Failing to Rise
3G’s.failure. has.brought. down. the.much. promising. tower. segment.to. its.knees.
The unexpected failure of 3G hit each and every stakeholder of the Indian telecommunications industry, and the telecom tower segment was no exception. Slower than expected offtake of 3G rollouts, and the delay in rolling out the BWA networks, even after a year of paying out the license fees, has forced the tower segment to display a reluctant performance.
3G rollout being limited to the top 40 cities in India and the primary focus being on upgrading and utilizing the existing infrastructure, has pulled the segment down. According to VOICE&DATA estimates, the telecom tower industry added a mere 7,213 towers in fiscal 2011-12 flat growth. The key players in the telecom tower business are Indus Towers, Bharti Infratel, Viom Networks, GTL, American Towers, BSNL, and MTNL.
Maintaining its place at the #1 position is Indus. The company that has three anchor clients Bharti airtel, Vodafone, and Idea Cellular to its credit boasts of 109,114 towers. Indus Towers has coverage in 16 circles and healthy tenancy ratio of 1.94 has a high speed-to-market. With new operators rolling out services, the tower company is on a high-growth trajectory.
The company is also betting big on its green endeavor and testing wind power and gas solutions—be it piped natural gas, LPG solutions, and CNG based solutions. The company is developing biomass solutions for telecom towers. It seems that the company is planning to deploy all these solutions in large numbers in the near future and plans to be the largest green energy deployment in the world for the telecom vertical.