Sprint Early Lease Termination
As of this article’s writing in December 2020, T-Mobile has begun to terminate a number of cell sites where Sprint acquired the tower or rooftop assets from the Nextel acquisition years ago but have not really put them to work. We are impressed that T-Mobile moved very fast to terminate these sites only four months after taking possession of Sprint’s assets. These are the “low hanging fruits” of T-Mobile’s decommissioning project. It is clear at this early stage that T-Mobile is not all that organized yet because the Department of Justice is involved in managing the merger and the required divestiture of certain Sprint assets making their list of decommissioned sites still dynamic. As Terabonne negotiates the decommissioning of these Sprint sites with T-Mobile on our clients’ properties, we are prepared for Phase 2 of decommissioning after active Sprint sites will be integrated with T-Mobile’s technology and where both carriers co-exist on the same tower or rooftop. No one really knows when Phase 2 will be implemented, but its timing is driven by T-Mobile’s ability to integrate Sprint’s customers to T-Mobile’s radio technologies. Just turning Sprint radios off to save costs is not a smart move because Sprint’s customers would not be able to process calls, which will drive customers to Verizon and AT&T. Churn is what wireless carriers are deathly afraid of and each carrier spends billions of dollars each year to minimize its impact. Phase 3 would involve terminating Sprint sites which are in close proximity to T-Mobile’s existing locations. We will be watching T-Mobile’s actions closely as we strategize ways to allow our clients to profit from these events rather than being victimized by T-Mobile’s decommissioning projects.
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