AT&T to Build Cell Sites in McDonald’s Arches?

We have received recent inquiries from AT&T cell site owners who have been approached by Blackdot to renegotiate their leases. Of course, there is a new pitch, because the old pitch that the merger between AT&T and Cingular was going to cause terminations just doesn’t ring true anymore.

The new pitch by Blackdot Wireless is that AT&T has now signed deals with McDonald’s, Walgreens, and other miscellaneous large landowners at a fixed rate which allegedly is cheaper than the lease that AT&T has with the landowner. While the pitch is flawed, there is some reality behind it. AT&T has master lease agreements in place with large multi-site landowners and is looking to reduce their high dollar rents by looking at alternatives.

However, the savvy landowner should not take Blackdot’s pitch at face value. There are radio frequency engineering criteria that must be met for each site. The criteria may not be met at the burger joint next door. Furthermore, it may be difficult if not impossible to get approval for a new tower in the area. Lastly, at some point, the costs of relocating the site outweigh the savings to be gained by the relocation on a monthly basis.

If you have been approached by Blackdot Wireless on behalf of AT&T to reduce your rent recently, we can assist you by evaluating the following:

1. Whether your cell site lease rent is significantly high
2. Whether AT&T could relocate the site and still meet their engineering goals
3. Whether the local municipality would even allow the relocation
4. Whether the relocation would cost more than would be justified by the savings in rent

Please contact us to discuss any offer from Blackdot Wireless related to your AT&T cell phone tower lease.

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