The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for hiving off mobile tower assets of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) into a separate company, fully owned by BSNL. This approval authorizes BSNL to monetize its telecom tower infrastructure with the formation of a separate subsidiary company. There are around 4,42,000 mobile towers in the country out of which more than 66,000 mobile tower are of BSNL. An independent, dedicated tower company of BSNL with a focused approach will lead to increasing of external tenancies and consequentially higher revenue for the new company.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) policy allows sharing of passive infrastructure i.e. the tower structure, Diesel Generator sets, battery units, power interface unit, air-conditioning etc., which has facilitated the growth of the telecom infrastructure industry. A tower infrastructure company essentially owns the passive infrastructure asset and leases it to telecom service providers enabling them to minimize duplication of investments and economize on costs of Operation and Maintenance (O&M), thereby improving profitability.