In October, AT&T let go of about 9,100 of its cell towers nationwide, putting these up either for sale or lease. The move is expected to generate a total of $4.85 billion for the company. The decision comes as the company upgrades its network infrastructure to provide improved service to its million-strong subscribers.
A Pennsylvania-based telecom company is confirmed to be buying 600 of those sites, while some property owners wish to get in on the sale of these cell tower leases.
Olympia resident Bette Hall wants to reach out to AT&T after learning the company is looking to expand wireless service in Thurston County. Hall hopes that leasing a parcel she owns in the Rochester area could generate enough income to support her mother’s care at an assisted living facility.”
Hotspots of renewed interest for quality cell tower leases include areas in Washington like Olympia and Thurston County, and other cities in the country where wireless services are expected to expand. Many residential and commercial property owners aim to lease their land to telecommunications companies mainly because a single lease can generate between $500 and $5,000 per month, according to recent media reports. Cell site lease rates will depend on certain factors such as location, existing structures on the land, and details of the contract.
John Pestle, a telecommunications lawyer based in Grand Rapids, MI who handles the sale of cell phone tower leases, explains three major factors that must be considered when setting up a cell tower on any property. First, the site acquisitions company representing the wireless service provider determines the strategic importance of the land for a cell tower. Towers near major infrastructures such as freeways can be more valuable for telecommunication companies.
Second, the company reviews all of their cell site candidates as there may be other more attractive locations for cell sites elsewhere. Third, cellular tower investors like TowerPoint Capital may be able to review the cell site and determine whether the location is viable for a new tower lease. The latter option is more attractive because it entails less cost for the company.
(Source: Some excited to sell, lease land for cell towers, The Olympian, December 22, 2013)