Types of Cell Towers | Guyed, Monopole, Lattice & More

By Nick G. Foster

February 12, 2020

How Many Types Of Cell Towers Are There?

Alot. The most common types of cell towers are known as guyed, monopole, lattice, stealth, and rooftop.

Guyed cell tower

What Is A Guyed Cell Tower?

A guyed cell tower, also known as a guyed mast, is typically a very tall lattice tower that depends on guy lines for stability. The tower itself has the compressive strength to support its own weight, however, it cannot support itself when faced with lateral forces such as wind loads. Typical guyed cell towers have three guy lines anchored through the landlord’s property, however, depending on the height they can have more. Guyed towers are typically at least 200 – 300 feet in height and can support multiple wireless tenants.

What Is A Monopole?

Monopole cell tower

Monopole is one of the most popular structures in the wireless communication industry. They require a small tower footprint (when compared to a guyed tower). We have seen monopole towers as small as 40 ft. tall with one tenant, and as large as 200 ft. tall with multiple tenants (as pictured to the right).

In 2020 monopoles are widely recognized by City planners as eye sores. Some jurisdictions have banned the construction of new monopoles altogether and require a monopole facility only if it is “stealth”.

What Is A Stealth Monopole?

Faux Tree Cell Tower

A stealth monopole is a singular metal tube structure that is then outfitted typically with material to make it look like a tree native to the area. Depending on the region there are stealth cypress, broadleaf, pine, redwood, and even cactus.

The photo on the left shows a stealth monopole that is not too “stealth”. When local jurisdictions issue permits to allow companies to construct these towers they need to be very detailed. This tree should have green mesh “socks” to cover the antennas so they blend in with the tree. At a minimum the equipment and the support structure should be painted to match the color of the tree or leaves.

The biggest problem with stealth fake tree cell towers over time is the leaves and branches fall off.

What Is A Lattice Cell Tower?

Lattice Cell Tower

A lattice tower, sometimes referred to as a self-support tower, is a freestanding framework tower. The most famous lattice tower is the Eiffel Tower.

On the right you will see an image of a lattice cell tower with four wireless tenants on the tower. Lattice towers can be found between 200 to 400 ft. tall and are typically constructed with a triangular base.

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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).