It appears that BlackDot has been retained by Sprint/Nextel to help renegotiate the cell tower ground leases. For those of you unfamiliar with Blackdot, they were previously retained by Cingular and AT&T after the merger to approach landowners with whom Cingular had a cell tower lease and attempt to renegotiate the lease down on the basis of duplication and/or additional expense of equipment upgrades.
These letters state that due to the merger, Sprint and Nextel now find themselves with redundant tower locations and that some towers will be terminated. If the landowner wants to maintain their lease, they can “help” their position by renegotiating the terms of the lease downwards. These terms often include up to a 50% reduction in lease rate, total or partial removal of any guaranteed increases, and some type of short term guarantee that the lease will continue.
Although we cannot confirm that the same thing will happen with Nextel/Sprint negotiations as happened with Cingular/AT&T negotiations, it was clear during the AT&T Cingular negotiations Steel in the Air assisted on, that in some cases the threat of termination was an empty one. In other cases, the landowners did need to negotiate in order to keep their lease active. What is certain is that Nextel and Sprint do have duplicative sites- and that they will cancel at least 5,000 sites.
To determine whether or not you should negotiate, you should attempt to find out if there is another Sprint/Nextel tower anywhere in the area. If there is a tower, then you will need to find out whether or not it is duplicative in the first place and if so, whether or not it makes any sense to negotiate. If there is no tower, than you are most likely safe from termination.
If you can’t determine if there is a duplicative tower nearby or if there is a duplicative tower nearby and whether or not it should cause you to negotiate, please feel free to contact Steel in the Air. Our hourly rate is $500 and we can assist you in not only finding the nearby Sprint/Nextel towers, but also in determining whether or not you should negotiate.
Sprint PCS, Sprint, Nextel and Blackdot are all registered trademarks of their respective companies. Steel in the Air has no affiliation with any of these entities.