Radio mast rent market is maturing
RADIO mast rents from non-telecommunication users, such as the aviation authorities and emergency services, have reached a par with the likes of Vodaphone, Orange and Cellnet.
According to the latest survey from land agent Strutt and Parker, the market for communication masts has matured, with many users now reaching their coverage targets.
"We may see some of the more remote sites decommissioned," suggests the companys Leo Hickish. "There is, however, still remarkably poor coverage in large areas of the country, where demand for new sites is still strong.
"But planning has become a major hurdle. Larger masts are frequently the subject of stiff local opposition, so operators are tending to use smaller installations or moving towards site sharing."
Best returns are being made by landlords who have reserved the right to allow third parties on to a site. These are achieving an average £5474/year, according to the survey of over 300 sites. This compares with an overall average of £3402 for existing agreements and £3875 for new ones.
"Non-telecommunication rents have continued to climb rapidly, rising to an average of £2747," says Mr Hickish. But this figure is dragged down by the inclusion of many old agreements which have been linked to inflation for years and, in some cases, are as low as £300 a year.
"Where reviewed on the open market the picture is very different. Here the average is £3518, higher than the overall average for telecommunication rents."