5G FAQs: What Building Owners Need to Know About 5G Rooftop Technology

The fifth generation of wireless technology, known as 5G, is being implemented across the country. 5G will enable the connection of 100 times more devices than 4G. It promises to revolutionize connectivity to support a host of technological advancements across many industries. It also will eliminate the need for data storage on devices, as everything can be saved in real time to the cloud.

Commercial property owners, rental property managers, real estate developers and even homeowners can contract for the installation of 5G transmitters on the roofs of their buildings for an additional source of revenue.

The speed of 5G is much faster than most high-speed internet connections with less lag time or “latency.” This will allow systems to make decisions 200 to 300 times faster than a human could, thus enabling greater speed and precision in manufacturing, the safe operation of driverless cars, the implementation of smart cities and advancements in medical technology.

Wireless carriers and tower construction companies are actively forging relationships with property owners and real estate developers to enable the installation of 5G transmitters and boosters.

Here’s what you need to know about 5G.

Q. How is 5G different from earlier technology?

The 5G signal is of higher frequency and a shorter wavelength than 4G and earlier technology. It transmits over a shorter distance than prior technology and the frequency can be disrupted by buildings, trees and severe weather conditions. Because of these factors, 5G will require the installation of more antennas and boosters at more locations.

Q. What kind of infrastructure is needed to support 5G?

While 4G will continue to exist until 2030 or so, the new 5G infrastructure will be built alongside it. Unlike earlier telecom technology that depends on a single tower to cover a wide-ranging area, 5G will use a network of wireless antennas on rooftops every few blocks and boosters inside buildings.

Q. Are towers the only way to contract with telecom carriers?

Telecom carriers also are renting commercial interior space for microcenters that must be placed near consumers to reduce transmission latency. Microcenters are needed in populated areas to support consumer use of 5G. This is a key factor for 5G success, as latency improves with shorter distances between transmission points.

Q. Is 5G harmful to humans? Will my tenants be safe with 5G technology in the building?

There are many misconceptions circulating on the internet about 5G which are unfounded. Current research shows that it is not harmful to the human body. The only impact that 5G may have is that the technology generates heat, much like other energy technologies.

Q. What should I keep in mind if I contract with telecom carriers to install 5G technology in my building?

Find out whether your building may be located in an area that would allow you to take advantage of 5G data technology. There are more than one million cellular sites in the U.S. The best opportunities include rooftops that work well in dense, populated areas where zoning does not permit for towers.

Because wireless technology is changing so rapidly, property owners who lease space to telecom carriers should enter into lease agreements that detail the type and amount of equipment to be installed. If the amount of equipment increases during the lease term, property owners should be able to ask for higher rents. Telecom carriers and construction companies should provide detailed information on equipment as it can weigh as much as 4,000 pounds.

Some companies want to negotiate exclusive leases that prohibit other carriers from installing their equipment on your rooftop, but it may be in your best interest to work with multiple carriers.

Engineered Tax Services works with property owners to directly negotiate leases with various carriers and obtain the best lease rates on your behalf.

Leases generally range from $5,000 to $20,000 each, and terms can extend for five to 20 years.

For more information about how we can help you negotiate 5G leases for WiFi, cell towers, radio and other technology applications on your property’s rooftop, please call Engineered Tax Services at (800) 236-6519.