Vodafone - Hutchison 3 Merger / HOME

Vodafone - Hutchison 3 Merger

Impact on Vodafone and Hutchison 3GIS (now VHA) Mobile Tower Leases

There have been a number of inquiries from landlords who are curious about the fate of their Vodafone or Hutchison 3 (3GIS) tower or mobile site as a result of the Vodafone/Hutchison merger, now called Vodafone Hutchison Australia or VHA. And from our vantage point, they should be curious and perhaps more than a bit worried. Vodafone and Hutchison 3 (3GIS) both operate their networks on a 2100 MHz (for the most part) based 3G technology and have announced plans to upgrade using LTE for their future network. Unlike the former Telstra and 3GIS Joint Venture (3GIS), their networks are very compatible. With the Vodafone/Hutchison (VHA) merger, there is definitely a strong reason to suspect that they will terminate a good number of mobile sites/towers (rumoured at up to 2000) in their combined Vodafone/Hutchison (VHA) network, which is the obvious reason for the merger, to share infrastructure.

What is unknown at this time is whether Vodafone/Hutchison (VHA) intends to contact landowners ahead of time on duplicative towers and attempt to negotiate the lease rates down between two competing structures. Here at siteXcell we aren't sure that VHA intends to play off commercial terms between duplicative sites. First off with this scenario- be careful about tactics that try to convince owners to leave the carrier's infrastructure (or parts of it) in place. The "sales pitch" that we have seen in the past is that leaving the remains of the installation makes the mobile site more attractive to another carrier. This is simply untrue. Secondly, this scenario also means that landowners might not have the opportunity to negotiate prior to decisions being made about their mobile site or mobile tower lease prior and whether it will be terminated as part of the Vodafone/Hutchison (VHA) merger. Whatever you do, make sure you understand what rights you have under the lease.

If you are considering whether your Vodafone mobile site lease or Hutchison 3 mobile site lease is at risk, we can certainly help. We can review the location of the proximate Vodafone and Hutchison 3 towers and give you an assessment of whether we believe your lease is at risk. While you may not be able to negotiate with Vodafone/Hutchison (VHA) to save the lease, you might have other options available to you to realise value from your site. Please contact us for a free quote on the cost and assistance in evaluating the risk of termination for your Vodafone/Hutchison (VHA) mobile site lease.