TeleGeography Logo

DoT calls for BSNL to hive off towers

12 Dec 2013

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has requested permission from the Cabinet to spin off the tower assets of state-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) into a separate company, Hindu Business Line writes. The DoT argued that the establishment of a distinct entity to hold and manage the towers would allow the new company to ‘unlock the true potential of the tower business.’ BSNL has a portfolio of 61,622 towers, the second largest in India after Indus Towers – a joint venture of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular – which has around 120,000. The telco opened up its towers for sharing in 2010 but has had little success securing tenants and according to the DoT, BSNL represents just 1% of the market for tower tenancies. The watchdog went on to suggest an explanation for the failure of BSNL’s tower business: ‘There are several reasons for the low market share, which include lack of focussed marketing mechanism for customer acquisition, the perception that BSNL towers have a lower site uptime, pricing of infrastructure being more expensive than prevailing market rate, the perception of conflict of interest between BSNL and non-BSNL tenancies and perception of poor response to tenant complaints.’

GlobalComms Database

Want more? Peruse the GlobalComms Database—the most complete source of intel about mobile, fixed broadband, and fixed voice markets.

TeleGeography

TeleGeography is the definitive source for telecom news, numbers, and analysis. Explore the full research catalog.