Verizon Alltel Merger - Impact on Verizon and Alltel Cell Tower Leases
There have been a number of inquiries from landowners who are curious about the fate of their Alltel or Verizon tower as a result of the Alltel/Verizon merger. And from our vantage point, they should be curious and perhaps a bit worried. Alltel and Verizon both operate their networks on a CDMA based technology and both were planning to upgrade using LTE for their future network. Unlike the Sprint/Nextel merger or even the AT&T/Cingular merger, Alltel and Verizon for the most part are very compatible. With the Alltel/Verizon merger, there is definitely a strong reason to suspect that they will terminate a good number of cell sites/towers in their combined Alltel/Verizon network.
What is unknown at this time is whether Verizon/Alltel intends to contact landowners ahead of time on duplicative towers and attempt to negotiate the lease rates down between the two competing structures. AT&T/Cingular did so, and Sprint/Nextel did as well. Here at Steel in the Air, we aren't sure that Verizon intends to horse trade between duplicative sites. In the past, Verizon has chosen not to enter the fray of lease renegotiations and hasn't used Md7 or Blackdot- third party optimization firms. First off- we applaud this- it is a sign of a reputable company to us that they not resort to the sometimes deplorable tactics that agents of Md7/Blackdot resort to in order to get concessions. Secondly and negatively, this also means that landowners might not have the opportunity to negotiate prior to decisions being made about their cell site or cell tower lease prior and whether it will be terminated as part of the Alltel/Verizon merger.
If you are considering whether your Verizon cell site lease or Alltel cell site lease is at risk, we can certainly help. We can review the location of the proximate Alltel and Verizon towers and give you an assessment of whether your lease is at risk. While you may not be able to negotiate with Alltel/Verizon to save the lease, you might have the opportunity to sell the lease to a third party lease buyout company who would take the risk on themselves. Instead of getting a year worth of rent and being terminated, you could instead sell the lease and get 7 or more years worth of rent today. Our typical consultation takes 2-3 hours. Please contact us for a free quote on the cost and assistance in evaluating the risk of termination for your Verizon/Alltel cell lease.