I have been contacted by numerous landowners who have received calls or letters from Crown Castle. These calls or letters attempt to convince the Crown Castle ground lease owner that the tower is “under-performing” and that the landowner needs to accept a reduction in rent to assure the continued use of the tower. Crown Castle actually goes as far as sharing their revenue from the tower and their expenses to operate the structure. [Read more…] about Et tu, Crown Castle?
It appears that many of the initial Verizon’s cell phone tower leases are getting ready to expire over the next few years. This includes a number of towers acquired by Crown Castle. Although hardly empirical- our data suggests that Verizon is waiting to approach many landowners until a few months prior to the expiration of their cell phone tower leases. [Read more…] about Verizon Cell Phone Tower Leases Expiring in Sizeable Numbers
“According to a Merrill Lynch report published at the end of 2005, the United States is enjoying a year-over-year growth of 14%. It is number three in the world in the number of wireless subscribers (behind China and a combined Europe) with a penetration rate of just over 67%. The average revenue per customer is $56, moving upward (we are number four in the world in this category), and we have the highest average number of voice minutes of any country: 781 minutes per month per subscriber compared to Canada and Hong Kong, tied for second place at 393 minutes.”
From Andrew Seybold’s Commentary 4Mobility 04-20-06 “Musings Around the Industry”
One Disclaimer: This following commentary is my opinion and, since Steel in the Air is my company, it’s Steel in the Air’s opinion too.
I have read articles regarding the need for legislation on the federal level calling for increased federal power to override local land use law for cell tower placement. While I fully agree that some municipal planning boards/city councils deny almost every cell site that comes before them- I don’t believe that increased federal guidance is the answer, nor do I believe that the FCC should usurp the ability of local government to guide the time place and manner in which towers/cell sites are allowed. [Read more…] about Cell Tower Industry Partially Responsible for Difficulty Zoning Towers
A recent study by Consumer Reports regarding wireless service finds that the Cingular merger has not succeeded in increasing customer satisfaction. Cingular/AT&T still ranks near the bottom of all wireless carriers. See Consumer Reports Ratings for Cingular for more information. [Read more…] about Cingular and AT&T Merger Succeeding (at perturbing users)
Global Signal recently purchased through a long term lease 6000+ cell phone towers from Sprint PCS. In response to these transactions, Global Signal has approached landowners requesting that they sell out the interest in the ground lease for the cell phone tower to Global Signal in return for a lump sum payment and a assignment of lease. [Read more…] about Global Signal/ Sprint Tower Lease To Easement Conversions
Landowners with cell tower leases who are being hit with termination notices from the “NEW” Cingular are now being granted one new opportunity. The offers come from Blackdot accompanied with the termination of the lease letter. These offers if you can call them that have BlackDot offering to market the tower site to other carriers in return for the landowner taking over the responsibilty to remove the tower at the end of the 2 year marketing term. [Read more…] about Blackdot and Cingular offer Landowners the Opportunity to Remove Their Own Tower
I recently read another story about a municipality that created an auction to bid off the rights to lease its wireless properties. The municipality- which will remain nameless- provided an RFP to the wireless carriers to gauge interest for its municipal properties. The story was written from the perspective of how successful this auction was because they received 3 bids- none on the same properties. [Read more…] about Municipalities Undervalue Cell Tower Leases by Bidding
So yet another carrier chooses to enlist the services of lease renegotiation companies. The game is the same- either you choose to renegotiate or your site will not be prioritized in the network. With one huge difference- TMobile has not merged with any other carrier. [Read more…] about TMobile Cell Tower Landowners being Contacted to Renegotiate Lease
From an American Tower Presentation to RBC:
Total number of cell sites per carrier:
Cingular: 44,000 (Other estimates show 50,000)
Alltel: 8,000 (I assume this is pre Western Wireless)
New Big 6 Total: 143,000