Mark Walters, director of the telecoms consultancy team at national property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), said thousands of landlords had already seen their telecoms income plummet following the consolidation of Orange and T-Mobile into Everything Everywhere (EE) and Telefonica and Vodafone sharing network infrastructure.
Now, with the announcement by the owner of 3, Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, that it is in exclusive talks with O2 owner Telefonica to acquire the network for £10.25 billion, Mark warned that it could have a significant impact on revenue potential if it goes ahead.
“There are over 50,000 masts across the country, on land and on buildings, and they can bring in a much-needed income stream, but if this huge merger happens landlords could lose out,” he said.
“It is incumbent on landlords to get professional advice and check their lease agreements so that they are not at the mercy of operators that want to shut down masts for what are essentially economic and not operational reasons.”
Mark, who is based in the Bristol office of LSH, said landlords should also get advice if operators want to introduce site-sharing agreements as a result of any merger.
“While smaller, single antenna masts can achieve a few thousands of pounds in income, larger shared masts can generate over £100,000 per annum, so it’s vital that they are prepared for any changes. Whether a landlord has one mast or a portfolio of sites, it is essential to be prepared now.”
LSH’s telecoms consultancy team is the retained telecoms specialist for a wide range of the UK’s leading private and public sector landlords including the BBC, Nationwide Building Society and Severn Trent Water, as well as police authorities and county councils across the country.
Mark Walters can be contacted on 0117 926 6666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org