BSNL to lease tower infrastructure to private operators

5 Dec 2011

State-owned Indian telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is to lease out spare capacity on its tower network to private operators with a view to unlocking the value of the infrastructure, India’s Economic Times reports. The operator is already understood to have shared 1,072 of its towers with private cellcos, and the move is thought, in part, to have decided on with a view to help improve BSNL’s troubled financial situation; as noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in August 2010 the telco registered its first ever yearly net loss in the ten years since it was created, with the PSO posting a net loss of INR18.23 billion (USD400 million) for the twelve months ended 31 March 2010. Commenting on the decision to open up the towers to other operators, Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora said: ‘BSNL has about 60,000 towers across the country. BSNL management has decided to lease out spare capacity of its towers to other private players on commercial terms and conditions to generate incremental revenue.’