Telecom towers are the integral part of the telecom network infrastructure. In fact they are the most expensive to build and the valuations are heavy. The business has outgrown itself that most of the companies have hived off the tower business as its own entity.
Tower business is making news lately for the explosive growth and exponential investments involved. It requires a lot of investment to survive and the smaller companies are finding it difficult. There has been some consolidation which has happened already.
Indus Towers a joint venture of Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and IDEA is formed.
Indus Towers = Ortus Infratel Holding (Vodafone – 42%) + Bhart Airtel (42%) + IDEA (16%)
American Tower Corp has acquired Xcel Telecom towers for 700 crores.
Quippo Telecom has acquired Spice Telecom’s tower business and Tata Teleservices WITIL is merged into it.
BSNL has planned to lease its towers for better revenuescontact game. Because of the intense competition each tower needs more than 2 tenants to stay profitable. The current rates are a bit low and hence the sharing and consolidation.
Here is the list of 13 telecom tower companies India based on the number of towers :
|Company||Approximate number of towers|
|Quippo Telecom Infrastructure (QTIL)||23000|
|American Tower Corp||4000|
|India Telecom Infra Limited||1000|
|Independent Mobile Infrastructure||400|
As new players come along, the tower business will be intense as it would be difficult for a new player to build its own infrastructure. The independent mobile tower companies will gain a lot. If the established player too share their towers then the new telecom players can roll out their networks quickly and the tower companies can increase their revenues. (source for the table above)