Depending on the deal and regulations, it can take a year or more to begin the construction of a cell phone tower. Once cell phone tower construction begins, it can be operational in just a few short months. A cell tower has a number of important parts that must be carefully constructed to get the best signal. Here is what to expect from the construction process.
Step 1: Utilities
Before cell phone tower construction can even begin, phone and power services must be established at the site. If these utilities don’t already exist, the property owner or the carrier will need to have them installed. Often, T-1 lines are connected, which are copper or fiber optic cables that can carry large amounts of data. Obviously, any site that has already been wired correctly will be of higher value.
Step 2: Equipment
Each carrier who will be using the tower needs to install their transmitters, receivers and other electrical equipment nearby. The Base Transmitter Station (BTS) is usually housed on the ground nearby the tower site. Different companies use different methods to protect and camouflage their BTS. Often they are placed in cabinets or other locked structures on top of a concrete pad. This is one of the reasons why level properties are so much easier to work with.
Step 3: The Tower
Of course, the most important part of cell phone tower construction is the tower itself. There are 4 kinds of towers: lattice towers, monopole towers, guyed towers and concealed tower. Each tower has an appropriate location and a list of pros and cons. Concealed towers are the only towers without specific guidelines, they are usually required by zoning and created to blend in better with a landscape. Monopole towers are less than 200 feet. Guyed towers can be much taller and are cheap to build. Lattice towers are 3 sided and self-supported, they can handle heavy loads.
Step 3: Antennas
Once the tower is built, the final step in cell phone tower construction is placing the antennas. Antenna masts can handle multiple carriers. These masts are triangular so that coverage can be divided into 3 sections of 120 degrees. The number of antennas correlates directly to the network’s capacity for users. The height of the antenna affects its range, so taller antennas can cover a wider area. This is why site elevation can make a difference.
Building a cell phone tower costs around $150,000, but before spending the money, be sure to contact the experts at TowerPoint. Consult with experienced cell site investors who can help you get the most out of your future cell site. TowerPoint offers free evaluations that can help you determine how much value your property has. Take advantage of this and other discounts by giving us a call.