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Background information for land owners and interested parties

In Australia, continued strong growth in the demand for data rich content from the internet, including video, applications and games is placing stress on existing base station systems.

Mobile networks are like roads – when traffic increases, upgrades are needed to relieve congestion and remove roadblocks. This can be achieved by making changes to existing base stations or by adding additional base stations in areas where there may already be existing coverage.

Hosting a telecommunications facility

Hosting a telecommunications facility can be beneficial to a landowner or property stakeholder for a variety of reasons. This can:

  • generate medium to long-term rental income, via a monthly or annual return for the term of the lease.
  • increase land value through increased net operating income: The long-term secure generation of income from the facility will ultimately increase the value of the property when sold to another party. This can also position the landowner in a strong future lease negotiation.
  • provide the local community with an improved service by improving mobile reception and quality.

Lease Structures

Telecommunications companies typically reach agreement on locations with land-owners via medium to long-term leases.

  • Types of typical lease structure:
    • Ground lease: This is a lease agreement between the landowner and the carrier for the ground area that the carrier will be occupying. In most instances 24/7 access is a standard requirement of the lease for the carrier to operate and maintain their facility.
    • Rooftop lease: This lease agreement between the building owner and the carrier applies when the carrier does not own the physical structure on which they will be erecting the antennas. Likewise, 24/7 access is typically a standard requirement of such a lease.
  • Typical lease areas: standard monopole lease areas are generally 12.4m x 8.4m. However, this is highly variable depending on the specific carrier and the amount of space available. Rooftop lease areas can vary dramatically based on the size of the roof, the specified design, radio frequency requirements and the structural integrity of the rooftop.
  • Typical lease terms: the term of a telecommunications lease will be dependent upon the type of structure the carrier is proposing to install. However generally speaking, a standard telecommunications monopole lease will be lengthy, often 20 years. The rental payment is based upon current market rates within the carrier’s rental parameter guidelines.

Information Guides

Electromagnetic environment (EME) guides

ABC podcast by Dr Karl discussing EME:

A video demonstrating EME levels at various distances from a mobile phone tower

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency guide to mobile phone base stations

EME spectrum

An excellent guide to understanding EME/EMF

Australian Communications and Media Authority guide to spectrum

Mobile Carriers Forum Fact Sheets

EME health impact

World Health Organisation – What is EMF?

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) articles regarding 5G:

Typical telecommunications installations

Single turret mount

Three sector roof-top

ODU (Out Door Unit)


Typical Monopole

Typical Lattice Tower

Typical Temporary Site

Typical Guyed Mast

Typical Small Cell

(Optus Small Cells FAQ)

Examples of shrouding blending into the building such as crosses on Churches etc.