Cell Tower Info F.A.Q. (frequently asked questions)
Below is a list of questions that are posed most often. Click on the question below to see the answer.
The short and simple answer is that it is relatively difficult to do. You can either market your location to the wireless companies after finding out who has a license in the area where you are, or you can use a third party service to do so. There are pros and cons to each method. Try to market yourself and you will find that just locating the right person to talk to is difficult. On the other hand, using a third party service requires that you pay out a percentage of the income to that service. And to be quite honest, both methods are longshots. But, the rewards of getting a cell tower company to lease your property can be well worth it. Please click on Site On Your Land for more information.
We constantly receive inquiries from people that state that there is no coverage at their location. For some people this is true, but for the vast majority of the population of the United States the answer is not that there is no coverage, just that your wireless carrier does not have coverage or has poor coverage. In any given area, there are 8 licenses for cellular and PCS service. Because some carriers own more than one license in some areas, this means that there are between 4 and 8 wireless providers. Check with the other carriers to see if they have service in your area. A good source to check this out on is www.wirelessadvisor.com. Just insert your zip code and a list of carriers for your area will pop up. If this check shows that there is no coverage in your area, please see our page on How to Get Service in Your Area.
While there are a number of free resources available online, none of these resources have local lease data. Nor do they answer the majority of questions that landowners have regarding cell towers and cell tower leases. You may contact a local attorney, but it is strongly suggested that you make sure they have a working knowledge of cell tower leases. For the best results, please contact www.steelintheair.com, industry experts who provide cell tower lease negotiation assistance. Their link is found on our Tower Resources page which you can access by clicking on the menu item named the same on the left.
It depends upon the height and type of the tower as well as the location. On flat ground with regular soil, wind, and ice conditions, a 150′ monopole type tower can be built for around $100,000. Irregular soil, heavier winds or ice conditions will increase that amount. A lattice tower is slightly more expensive to build. Monopoles typically are only built to 200′, above that a guyed tower or a lattice (also known as a self supporter) will be needed.
Stealth type structures like artificial trees and church steeples cost significantly more. It is not uncommon for a stealth installation to run $300,000 total. This is one of the reasons why carriers choose to not build stealth towers everywhere.
This is a difficult question to answer. The FCC states that cell towers are not a health risk when operated in the limits prescribed by the FCC. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 prohibits local zoning boards from even reviewing health as an issue when cell towers are submitted for approval.
There are many studies cited by the industry purporting to show that no health risks exist. However, some critics suggest that the majority of studies have been done on the effects of using the cell phone itself, not on the proximity to towers. There are studies that have been commenced that study the issue of long term exposure to cell towers, but the results will not be ready for quite some time. There are countless web pages that deal with both sides of this issue. Do a Google search on cell tower radiation or cell tower health and you will easily find them
There is no “typical” cell tower lease payment. Cell tower leases range from $200/month up to $3500/month. But very few people receive lease payments in these amounts. The average is probably around $800 per month. Cell tower lease rates vary widely based on the location of the proposed tower. Zoning requirements, available land, and other issues all necessitate different lease rates. While it is true that cell tower lease rates are lower in rural areas and higher in urban areas, this is not always the case. If you have been approached by a carrier, please contact Steel in the Air– they provide cell tower lease rate consulting services.
In the last two years, a mini-industry has sprung up around the purchase of cell tower lease income from landowners. These companies have decided that they can offer you a discounted rate for the remainder of the term of your lease and make money. Once they started buying the leases, the tower companies that owned the towers started getting into the action as well as they preferred that they own their own lease rather than dealing with a third party. And in an effort to head off each other, they upped the purchase price offered or made multiple contacts.
If you need help evaluating an offer to buy a cell tower lease or would like assistance procurring additional offers, please contact Steel in the Air.
Please feel free to contact us with any cell tower related questions. If we can’t answer your questions, we will be happy to point you in the right direction.