Many clients are curious about the origins of our company name - Steel in the Air. It’s a common industry term I learned when I first joined the wireless industry. There were a number of tower companies trying to convince the cell providers to lease space on their towers. These companies would distribute a list of coordinates where they allegedly had towers. The cell providers would demonstrate interest in one of the locations only to find out that the tower was non-existent -- they were testing the waters for a wireless carrier. So the common questions from the carriers became, “Is there steel in the air?” meaning, is the tower actually standing?
When starting this company, we searched for a name that was representative of the values we held as important. “Steel in the Air” reflects our belief that there is actually a structure behind the company- a process that we have developed to collect tower and market data and interpret it to the unique benefit of the landowner.
An attorney by training, Ken Schmidt founded Steel in the Air after working in the tower industry for seven years. Having represented wireless carriers in the acquisition of cell tower and cell site locations, it became glaringly apparent that landowners are underrepresented when it comes to negotiating and dealing with cell tower lease issues. Furthermore, a review of available online resources revealed that the information was either misleading or just plan incorrect. Landowners who relied solely on this type of flimsy information probably lost the lease or are being grossly under compensated.
Thus, Steel in the Air was formed in January of 2004 to assist both public and private landowners with all their cell tower lease questions and concerns. At that point, we ceased taking compensation from the wireless carriers and started helping public, private, corporate and non-profit landowners. In the last six years, we have assisted over 2,200 clients with their cell tower leases. These clients are in 49 states (still working on Alaska), Canada, the Caribbean, and we recently added an Australian version of our website to help people in Australia.
Ken's education includes a Bachelor of Science at Truman State University in Political Science- Pre-Law and a Juris Doctorate at the University of Florida. He has managed the development of broadcast towers nationwide and has developed and built cell towers. Ken has managed multiple 100+ site builds for wireless carriers like Nextel and T-Mobile and has sheparded hundreds of cell sites through the zoning and permitting process and has leased many more.
Ken is considered a subject matter expert and has been consulted and quoted in many newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times and Bloomberg on articles about cell towers. He’s also spoken at numerous industry and non-industry conferences on cell tower related issues. He is widely recognized as the “go to” expert on cell tower leases and due diligence for tower acquisitions.
The principal of Steel in the Air, Inc. is an attorney and proud to be a partner of the law firm Cell Tower Attorney. The law firm specifically helps clients with legal issues related to cell tower and cell site leases. Collectively, the members of Cell Tower Attorney have reviewed thousands of leases.
If you need an attorney to review your proposed cell tower lease agreement; assistance reviewing a proposal for a cell site lease buyout; or are having problems with your existing cell site lease, the partners of Cell Tower Attorney are prepared to represent you. The firm has local counsel in most states.