Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), the state-run telecom operator in India, has reportedly kicked off the process of selling over 10000 mobile towers. These towers have been pegged at Rs 4,000 crore in value by BSNL. The development comes through an ET report which says that BSNL has appointed KPMG to administer the sale. The tower sale from BSNL is a part of the national monetisation pipeline (MNP) laid out by the central government.
BSNL will only sell the towers which have co-location arrangements with other telecom service providers such as Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio. There are over 68,000 telecom towers under the tower portfolio of BSNL. Over 70% of the towers of BSNL are fiberised and ready for the deployment of 4G networks.
Indus Towers and Data Infrastructure Trust are expected to make the purchases. It is worth noting that Data Infrastructure Trust had earlier acquired over 1,30,000 towers from Reliance Jio in 2019.
BSNL will Have to Sell These Many Towers
By 2025, because of the MNP targets laid out by the central government, BSNL will have to sell a total of 13,567 towers, along with MTNL (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited) selling 1,350 towers in Mumbai and Delhi. In total, both BSNL and MTNL will sell 14,917 towers in a phased manner.
This will be a helpful move for the private telecom companies who are looking to create a denser infrastructure for a successful 5G rollout. The centre will also be able to raise some money by selling the towers. BSNL is also going to launch 4G PAN-India in the next 18 to 24 months, and for that, the state-run telco also needs access to fiberised towers.
For now, BSNL looks in a comfortable position as it has secured a Rs 1.64 lakh crore relief package from the Indian government. The relief package is focused on helping BSNL rollout 4G, restructure debt and more. There's no official date from BSNL yet for launching homegrown 4G in India.