How Will 5G is affect cell tower landlords in 2021?
5G is the latest telecommunication standard, introduced in 2019. It is the successor to 4G which was introduced in 2010. 5G promises high speeds of more than 1 GBs as compared to 4G that promised a maximum speed of 200 MBs. 5G rollout is going to kick into high gear in 2021 and beyond. If you are a cell tower landowner, read this article to know how 5G is going to impact cell tower landlords.
5G Cell Towers vs 4G Cell Towers?
- 5G is its ultra-low latency (less than 10 milliseconds). Latency, more commonly known as lag, is defined as the communication delay user experiences when a web link is clicked. As a comparison, your first 4G smartphone was 10X faster than the 3G “flip phone” that you had twenty years ago. Your 5G phone will be 100X faster than your current 4G device.
- In simpler terms, it has less range than a 4G tower therefore, a greater number of 5G towers are needed to be installed.
- 5G and 4G cell sites have essentially the same function. Their job is to relay, transmit, and boost signals. Thus, they play an important part in increasing coverage area and providing additional capacity and faster service to consumers transmitting voice and data.
- The range of a 5G tower is lower than that of a 4G tower. Most will cover areas in the range of up to approximately 1,500 feet. The radio equipment’s transmission capability is highly directional. 5G nodes are being installed on street lights, utility poles, street signs, low level rooftops, under stadium seats, and on other structures and inside office buildings, and skyscrapers. The wireless carriers have lobbied federal and state governments to drive prices down on the rent that can be charged on public right of ways for small cell 5G technology leases.
- Ultimately private landlords do not have to agree to below market value foxed pricing schemes and can ask for whatever they think their site is worth.
- However in the long term with a critical mass of 5G antenna nodes deployed throughout the United States, we feel this will eventually cause cell tower rents to decrease even on macro cell sites and cell towers because with enough 5G tower sites and 5G small cell antenna sites, the carriers can add enough coverage and capacity where they may no longer need to keep making the more expensive macro cell tower lease payments.
As of 2020, over 120 countries have national 4G networks while only 34 countries have 5G networks. Experts indicate that it will take a few years for 5G to penetrate more than 100 countries. Cell tower landlords should expect to see towers being worked on. If you see a tower crew or cell site technicians at your property, ask them if the site is being upgraded to 5G or when you can expect to be able to get 5G service?
The 330,000+ existing cell sites in the USA will be upgraded to have both 4G and 5G capabilities with a heavier 5G emphasis in the major urban markets where a plethora of 5G capable small cells will be deployed to work in conjunction with the existing macro-site carrier networks. Approximately 1-million additional small cell nodes will be deployed in the USA. Additionally Google estimates that approximately 13 million WiFi-6 nodes (“hybrid-5G”) will be needed to be installed on utility poles in addition to all the 5G nodes just to meet demand. Will all this deployment being planned in the next few years, Tower Genius believes that we should start seeing cell tower rents being paid to private landlords begin to decline by 2025.
How Will 5G Affect Me?
5G will vastly improve the quality of life for people that depend on quality voice and data transmissions. 5G communications will save business time and money. 5G technology will revolutionize the transportation industry, the medical industry, the way we buy groceries and the way that we can use our phones.
- Since 5G is becoming increasingly popular, cell tower management companies will try obtain modification in their leases and use 5G as an excuse to lock in rent guarantees and other unfavorable terms in your cell tower lease agreement. If you’re a cell tower landlord, you need to talk to the cell tower lease experts at Tower Genius to make sure the carriers don’t use 5G as an excuse to lower the rent at your cell site location.
Tower Genius is based in Florida and is backed by 50 years of wireless industry experience, strong reviews, and can be reached at 888-313-9750.