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Dish. The Satellite TV Company?

Yes, it’s the same one.  We all know Dish as the satellite company that brought hundreds of TV channels in our homes.   With satellite TV business in the decline, Dish is quick to take advantage of the changing wireless industry by purchasing Boost Mobile from T-Mobile.  As a condition of the Department of Justice’s approval of the T-Mobile and Sprint merger, T-Mobile was required to sell it’s Boost Mobile component to Dish Network.  This July 2020 acquisition marks Dish’s official entry to the cellular business.  

The oddity of it all is that Boost is not a cellular company, in the traditional sense, because it does not have a cellular infrastructure to deliver cell signals to its cell phone subscribers.  Instead, Boost purchased millions of minutes of airtime from Sprint and T-Mobile and resells it to its 9 million phone customers.  In order to be a real cell phone company, Dish must build its own network instead of relying on its competitor’s infrastructure.  Thus, here we are.  

How Is Dish Different From AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile?

There are many differences (and similarities) between Dish Wireless and the existing wireless carriers.  However, we will only focus on topics that are relevant to property owners.  The advantage Dish has against AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile is that they do not have legacy systems to maintain and operate.  Remember the flip phones?  Those are old technology devices that are still in use today by millions of subscribers.  Incumbent cellular carriers must still have 2G, 3G and 4G antennas, radios, cables, batteries, amplifiers, and leased real estate to house and operate them.  Dish goes straight to 5G without the burden of integrating old technologies with the new because Dish’s will only sell 5G phones to its subscribers.   This means Dish’s equipment takes up less footprint (need less real estate) and lighter (less structural loading).  There are other technical differences, such as how Dish stores its data in the cloud rather than using distributed hardware for its operation, but this has no implications to landlords so we ignore these differences.   

But it is the similarities that matter to us as we negotiate cell tower and rooftop designs with Dish to maximize income and property controls for our property owner clients.

What Is Dish's Leasing Strategy?

Dish has targeted the top 42 cities to pursue market launches as its first phase of cellular deployment in 2022-2023.  As with any businesses, Dish is limited in time and resources.  To focus on market launch dates, Dish has opted to collocate their antennas and equipment on existing cell towers and rooftops of moderately tall commercial building.  Beneficiaries of this strategy are existing tower owners such as Crown Castle, American Tower, and SBA Tower.  

The other beneficiaries include commercial buildings that fit Dish’s engineering design profiles such as those thousands of commercial buildings managed by Terabonne nationwide.  Terabonne leverages our speed, expertise, and location advantages to land volumes of Dish leases to the benefit of our property owner clients. 

How Do Property Owners Benefit From Dish Build Out?

If you have been contacted by a site acquisition firm working for Dish Network, they will emphasize how “light” and “small” their equipment will be.  This is their basis for offering lower rents to property owners.  We see it differently.  We focus on the similarities between Dish’s designs with that of AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile to justify our leasing requirements.  The managing partner of a building in the University District of Seattle believed Dish and agreed to the terms of Dish’s lease.  However, as the lease turned technical, Mr. Alexander reached out to Terabonne for assistance.  Terabonne relies on our experience in wireless leasing, expertise in engineering and with our negotiating staff, was able to renegotiate the terms of the lease that made Mr. Alexander substantially more rental income, along with resolving numerous technical issues with other wireless operations at the building.

This model is repeated time and time again as we represent property owners at universities, commercial buildings, strip malls, housing units, mountain tops, freeway interchanges, popular venues, and industrial parks.   Please contact us anytime if you have been contacted by Dish.  Our clients always make more income with our involvement and have the peace of mind that their leases are rock solid for years to come.

Contacted By Dish?

Terabonne negotiates hundreds of Dish leases for our clients nationwide.  Dish’s objectives are very clear to us.  Dish’s real estate team is known to us.  Dish’s legal team meets regularly with us.  Terabonne’s engineering team engages with Dish’s engineering staff constantly.  Contact us and see how we can use the contacts and process to profit you.

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A ROFR grants the tower owner the right to match an offer by some third party who makes an offer to purchase your lease that you accept.

Crown Castle, American Tower ATC, SBA Towers are the “Big Three” tower companies.

Attorneys retained by wireless carriers authorized to review legal terms but never allowed to negotiate financial nor technical terms of the lease because they lack the technincal skills.

A person who specializes in land use matters well knowledgeable in its jurisdictional requirements.

A person hired by the wireless carrier to contact property owners to discuss lease terms. This role has evolved to be landlord facing rather than lease negotiations.

Geographical areas depicted in a circle (ring) drawn by radio frequency (RF) engineers defining the areas requiring new cell towers and technical parameters surrounding such designs.

Companies who build towers and lease back to wireless carriers.  These companies almost always receive Search Rings from wireless carriers defining where carriers need towers to be built.

Radio Frequency engineers who specialize in the radio wave propagation. These are the engineers to define cell tower locations. 

Companies that purchase cell tower leases with the purpose of repackaging (aggregating) them in a larger portfolio and selling them for a profit at a later time.