It is 2023, and many people would have thought that cell towers would have been obsolete by now.
So, what is the future of cell towers and, more particularly, the cell tower leases that property owners entered into with cell tower companies to lease their land?
Well, simply stated, it looks pretty good.
There were almost seventy thousand (70,000) cell sites built in the last four years.
In comparison, during that same time period, less than one percent (1%) of all cell tower leases were terminated.
Why Do We Need More Cell Towers?
So, why are cell towers still being built in 2023? In one word – 5G.
The United States currently has about 500,000 cell sites, and that number is expected to grow dramatically over the next few years, with some estimations stating that up to one million new cell sites will need to be built in the United States by the year 2030 in order to provide the same coverage as current 4G.
For 5G not only to have the ability to cover the United States, but to provide the benefits it has promised, it will come down to companies like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and other wireless carriers to densify the existing wireless networks with more and more cell tower sites, and, in turn, these same companies, as well as cell tower companies, will have to enter into more and more cell tower leases.
Densification is necessary because 5G wireless technology uses higher-frequency bands of the electromagnetic spectrum than 4G. These higher-frequency bands, while providing faster speeds and more capacity, have a very limited range as compared to its predecessor 4G.
5G signals can reach about 1500 feet, but in densely populated urban areas that may have more obstructions, this range could be as little as 300 feet. This is vastly different to existing 4G cell tower sites that could have a coverage range of up to 20 miles in certain areas of the United States.
What About Existing Towers?
As for existing cell tower and rooftops sites, in the near future these cell sites may see a lot of equipment modification as a result of the change to 5G. The location stays the same, but the technology is upgraded allowing the wireless carriers to generate more revenue.
While existing cell towers themselves may not be getting an upgrade and may look the same as they have for 10, 20 or more years, the old cell tower is still going to be a vital part of the wireless network.
As a result, when someone from a cell tower company or wireless carrier comes to you and says “There’s Doom and Gloom” in the cell tower industry, don’t believe them.
Cell tower companies and wireless carriers continue to push the same narrative with one purpose in mind – they’re trying to get you to reduce rent or agree to other terms that aren’t beneficial to you.
The Future Looks Good
The future of cell towers looks good no matter what you may have heard.
If you are a property owner that has been approached with a new cell tower lease agreement or a property owner that already has a cell tower lease agreement, the future, and more particularly 5G and even 6G to come, brings you opportunities to get the full value of your property when it comes to a cell tower lease agreement.
If you have questions regarding a new cell tower lease proposal or questions regarding an existing cell tower lease, contact us today.
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