Picture of a rooftop cell site

Cell Site Lease Rates – Know Their True Value

How do you know if you have properly calculated the cell site lease rate you are preparing to accept in 2024? How much rent should a rooftop cell site be paying a building owner? Tower Genius has seen cell site lease rates that paid as little as $100 per year at an American Indian Casino courtesy of AT&T, and we have seen AT&T, Verizon Wireless, US Cellular, DISH, and T-Mobile cell site leases on rooftops and structures like a power company or utility transmission towers, water tanks and corporate office parks paying rents for well over $7,000 and $8,000 monthly. We’ve seen some very mature cell towers paying landlords significantly more than $10,000 per month — these cell tower rent rates are not common but they are out there. Where are these sites located? Tower Genius has seen cell phone towers owned by American TowerCrown Castle, and SBA Communications paying rents to landlords on their towers for as much as $13,000 per month to $18,000 per month (rent + revenue share) on mature, multi-carrier towers — which are not apples to apples comparisons to rooftop cell sites.

In El Paso Texas, Tower Genius witnessed a wireless carrier walk away from a small cell antenna lease where the carrier wanted to pay zero dollars but was only willing to pay $100 monthly, and walked away in a tantrum, unwilling to pay $300 per month. In rural America, it is not uncommon to see rooftop cell site leases pay in the $800 per month range starting, to almost $3,000 per month, and sometimes higher on mature sites.

Picture taken from a rooftop  of a rooftop parapet wall with T-Mobile cell site antennas. Photo taken in the District of Columbia.
Need a rooftop cell site lease expert on your side?

Got Questions About What the True Value of Your Cell Site Lease Rate Should Be?

  • What is my Verizon Wireless cell site lease worth with the rooftop equipment upgrade being proposed? 
  • How much is the cell site lease rate for AT&T adding a generator to their installation at my building? 
  • Our Sprint rooftop cell site was converted to a T-Mobile cell site, what should the cell site lease rate be to extend the expiring lease? T-Mobile’s representative said that they can add a generator to my rooftop, but the lease says different as I read it. What should my new T-Mobile rooftop cell site lease rate be?

Here are some random samples of monthly cell site lease rates we have seen in various parts of the USA in 2023 and 2024:

  • Verizon Wireless ground lease $1,500 (macro)
  • Verizon Wireless ground lease $650 (macro)
  • Verizon Wireless rooftop lease $3,900 (macro)
  • Verizon Wireless rooftop lease $2,300 (macro)
  • Verizon Wireless tower sublease $1,400 (macro)
  • Verizon Wireless substation land lease $3,000 (macro)
  • AT&T ground lease $600 (macro)
  • AT&T ground lease $900 (macro)
  • AT&T tower sublease $1,375 (macro)
  • AT&T rooftop lease $5,600 (macro)
  • AT&T rooftop lease $2,700 (macro)
  • T-Mobile rooftop lease $2900 (macro)
  • T-Mobile rooftop lease $1,150 (macro)
  • T-Mobile rooftop lease $2,950 (macro)
  • T-Mobile ground lease $950 (macro)
  • DISH ground lease $2,000 (macro)
  • DISH rooftop lease $1,400 (macro)
  • Sprint rooftop lease $1,700 (macro)
  • American Tower lease $1,400 (macro)
  • American Tower lease $3,400 (macro)
  • American Tower lease $660 (macro)
  • Crown Castle lease $605 (macro)
  • Crown Castle lease $1,100 (macro)
  • Crown Castle lease $1,600 (macro)
  • SBA Communications lease $450 (macro)
  • SBA Communications lease $4,000 (macro)

These cell site rent rates are not apples-to-apples comparisons. Some are multi-carrier sites and some are single-carrier cell phone towers.

How much is my rooftop cell site lease worth? Each cell site must be evaluated individually as should your cell site lease. If you have questions about the value of your particular site lease, we want to speak with you.

When negotiating your cell site lease rental payment you should consider utilizing a professional hired gun who has analyzed thousands of cell site leases. As they say in Texas, New York, and San Francisco, when it comes to negotiating cell site lease rates this is not our first rodeo. Call Tower Genius at 1-888-313-9750 or contact us below  to learn more about our cell tower landlord coaching and consulting services.

Steve Explains Cell Phone Tower Rent Rates In The Video Below

Cell Site Lease Rates - Know What They Are Really Worth!
We can help you with your cell site lease questions.

Will Cell Site Lease Rates Be Impacted By Technology Advances?

This is a very important thing to consider. Wireless carriers are always complaining that they pay too much rent. They hire companies like Md7 and Blackdot Wireless to send rent reduction letters to “optimize leases” and “guarantee future cell site rent payments” — just to plant the seed of doubt in your mind that you run the risk of the lease being terminated if you don’t agree to a rent reduction.

It is almost never a good idea to give a cell site lease rent reduction. At Tower Genius we believe that they majority of cell towers (monopoles and lattice towers, guyed wire cell phone towers) will be safe from having leases terminated due to advances in technology. However we believe that the MAJORITY of rooftop cell sites with AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon will be terminated by the mid-2030’s due to advances in fiberoptic networks and mass adoption of small cell technology, 5G 6G etc… So if there is a strong likelihood that many or most urban big-city rooftop cell sites will become obsolete in 10-15 years, why would you give them a rent reduction.

We are telling our clients, if you have an urban cell site lease, let somebody else take on that risky asset as long as they are willing to pay you for it, sell it or just enjoy the rent for as long as you can, but no rent reductions. This is our professional opinion not legal or financial advice.

If Technology Advances Might Impact Cell Site Lease Rates, Why Do So Many Investors Want To Buy Our Cell Site Rental Stream?

Cell Tower Lease Buyout Offers? If Cell Towers Might Become Obsolete Why Do I Get Offers To Sell?

“Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored.” — Abraham Lincoln

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“LEASE VALUE CALCULATOR FORMULA = What they want you to know ÷ WHAT WE KNOW”

– Kevin Donohue, Managing Partner

Tower Genius

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