In 2012, wireless subscriber use surpassed 100% – meaning that the average person in the US had more than one wireless device – and this upside is not going to end any time soon! In fact, wireless data use is expected to quadruple in the next five years, so it’s best to prepare in advance. Wireless carriers network infrastructure plans were originally intended to optimize and enable voice traffic, as opposed to data; however this strategy has changed dramatically in the past year or two. The Big Four wireless carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile) are currently racing to finalize their 4G LTE deployment nationwide – and the focus is on data more than ever before. In fact, according to CTIA, the leading non-profit authority on the wireless industry, in March of this year, Smartphone use (in minutes) surpassed TV use for the first time ever: 151 to 147 minutes per day respectively (with laptop and tablet using treading at 103 and 43 minutes).
Wireless Rooftop Leases Boost Revenue and Customer Satisfaction
Hoteliers today appreciate that the passive stream of reliable revenue from rooftop cell sites is ancillary and not subject to economic fluctuations. Rooftop cell sites don’t often impact usable space since equipment is deployed on the rooftop itself. Lease rates paid by wireless carriers vary across the country, but typically stay within the range of $1,000 – $3,000/month per each individual lease. These leases are with credit-grade tenants like AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile and typically escalate at 3% per year. Additionally, termination of rooftop leases is lower compared to cell tower leases – mainly because they are less conspicuous (but also because they benefit a large group of guests).
According to 2013 lodging industry profile, 40% of guests last year traveled for business purposes. Add that to the following wireless industry stats:
90% of companies have or intend to have mobile versions of their website and
2/3 of Smartphone users expect a web page to load in four seconds or less; and
Carrier Requests to Modify Equipment Can Put More Money in Your Pocket.
Occasionally, carriers will request hotel owners’ consent to perform maintenance on their rooftop equipment – and might even offer compensation outright. Smart hoteliers, who are already party to a lease, should ask for construction drawings before providing consent – and review their original lease to confirm that the proposed changes have been accounted for. Because of escalating data requirements by the wireless carriers, hotel owners are well situated to procure new revenue from either new leases or from the modification and expansion of existing leases.
It’s a no-brainer that keeping your guests happy requires more than clean sheets and soft towels. If want guests, you need to give them seamless, fast, reliable access to the Internet and to their mobile devices – from their car to their hotel room to the swimming pool and the breakfast table. The good news is that hosing a rooftop lease will benefit your guests, as well as your bottom line.