Cell Tower Appraisal

Definition

Cell Tower Appraisal or Cell Tower Lease Valuation – Cell towers and mobile data services are a fast-growing business in Latin America as demand for cellular services is growing rapidly. Operators need to satisfy their growing customer base by adding more coverage via cell phone towers. These towers effectively transmit voice or data to cellular phones in the reception area and the mobile devices located within that area.

The increasing customer demand can be attributed to:

– New coverage areas (new residential and commercial construction)

– Additional data requirements needed for new technology

– New operators entering markets that need to expand their coverage

– New 5g technology

Cell phone towers must be placed throughout cities and in rural areas to provide proper coverage for customers. Cell sites include rooftops of medium-rise and high-rise buildings and constructed from the ground. These areas are leased by the companies who own the cellular towers via long-term leases of the rooftop or ground leases. LOGAN has a regional team that has participated in the valuation of portfolios of cell phone towers in Latin America including Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Costa Rica. This includes BTS projects, ground leased projects and building and land-based cell phone towers.

Types

Fuel Type

– Traditional.

– Renewable.

Type of Tower

– Lattice Tower.

– Guyed Tower.

– Monopole Tower.

– Stealth Tower.

Installation

– Ground based.

– Building mounted.

Ownership

– Operator-owned.

– Joint Venture.

– Private-owned.

– MNO Captive.

Approaches, Relevance

Cost – usually this is not a useful approach unless the project is a build to suit asset. Most cell phone towers are leases – either a ground lease or space leased on the roof of a building.

Sales comp or market approach – cell phone sites do trade from time to time -but they differ greatly depending on the range and traffic of a tie.

Income capitalization – a useful method of calculating value because the method takes into account the income produced by a cellular site.

DCF – the cash flow method is often the most effective valuation method because it considers the income from a lease, and also can be adjusted to account for changes in income or costs in the future.

Value Impacting Factors

Range – the height, power, frequency, directional characteristics of the antenna array, and the signal limiting array.

Traffic – users of the cell phone tower within a given area. Cities are denser and have more traffic than rural cell phone towers.

Important Inputs

Rent, rental growth – lease contracts are usually adjusted based upon increments in inflation.

Rent as % of sales – sometimes rent is adjusted based on how much use the tower receives – or income it produces. This method may be used when it is unknown how much an operator will pay to use the cell phone site.

Exit cap rate – could the lease be sold in the future – or will technology make the lease undesirable or not needed?

Recent Trends

5g – new technology – there is currently new technology which is being deployed that requires additional cell sites. 5g will allow for broader bandwidth, and faster download speeds.

Camouflage – cell phone towers are increasingly designed as trees, cactuses, or urban features such as chimneys or building panels. This lessens community opposition to towers as they are not as visually distinguishable.

Miniaturization – transmitters are becoming smaller, which may make them easier to deploy in urban areas.

Health impacts – there are some worries that cell phone towers can affect health

Entregable

Narrative Appraisal Report:

1. Value considerations – summary

2. Purpose, scope, limitations

3. Land or site

4. Improvement description

5. Scope

6. HBU

7. Approaches to value

8. Reconciliation

9. Certification

Mercados

Colombia

Bogota

Medellin

Cali

México

CDMX

DF, Santa Fe

Nuevo Leon, Monterrey

Perú

Lima, Miraflores

Lima, San Isidro

Lima, Santa Cruz

Centroamérica

San Jose, Escazu

Ciudad de Panama

Guatemala

Propietarios y Desarrolladores