The rise of the operator-led towerco
Which are the leading carve-out, operator controlled towercos, and will they be monetised?
67% of the world’s 4.04mn cell sites are now owned and operated by specialist towercos and infracos rather than MNOs, but half the world’s cell sites are owned by towercos and infracos that are themselves majority-owned by MNOs. While that statistic is somewhat distorted by the huge operator-led towercos of China (China Tower Company) and India (Indus Towers, Bharti Infratel), the last couple of years in the tower industry have been characterised by an increasing global predilection by MNOs to carve out and retain control of their towercos.
The drivers behind the carve-out of operator-led towercos
While the efficient consolidation of parallel infrastructure, co-building and the acceleration of rollouts incentivise infrastructure sharing, the main driver for MNOs to carve out towercos is more strategic than operational.