Sprint Nextel Cell Tower Lease Renegotiations

Lease Renegotiations

Recently, many landowners with Sprint and Nextel leases are being contacted by Black Dot to address their Sprint or Nextel lease. In the case of Nextel leases, most of the time these letters come with a formal notice of termination and an offer to lease the equipment on site for the landowner to keep. If you have received this letter, please see our separate page on Lease Terminations due to Sprint/Nextel Merger.

Alternatively, the letter may suggest that you have to renegotiate your lease in order to keep it going. These letters typically contain the following two offers:

  1. A reduction of the monthly rent by half or more coupled with a three year guarantee that Sprint will continue the lease.
  2. An offer to buy the lease.

Neither of these two offers is too attractive. However, the sales agents (many of whom do not work for Sprint) sit in their call centers and attempt to convince landowners that their cell tower lease is in jeopardy and that some money is better than none. Most landowners are ill-equipped to deal with the loss of the lease entirely and feel that they must negotiate.

To further compound matters, asking questions of the call agents is a fruitless endeavor. They don't know the answer, don't care, or simply misdirect the questions asked by the landowner. One question may be about where the "redundant" cell site actually is or why this particular landowner's tower was chosen.

Many cell site leaseholders erroneously believe that just because their site was difficult to get approved through zoning or was costly to build that the site is needed. Unfortunately, this belies the fact that Nextel probably had the same difficulty getting a site approved in the area. Furthermore, these high-dollar cell sites are the ones which Sprint and Nextel would like to reduce operating costs on.

Because the offer does not guarantee anything more than 3 years, the landowner does not want to take the risk that Sprint/Nextel may terminate after those three years. Therefore, many landowners agree to lesser rent for the current length of the lease. This is not a great proposition, but the prospect of getting no money is even worse, so many landowners have been agreeing to the offers.

Clearly, Sprint and Nextel are going to terminate some cell sites. One of the stated goals of the merger was to reduce operating redundancies, thereby increasing profit. As the cost of owning and leasing cell sites is one of the largest budgetary costs, the prospect of reducing redundancy is a reality. Recent estimates show that over 5.000 tower and cell site leases will be terminated.

So how does the average landowner or rooftop owner know whether or not they should negotiate? They don't. Some the locations of nearby towers, but there is no public and reliable source for that information. And landowners rarely know how far a cell site can be from their cell site to be qualified as redundant.

This is where Steel in the Air comes in. We can assist you with determining the following:

  1. Whether or not your cell site is redundant with another Sprint or Nextel cell site. We maintain our own proprietary database of 65.000 towers and can map your location against these towers as well as the FCC registered towers and the FAA obstructions. Many times we can tell exactly where the nearest AT&T/Cingular cellular tower or cell site is. Sometimes we can't, but we know have other resources to find that information. Furthermore, we have hired outside Radio Frequency engineers to assist us in figuring out what construes a "redundant" site.
  2. If there is a redundant Nextel or Sprint cell site in the area, we can help you analyze the possibility that the other site is more or less likely to be terminated than yours. We can share what we believe are the 4 factors that Nextel and Sprint are using to evaluate sites. From there, we can help you determine whether or not negotiation is even necessary. If it is necessary, we can recommend whether or not you need to accept their offer or what to counter with. Also,
  3. We can share with you the results of what has happened with the 50 clients who have retained our services in regards to the Sprint/Nextel and the Cingular/AT&T renegotiations. This includes what has happened in the event that they failed to negotiate.

If you have decided that it is in your best interests to enter into an amendment with Sprint Nextel, our related law firm, Cell Tower Attorney, can assist you in negotiating favorable terms and conditions to the proposed Amendment.

We do not have secret knowledge of what sites are being terminated or not, but we do have a better grasp of the situation. We can specifically review your location and help you make an informed decision. We can outline the risks involved in not negotiating and help you make a decision you can live with.

Please contact us for a free quote on the cost of our services. We provide estimates before we commence any lease review.

If you still have questions on whether or not our consultation services are right for you, please see what some of our 2500+ clients have had to say about our services in our Testimonials page.

NEXTEL, SPRINT, AT&T WIRELESS and CINGULAR are registered trademarks of Nextel, Sprint, Cingular Wireless and AT&T. Black Dot and Md7 are registered trademarks of Md7 and Black Dot Wireless respecitvely. Steel in the Air has no affiliation with any of these companies.