Churches, Steeples, and Cell Towers
Differences Between Tower and Rooftop Cell Site Leases
Some industry experts suggest that only one-third of the total number of cell sites or cell phone towers have been built that are needed to provide coverage over those areas where the demographics support coverage. Erroneously, many municipal planners assume that the "wave" of cell site applications is over. But this is not the case.
Wireless carriers are building cell sites and new cell towers in areas where they were never needed before for a few reasons, including:
- New 3rd Generation Wireless services require cell sites and towers that are closer together to provide continuous service.
- As the number of wireless subscribers grow and the minutes of use increase, more cell sites are needed to handle the capacity.
- One of the primary reasons cell phone users switch service (or churn to another carrier) is because of coverage issues. The carriers are constantly attempting to improve coverage in areas where they notice churn.
The result is that many urban areas are seeing a resurgence of cell site and cell tower development. But unlike during previous cell site development cycles, municipalities and landowners have become smarter and regulations are tougher. This is forcing the industry to consider more innovative (and invisible) ways of meeting stringent zoning regulations for cell site placement. Therefore, they are starting to locate cell sites and cell antennas in existing structures not considered before, such as church steeples.
Due to their low impact on neighborhoods, churches can often be found in residential communities where cell tower regulations make it all but impossible for new towers to be built. Because of this, an increasing number of churches are being approached to place towers on their property or install antennas and a cell site inside the steeples. Church cell phone tower installations are definitely more expensive than other cell phone towers. Wireless carriers will not typically approach a group to install a church cell phone tower site location until they have few or no other options. This makes it even more important for church officials to understand and appreciate their unique negotiating position.
Steel in the Air has assisted many organizations with church cell phone towers issues. We are familiar with the decision-making processes that many churches go through when making these types of decisions. We can help guide your organization through the difficult and often confusing maze of lease negotiations for church cell phone tower antennas. We will provide fair market value from other communities that have leased space in their steeples or on their property for a church cell phone tower site.
Best of all, while our experts help you evaluate the offer from the wireless carrier, making sure you receive the best rate you can, we'll also work to craft a less one-sided lease contract that protects the church's interest.
If a wireless carrier has not contacted you, there really is not much we can do. Please see our Tower on your Property web page for more details.
If you have been contacted or already have a cell site on your church property or in the steeple, please contact us, and we will be happy to help. If you like, we can also provide references from other churches that have benefited from our services. See our testimonial page.