State owned telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) awaits a green signal from the Narendra Modi government to implement its plans to hive off its tower assets into a new company. This move will facilitate leasing out infrastructure to private firms and aims at generating around Rs 1,600 crore in revenue.
Almost an year ago, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had sent a proposal to a group of ministers to hive off more than 61,600 telecom towers owned by BSNL. This revival plan was first made by a committee headed by the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s advisor Mr. Sam Pitroda in 2010.
BSNL had then hired KPMG to examine the commercial viability of the proposal which was later considered by the BSNL board in August.
Once implemented, BSNL’s tower business will be the second largest in the country after Indus Towers Ltd, which is jointly owned by Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone India Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd, according to the note.