwide, Inc., a global provider of managed IT (information technology) infrastructure and cloud services. To complement the Terremark acquisition, Verizon acquired CloudSwitch, an innovative provider of cloud software technology, in August 2011.
- On June 1, 2012, Verizon acquired Hughes Telematics, expanding its capabilities in the automotive and fleet telematics marketplace and helping to accelerate growth in emerging machine-to-machine services applications.
- In 2013, Verizon bid to acquire the Canadian wireless operator, Wind Mobile.
- In April, 2014, Verizon announced plans to acquire Cincinnati Bell's cellular assets and spectrum. As of yet, there is no news on when the deal is expected to close.
Why Verizon Wireless Contacts Property Owners
- To inquire about leasing land or structures upon which to build a new tower;
- To inquire about adding a new cell site to an existing structure, such as a building or tower;
- To inquire about modifying/expanding an existing lease to accommodate additional equipment (or new equipment), such as generators, fiber optic cables or other utilities;
- To discuss collocation or subleasing agreements, which involve installing other wireless carriers' equipment on the cell site;
- To discuss modifications of an existing lease that include, for example, the addition of a Right of First Refusal Clause (although these requests typically come through a lease optimization company); or
- To extend existing leases before they expire.
You may also have been contacted by a company working on Verizon's behalf who is interested in buying your lease. Please see our lease buyout page.
Steel in the Air can assist you with any questions relating to any aspect of cellular lease negotiations. We look forward to working with you.
Negotiating a Cell Site Lease with Verizon
If you've received an offer to engage in a cellular lease agreement with Verizon to lease space on your rooftop or ground space on your property for the purpose of hosting a cellular tower or phone antenna, it's to your distinct advantage to speak with us before you sign a contract.
Steel in the Air, Inc. is a consulting firm specializing in assisting people just like you - landowners and building owners - who've been approached with an offer to place a Verizon tower or Verizon cell phone antenna on their property in exchange for monthly lease fees.
While many times, hosting a Verizon cell site can be an extremely lucrative proposition; it's still a complicated and complex transaction. As with any contract situation, it's common sense to engage the services of an objective third party expert, such as Steel in the Air, to ensure your best interests and rights are properly and legally protected.
We Work For You
We have thirteen years of Verizon cell site lease experience and we're ready to put that expertise to your advantage. We'll work closely with you and your team to thoroughly evaluate any Verizon cell tower proposal by conducting all the necessary assessments and valuations. For example, we start with reviewing Verizon's site acquisition process.
We check local zoning ordinances, attempt to backwards engineer Verizon's radio frequency goals for the cell tower, and examine which other parcels would be both suitable and attractive. Then, we provide an evaluation of whether your property is the only property that meets Verizon's cell site need; the preferred property; or just one of many that are being considered for a cell tower or rooftop antenna.
We determine the appropriate rent through an examination of our proprietary cell tower lease rate database. We look to see not only what other landowners in the area received for Verizon and other wireless carrier leases, but what those landowners in similar situations as you received for their leases.
This due diligence significantly enhances and improves your negotiating position.
Agreements like Verizon cell site leases raise many non-legal issues that need to be considered by a landowner or business owner when evaluating an offer from Verizon to lease a portion of his or her property. Our experts will discuss the unique aspects of a cell tower lease to you as the landowner in a clear and concise manner.
As part of our comprehensive array of services, we can also review the other financial terms in the proposed lease agreement such as escalation, option payments, revenue sharing (if appropriate), and attorney fees. We can also help you determine how best to negotiate a Verizon cell site lease – one that protects you and your property's interests while creating additional revenue on the property.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
It's important to remember that all cell phone carriers negotiate differently. We have found Verizon to be straightforward in negotiating cell tower leases and they often pay more for unique locations. However, their legal department is extremely stringent in their review of the lease. Their legal counsel can be difficult to deal with, so you need to know where to pick your battles in the agreement. So, if you need assistance with reviewing the lease strictly from a legal perspective, please see our Verizon Cell Site Lease page at Cell Tower Attorney.
Cell Tower Attorney provides legal services to landowners, both public and private regarding all legal issues regarding cell tower leases. Our goal is to provide sound legal advice on Verizon cell tower leases including lease negotiation, re-negotiation, landlord tenant disputes, litigation support, environmental due diligence, as well as general lease administration.
Contact us, or call us at 1-877-428-6937 to see how we can help with your Verizon cell site lease proposal.
Steel in the Air, Inc is not affiliated with Verizon or Verizon Wireless. If you are looking for Verizon's website, please visit www.verizon.com. Verizon and Verizon Wireless are registered trademarks of Verizon.
We respectfully request that you not contact us to see if we can help you get a Verizon cell tower on your property, as we can't market your property to Verizon and we can't give you contact information for their lease departments. If you are interested in getting a cell tower on your property, you can contact Verizon directly: www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/realestate