After three months of bidding, the Federal Communications Commission’s sale of wireless licenses has fetched more than $69.8 billion. By comparison, in 2015 by an earlier sale of midrange cellular licenses hit $44.9 billion.
These cellular companies are now investing billions of dollars in the next wave of fifth-generation coverage, which should speed the flow of data to phones and other wireless devices. NAI Global Wireless says the bids “have blown past Wall Street’s highest forecasts, suggesting that several companies are fighting over the most valuable wireless rights.”
For commercial real estate owners, this frenzy for 5G rights is an opportunity as commercial properties are a natural venue for the placement of towers and other forms of communication infrastructure.
Large, bulky objects can be placed on rooftops, in alleys and behind buildings, so they are not as visible or accessible to the general public. Small cells and other stealthy objects can be placed in parking lots and high-traffic areas. Tower companies often recognize the value of putting infrastructure in commercial locations and may offer significant compensation to owners whose properties can support it.
One company positioning itself for growth in such transactions is NAI Global Wireless, launched by NAI Global President and CEO Jay Olshonsky to exclusively represent property owners and landlords to market their land to cell tower operators and mobile device carriers. The venture will be headed by David Moore and Amber Brandhagen.
NAI Global Wireless provides services including new lease agreements, cell site buyout, site valuation, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and implementing 5G Technology.
“The telecommunications industry is on fire and the major carriers have issued dozens of RFPs to various providers for national and regional pricing related to installations, upgrades and conversions of existing cell sites nationwide for 5G upgrades, which means carriers are expected to designate approximately $6 billion in capital improvement projects in 2021 and 2022, with the third and fourth quarters of 2021 to be the most robust construction period for 5G conversion nationwide,” said Moore.