Tower collocation refers to situations wherein a wireless carrier installs or collocates its equipment on another carrier's (or tower company's) tower. The wireless carrier will lease ground space in the tower owner's lease area and will lease space on the tower for antennas and coaxial cables.
A typical tower collocation lease is structured in one of two ways. First, a carrier may lease each tower site individually and sign separate collocations leases for each location. Or, a wireless carrier may sign a master lease agreement with the tower company (or wireless carrier), which defines the terms, and conditions upon which future individual leases will be agreed. The master lease can either specify the price and the lease terms or just the lease terms for future collocations.
When the carrier wants to use a specific tower, they execute a site license or lease agreement that contains the relevant location information. For instance, the carrier may specify that it be allowed a certain number of antennas and lines for a particular price. The price in the master lease agreement may be structured as a one-size-fits-all whereby the collocating carrier pays one price regardless of the number of antennas/lines, or it may be structured with a fee per number of antennas and lines.
The actual pricing will vary depending upon a number of factors, including:
- Size of the lease area required
- Quantity and thickness of coaxial cables
- Weight and size of antennas
- Height of antennas (rad center)
- Generator placement
- Availability of space
- Escalation increases
- Guaranteed term
However, in our experience, the pricing of these collocation leases is based upon the market knowledge of the participants and the number of sites being proposed to that tower company.
Steel in the Air assists smaller companies that are unfamiliar with typical rate structures for tower collocation leases. We have assembled a sizeable database of tower collocation lease rates being paid by other wireless companies across the United States. We understand regional differences between the tower companies and their pricing structures. We also know which tower companies are "hungry" and those that are notoriously difficult to deal with. Certain wireless carriers and a few tower companies make it painfully difficult to proceed with the collocation process. Others make it very easy and efficient.
We can share our experience and knowledge and provide consulting services on how you can reduce your tower collocation lease rates. We can recommend a strategy for negotiation based upon having worked either for or with the several different tower companies previously. If you consider that a savings of $100/mo yields $40,000 in additional revenue across a 25 year lease with 3% annual escalation, it's not hard to justify the value of our services. We can also provide guidance on the master lease agreement contractual language and share with you what is customary and what is atypical through our affiliation with Cell Tower Attorney.
One of Cell Tower Attorney's founding partners formerly worked for one of the large, national carriers and was responsible for some of their master lease agreements, so he can quickly identify the pitfalls of a typical collocation lease.
A recent client of ours was awarded broadband stimulus funds to develop an advanced wireless network. With our assistance, the client was able isolate tower locations where they could get the most favorable terms and conditions. We helped with the negotiation of Letters of Intent including fiscal terms with the various tower companies and carriers. We also helped the client focus their efforts effectively in order to meet their deployment timeline. In short, we provided invaluable assistance and are ready to do the same for you.
Please contact us. We will gladly sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement before we meet so you can discuss your plans in complete confidence.
If you need assistance reviewing an existing tower collocation lease or a proposed one, please consider the services of an experienced wireless attorney.