Cable TV

Essar to build telecom site infrastructure for sharing with operators

MUMBAI: Essar Group has floated a new company, Telecom Tower and Infrastructure Pvt Ltd (TTIPL), to build telecom site infrastructure and share it with various telecom operators. This will push down the cost for telecom infrastructure.

The company has already built 150 sites for Hutchison Essar in the BPL Communications' circles of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Kerala. "We plan to have 500 sites by May. We have also responded to a tender floated by Tata Teleservices for building base towers," says Essar Teleholdings president Ajay Madan.

Hutchison Essar is a joint venture company with Hutchison Whampoa and is one of India's largest telecom companies with a national presence and a subscriber base close to 14 million.

Essar is hunting for a CEO to head TTIPL, says Madan. The company was incorporated recently and aims to help reduce costs for telecom operators by focusing on sharing the same infrastructure with multiple players.

TTIPL will acquire, design and construct the Base Transceiver Station (BTS) site and provide the tower allied facilities including civil, electrical and other requirements. Provision of stable power and air conditioning for housing the equipment will also be undertaken by the company, says Madan.

Cellular operators will have the advantage of not locking up their funds in building civil and electrical infrastructure. Since TTIPL will focus on site acquisition and maintenance on a massive scale, it will have built in operational efficiencies which it will be able to transfer to the cellular operators, says Madan. No license fee is payable by the operator for this method of infrastructure sharing.

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