In a bid to reduce debt and investment in GSM/CDMA network up-gradation, Reliance Communications (Rcom), India's single largest Dual Technology Mobile Service orator hived off its mobile tower business to GTL Infrastructure for Rs 50000 crore ($11 billion).
After the above deal to GTL infra becomes world's largest telecom infrastructure company not controlled by a telecom operator.
The boards of the Reliance communication and and GTL Infrastructure (GTL Infra), have approved the transaction. The deal will be implemented through a demerger of Reliance Infratel’s tower assets into GTL Infra.
At present RCom owns 95% of R-Infra, only tower business of R-Infra will be merged with GTL, RCom will retain its optic fibre network and related assets. Reliance Infratel has 50,000 towers and GTL now has 30,000 towers – following the merger the merged entity will will have 80,000 telecom towers, 1.25 lakh tenancies from 10 telecom operators. RCom will be the largest tenant.The other tenants include Aircel, Etisalat DB Telecom, MTS, Uninor Telecom, Videocon Mobile, Tata Teleservices, Vodafone and S Tel. GTL has plan to add 20,000 towers more.
GTL Infrastructure, established in 2004 and part of Global group, is the pioneer in Shared Telecom Infrastructure in India. GTL Infrastructure offers ready to use passive infrastructure to wireless telecom operators.
GTL Infra is in the midst of rolling out a Pan India network of 23,700 towers by 2010/11, and is offering the infrastructure to the leading service providers in India. It is a publicly listed company, and has emerged as the largest independent tower company in India.