The telecom towers business is witnessing a series of mergers and acquisitions. The second-largest telecom player ATC (American Tower Corporation) said it is buying the 20,000-odd telecom towers of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular - expected to merge by next year - for about Rs 7,850 crore.
Earlier, Bharti Infratel made public its plans to acquire a stake in Indus Tower, the leader in the sector with 1.23 lakh towers. Reliance Infratel, the towers arm of embattled Reliance Communications, has been looking for a buyer for a long time. And, there are more deals in the offing as smaller players are looking for an exit. For tower companies, there are long-term benefits of this consolidation. With fewer players, costs can be optimally managed.
So, from the time when each telecom operator had its own towers business, there will a significant amount of shared tower infrastructure in the future. For telecom companies like Idea Cellular, Vodafone India, and Reliance Communications, such deals will help their financial position and help them focus on their core telecom businesses.