Etisalat and RCOM in tower-share talks

19 Jan 2009

According to the Times of India, Reliance Communications (RCOM) and Etisalat are in discussions that could see the latter gain access to RCOM’s wireless tower infrastructure. Etisalat holds a 45% stake in new mobile licencee Swan Telecom, and it is believed that, subject to an agreement, the new player would use RCOM’s infrastructure, which is managed by RCOM subsidiary Reliance Infratel, to launch operations. It is believed that a revenue sharing model has been mooted as part of the agreement, with revenues from the deal expected to be around INR16 billion (USD329.9 million) annually. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Etisalat paid USD900 million for its stake in the cellco in September 2008. Swan is expected to launch commercial services in the first quarter of 2009.