Cell Tower Sites

A cell site or cell tower is a cellular telephone site where antennae and electronic communications equipment are placed, usually on a radio mast, tower, or other high place, to create a cell (or adjacent cells) in a cellular network. The elevated structure typically supports antennae, and one or more sets of transmitter/receivers, digital signal processors, control electronics, a GPS receiver for timing, primary and backup electrical power sources, and sheltering. The term “base station site” might better reflect the increasing co-location of multiple mobile operators, and therefore multiple base stations, at a single site. Depending on an operator’s technology, even a site hosting just a single mobile operator may house multiple base stations, each to serve a different air interface technology.

Some cities require that cell sites be inconspicuous, for example blended with the surrounding area, for example mounted on buildings or advertising towers. Preserved treescapes can often hide cell towers inside an artificial tree or preserved tree. These installations are referred to as concealed cell sites or stealth cell sites.

Growth and Potential of the Industry

The cell site sector is comprised of cell towers as well as rooftop sites. This $55 billion-dollar industry has a double-digit projected growth rate over the next 5 years.

Characteristics of the Type of Land Needed for a Cell Site Lease

The type of land needed for a tower site needs to have a clear line of site and have easy road access. It is ok for other structures to be nearby and usually requires a minimum of 1,000 feet but can go to as large as 10,000 feet. Rooftop sites are increasingly popular with the addition of 5G and the use of many wireless devices in homes. Rooftop sites are on top of apartment or condominium buildings.