Downtime-proof Indian Telecom Industry scenario is changing everyday! While every month record number of subscribers are added to mobile operators, Indian mobile users enjoying cheapest tariff over globe – tariff varies from 0.02 – 0.006$, generating very low ARPU for telecom operators. All these tends to mobile operators,existing or future-dated to cut down extra costs as possible, and offer better services to the subscribers. Indian telecom sector is full of potential and flip-the-coin, the market is highly competitive. Each circle is now covered by more than 7 operators.
Mobile operators are backed by network over towers at the present situation network sharing becomes essential for telcos, as it requires for faster network expansion and for reducing roll out cost. Most of old operators have their own tower business – some of which are managed under separate wing; Airtel has Bharti Infratel, Reliance has Reliance Infratel, Tata Teleservices merged its tower arm of Wireless Tata Telecom Infrastructure Ltd (WTTIL) with SREI group’s Quippo Telecom Infrastrucutre (QTIL) to form Tata-Quippo. Quippo already acquired Spice Telecom’s tower business. Tata-Qippo has contract to serve new operators – SSTL, Datacom Solutions, Uninor. Shyam-Sistema(MTS India) has a Roaming agreement with Tata Tele.
Vodafone Essar has its tower arm, Ortus Infratel Holding(Vodafone/Essar 2:1). While Essar group has its own telecom infrastructure wing. Bharti, Vodafone (Ortus Infratel Holding) and Aditya Birla promoted Idea cellular join in a tower venture – Indus Towers, largest in India as per number of towers(>1,00,000). Indus Towers, apart from Airtel,Vodafone and Idea Cellular also serves Sistema Shyam Teleservices, Aircel, Tata Teleservices, Reliance Communications, BSNL. American Tower Corp is another biggy in tower business, it bought Xcel Telecom towers. Gail Telecom, Aster Infrastructure, Tower Vision, KEC International are other names in Tower business.
It’s fact that Indian cities are getting contented with more than 70-90% mobile penetration. So to manage new customers operators are diversed to category B & C circles and stress on rural penetration. While private tower firms dominate on metros and towns, remote areas are matchlessly are covered by Govt.-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited(BSNL). And BSNL understands its potential position in tower business and gearing up towards sharing its infrastructure with existing and new telecom operators. With more than 40,000 towers across the country, BSNL hopes to generate Rs 1,000 crore of revenue within a year from this business. BSNL is ready to lease its towers in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Being a PSU, this decision from BSNL is just excellent. Even BSNL set up a separate infrastructure wing under New Business group that is actively marketing the passive infrastructure sharing to private operators.
BSNL’s aggressive entry into the infrastructure space sets a mark as BSNL’s network over the country, especially the rural and remote areas is unbeatable. Last month, BSNL inked agreements with Aircel and Tata Teleservices for the sharing of towers. And BSNL gets its 3rd client, Datacom Solutions. Videocon backed Datacom Solutions is gearing up its launch process at the end of the year. Earlier Datacom entered into infrastructure agreement with Aircel worth $ 400 million.
So tariff war, customer base war is now cliche. Enter the tower business zone, new opportunity in Indian Telecom !