Cellcos may face price squeeze for mast land

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
Mobile operators often face challenges negotiating with local municipalities to deploy mobile masts and towers, including sometimes illegal collusion to drive up the price of land leasing, research shows.
 
An investigative report from Strand Consult details documented instances of municipalities illegally forming de-facto cartels to charge mobile operators more than 400% over market rent for land on which a telecom mast is located.
 
Mobile operators also face some more mundane hurdles to getting government permission to expand their networks, including bureaucratic red tape.
 
The report concentrates on mobile masts in Denmark, and has been made available internationally for the first time. But Strand Consult said the findings are indicative of the situation many operators around the world are facing right now.
 
Since the report was published in Denmark, the Danish competition authority has started legal proceedings against 15 of Denmark's 98 municipalities for being part of such a price cartel.
 
The telecom regulatory authority has also implemented a plan to improve the transparency of the process of applying for and erecting new mobile masts, and a number of municipalities have significantly cut location rental fees.
 
According to Strand Consult, the Danish experience shows that complaints about poor mobile coverage routinely ignore the role that factors outside of operators' control – including local government influence – can have on operators' ability to roll out networks.

Commentary

5G and data center-friendly network architectures

Matt Walker / MTN Consulting

Webscale and transmission network operators' interests are aligning as the 5G era dawns

Matt Walker / MTN Consulting

Webscale and transmission network operators' interests are aligning as the 5G era dawns

Rémy Pascal / Analysys Mason

The launch of 5G by South Korean operators serves as a first benchmark for other operators around the world