How COVID-19 Is Impacting The Wireless Industry

By Nick G. Foster

April 7, 2020

On March 16th the President issued updated COVID-19 guidance for Americans that highlighted the importance of the critical infrastructure workforce. Telecommunications workers are considered part of the critical infrastructure workforce. That does not mean, however, that all the other necessary players in the telecommunications development supply chain, and the cell tower development process are fully operational at this time.

Cell Tower Developers Hit Permitting Delays

When it comes to developing new cell towers, during these COVID-19 times, developers are having difficulties obtaining permits to construct their towers. City halls are closed. Stay-at-home orders which have been in California for over four weeks now have slowed down most municipal processes to a crawl.

Many permit submissions are done in person with signed applications and embossed engineering drawings. Cities such as San Diego often require feedback on new cell tower development from Community Planning Group meetings. Meetings which are temporarily not being held in-person.

Cell Tower Lease Buyouts Surging

With the S&P 500 Index plunging from 3,386 on February 19, 2020, to a low of 2,237 on March 23, 2020, many cell tower lease landlords started exploring their options to obtain cash. In the month of March, Airwave Advisors experienced a surge of cell tower lease buyout activity.

Many property owners and clients we have worked with in the past, have been reaching back out to us to seek our expert advice. As a result we have recently secured top-of-the market buyout offers for dozens of landlords. Our objective is simple. Help property owners secure access to the most amount of cash when it comes to selling their cell tower lease. If you would like to discuss a cell tower lease buyout, contact us today.

Tower Companies & Carriers Stay-At-Home

After recently mailing out many right-of-first refusal notices we noticed FedEx was unable to obtain a signature for the packages. Tenant’s offices had been shutdown across the United States. It turns out for the first time ever, there was no person available to sign. While that presented a problem that has not inhibited deal flow. Airwave Advisors was able to solve a work around to keep deals moving.

More and more of our calls coming in from carriers, contractors, and tenants are coming in from cell phones. With everyone working from home processes have slowed down on the tenant side. We are trying to collaboratively solve bottleneck problems with tenants to keep things moving.

Field technicians on the other hand, the men and women who service the cell towers, must go out into the field to work hands-on the tower. Employers are reporting they are notifying their staff to social-distance when possible, wear masks, gloves, and to wash their hands frequently.

5G Conspiracy Theories Linked To COVID-19

In the United Kingdom conspiracy theorists allegedly set a 5G tower on fire blaming it for the spread of COVID-19.

British 5G Towers Being Set On Fire Due to Coronavirus Conspiracy

Scientists have debunked any notion that 5G is to blame for the spread of COVID-19. Still that didn’t stop celebrities such as Woody Harrelson from spreading the conspiracy theory on Instagram.

Stay-at-home & stay safe!

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Nick Foster Airwave Advisors

About Nick G. Foster

Since founding Airwave Advisors® in 2014, Mr. Foster has added value to over 400 clients ranging from the State of Nevada, City of Beverly Hills, to Habitat For Humanity. Mr. Foster focuses on cell tower lease renewals, buyouts, new lease negotiation, and cell site lease management. Prior to starting Airwave Advisors® Mr. Foster founded and led the Cell Site Services Group within nationwide commercial real estate services leader Cassidy Turley (now known as Cushman & Wakefield).