CTIA figures show that the number of cell towers is expected to grow from 175,000 to 260,000 in 2010. That represents a 48% increase.
It is clear that many municipalities expected that the growth of cell towers had slowed- not increased in pace. We spoke to a planner director in a top 10 city who suggested that she currently had 85 new applications in- and that the shear number of applications were preventing her from focusing on other planning matters. (She also said that some of the site ac/zoning contractors were some of her worst constituents to deal with- apparently they believe they are entitled to immediate review and can’t understand that they are in line).
Many municipalities wrongfully believed that they had already experienced the worst- but that is frankly incorrect. The industry has already gotten the easy sites- the industrial and commercial sites- now the carriers are looking to infill the more difficult areas to cover and are willing to pay for that coverage. New applications are being submitted in residential areas- where historically the municipality had no issue with keeping them out. From my own data- there are far more stealth type structures being proposed- partially because zoning and planning commissions are getting smarter.
If you are a municipality- feel free to post your experience or contact us directly for more information.
CaitlinJuly 26, 2011
Is there an exact number of towers in the U.S. Broadcast, Cell, and electric?
sitaAugust 3, 2011
Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to this question.
sitaJuly 26, 2012
Rough guess on the number of cell towers in the US is 150,000 to 175,000.