How Much Does A Cell Tower Cost?

By Nick G. Foster

June 9, 2015

A common question we receive from property owners, or investors, is, “How Much Does A Cell Tower Cost?”. Like the construction of any improvement, the answer is generally – it depends. Cell phone companies can construct guyed towers, monopoles, stealth faux trees, or façade mount the antennas to a building. There are many construction solutions readily available to cell phone companies looking to improve their network.

We want to share with you a few factors that influence cost:

1. All Cell Towers Need Two Things – Power and a Phone Line

To get started, all cell towers need electricity and access to a landline. The cost of pulling utilities and/or the phone line from the street or a nearby property, will be incorporated in the cost of a project. Sometimes the local utility company will cover the cost of pulling power, which is good news for the carrier.

2. Local Zoning Ordinances Influence Design

In our home market of San Diego, California, monopole, or guyed wire construction is banned, due to local zoning ordinances. If a cell phone company wants to construct a cell tower, they must construct a “stealth facility”, such as a  faux monopine tree, eucalyptus tree, or a rooftop element architecturally integrated into the building. No exposed antennas are allowed to be seen by the general public.

In rural America, or areas with little to no zoning restrictions, it is a different story. You may not be able to drive a few miles without seeing steel poles towering into the sky. So construction materials are influenced by local zoning ordinances.

3. OK, So What Is The Cost Already?

An average estimate for cell tower construction can be anywhere from $100,000.00 – $350,000.00 depending on materials, construction, labor, etc. However, we have worked on projectswhere the construction costs incurred were closer to $1,000,000.00 by the time the project was completed.

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6 Comments

  1. Jim montone on September 7, 2018 at 9:58 am

    How much does a 130 ft cell tower cost include installation Jim

    • Nick Foster on October 2, 2018 at 8:34 am

      Hi Jim,

      I would be doing you a disservice here if I provided a cost estimate for a project that I know nothing about. You would be best served contacting an construction company who installs cell towers to be provided an accurate quote on cost.

      All the best,

      Nick G. Foster

  2. Josshua on October 3, 2017 at 12:11 am

    How much does it cost for monopole tower 50 feet?

    • Nick Foster on October 4, 2017 at 9:05 am

      Hi Josshua,

      Thank you for the question. The cost of construction for a mono pole cell tower typically ranges around $100,000 give or take. A construction company who builds cell tower may be able to provide you a more accurate estimate.

      All the best,

      Nick G. Foster

  3. jamie boyer on November 18, 2016 at 6:50 am

    looking for information and costs on building a 225 foot monopole tower on my family farm, single platform at 220ft with raining at top. will need platform railing strong enough to hold (2) 3ft Dragon wave dishes, plus several smaller Ubiquiti base stations.

    • Nick Foster on November 18, 2016 at 8:31 am

      Hi Jamie,

      Thank you for your inquiry. You will want to reach out to a cell tower construction company. Our business focuses on cell tower leases only.

      All the best,

      Nick G. Foster

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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).