Fifth generation (5G) networks are over-hyped in the media. They speak of self-driving cars and refrigerators ordering eggs when the supply is low. The reality is technology is dynamic, so we at Terabonne focuses our attention on things that matter the most to our clients – strong leases that compensate our clients well today and for decades to come with the greatest control over the lease terms. We do not focus on the technology generations. Instead, we focus on cell tower lease rates and contractual terms that favor our clients.
5G cell tower deployment grants wireless carriers more transmission frequency options. Ultra high frequencies are often referred to as millimeter waves (mmWave) where health concerns are also raised. These frequencies exceed 6 GHertz frequencies, far exceeding the much lower frequencies used by 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G bands. This is because increased demand for cellular services requires more radio transmitters. More transmitters require more frequencies. Since nature only produces so many frequencies, which are all being assigned to various purposes today (TV, FM, AM, military, public safety, terrestrial, etc.), wireless carriers must use new frequency bands that were not traditionally used before, including the 6 GHertz bands that scare many because they are such high frequencies. We believe these concerns are extremely exaggerated in social media. Consider that when AM radio was upgraded to FM radio, their frequencies went from sub 1 MHz to transmit on 100MHz and no one paid attention. Today, cellular radios changed the frequency bands from 2GHz to 6GHz and people correlate them to health dangers. Decisions on whom to believe is a very personal one because it involves how much time a property owner is willing to invest in its research and what conclusion he/she draws from such findings. If property owners believe that cell towers create health hazards, then we suggest they do not entertain cell tower lease inquiries. We want our clients to sleep well at night and if transmission frequencies do worry them, we suggest they not lease their properties for cell tower applications.
For property owners who want to explore the financial benefits of having a cell tower application on their property, 5G deployments using “small cell” applications are almost always discouraged by Terabonne. Our reasoning is that these have serious price erosion on the property and yield insignificant income to property owners. Cell tower lease rates involving small cells are built on smaller cell towers which take up less space, but they have similar demands on the property in terms of easements, maintenance frequencies, and parking demands. But the rental income is substantially lower. Knowing the distinction between the installation options is very important to assure most benefits to our clients.
When 5G is no longer en vogue and 7G and 10G evolve in the future, we want our leases to offer the same compensation and protection for our clients, irrespective of the technology. The reality is that generational changes in technology offer incremental improvements in end-user features and experience such as faster data speeds for the ever-hunger for faster speeds. But most of the beneficiaries of technology changes belong to wireless carriers who will benefit the most from improved equipment costs, capacities, efficiencies, reliability and handset sales. So instead of being distracted by improved latency for better video game experience or autonomous driving, we focus on making the most money for our clients for years to come.
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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.