What You Should Know About Sprint Cell Site Leases
There are two main reasons that landowners, venue owners and local governments consult with us regarding SPRINT Cell Site Leases:
If you have been contacted by a Sprint representative (aka, site acquisition agent) regarding the construction of a cell tower or cell site on your property, here are some things you can do:
- Educate yourself regarding the real world effects of entering into a Landlord/ Tenant lease with Sprint;
- Determine appropriate rent, escalation and lease duration terms; and/ or
- Get tips on favorably negotiating the terms of the proposed Lease Agreement prior to signing.
Sprint has recently been active with Lease Modifications and Equipment Upgrades. In the past four years, many of our clients have been approached up to three times regarding modifications to a Sprint Cell Site. If you are already party to a cell site lease, then you are likely to be familiar with lease negotiation tactics. There are, however, certain “tricks of the trade” that we hope to educate our clients about to ensure they receive fair treatment and reap ultimate benefits, when renegotiating the terms of a Lease with Wireless Carriers, such as Sprint. We can help you to:
- Understand Sprint’s reasons for requesting the change;
- Determine what fees (if any) should be charged to Sprint;
- Evaluate whether or not changes to the language and terms of the Lease are in your favor; and/ or
- Negotiate the Lease in a way that protects and supports your interests.
Sprint has entered into an agreement with Mobilitie to deploy small cell new towers in right of ways across the country. Mobilitie and Sprint attempt to claim that they are a public utility and therefore do not need to go through normal planning and zoning requirements and that they do not need to pay any fees for use of theright of ways.
We have been helping both public and private clients understand the following regarding Sprint/Mobilitie proposals/requests:
- Understand how other municipalities are treating these requests;
- Determine what fees (if any) should be charged to Sprint/Mobilitie;
- Evaluate the completeness of the application requests.
- Advise on small cell policy creation.
What You Should Know About Sprint as a Tenant
Over the last 6 years, Sprint has been fairly inactive in building new towers and cell sites. After their “merger as equals” in 2005 with Nextel, Sprint started to slow site deployment while they integrated the Nextel network, yielding only a few hundred new sites per year for the last 5 years. While Sprint hasn’t been building new sites in any real numbers, they have been aggressively deploying Network Vision (LTE) technology to all sites, completely replacing older equipment and antennas at most of their sites.In the last year, Sprint has also been terminating Clearwire sites that are no longer needed while converting some Clearwire sites to new Sprint technology.
Most recent activity related to Sprint has been focused on the mini-macros being constructed by Mobilitie on behalf of Sprint.
To be fair, it is hard to know what should be expected with Sprint leases in the near term given their very limited efforts in recent years to develop new towers and cell sites.
- Moderate Equipment Loading
- Smaller equipment footprint than AT&T or Verizon
- Assumes that every modification only requires consent even if the lease clearly indicates otherwise.
Sprint Industry News
|Rank by Subscriber||#|
|Technology||CDMA, WIMAX, LTE|
|Wi-Fi Offload||In February 2013, Sprint added a Wi-Fi calling feature on its Android phones, enabling subscribers use Wi-Fi hot spots instead of cellular data for voice calls.|
|Number of Sites||55,000|
|New Sites: 2016||Sprint is expected to add 200 new macrocells and an unknown number of mini-macro small cells.|
|Small Cells||There has been a lot of permitting and leasing requests, but very little actual construction that we have seen. This should ramp into 2017.|
|Tower Sales||In 2008, Sprint sold 3,300 (almost all) of its cell towers to TowerCo under a leaseback agreement.
In 2005, Sprint subleased 6,000 towers to Global Signal (who was acquired by Crown Castle a year later)
|Acquisitions||Nextel, Clearwire, Sprint affiliates|
Steel in the Air Inspires Landowners, Venue Owners and Local Governments to Make the Best Out of Each Unique Location
Steel in the Air has been assisting landowners, venue owners and communities with cellular/ wireless telecom lease negotiations for over a decade. We have reviewed hundreds of Sprint leases and know the ins and outs of the industry better than anyone. We take great pride in providing unique, unbiased and reliable guidance.
Together, we will implement a plan based on educated goals. Your objective might be to:
- Understand your rights and obligations as a cell site Lessor.
- Negotiate the lease (or lease renewal) before signing.
- Determine the real market value of your lease as derived from rent, escalation and duration figures, as well as situational metrics, such as location and wireless infrastructure build plans.
- Use the lease as an asset, or part of an investment portfolio.
- Determine what type of wireless network is best for your community, organization, or venue.
- Create a process and Master Plan and or Small Cell Policy for county or municipal wireless infrastructure leases.
- Better understand industry dynamics, site acquisition strategies and policies or rules that could affect your lease now or in the near future.
Steel in the Air’s Process Works for You.
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