4G drives the restructuring of the Indian tower industry
TowerXchange examines the impact of the rollout on tower cash flow and towerco consolidation in India
It is increasingly apparent that the 4G rollout will have a significant effect on the structure of the mature, hitherto stable Indian tower industry. While MNOs committed outlay of Rs66,000 crore (US$9.9bn) in India’s most recent round of spectrum auctions did not precipitate any immediate tower monetisations to raise capital, it seems the cost of rollout, exacerbated by competitive pressures created by Reliance Jio’s innovative tariffs, has prompted several MNOs to reconsider monetising their towers, as well as prompting consolidation among towercos and MNOs.
Phase one of the 4G rollout in India has, to date, consisted primarily of loading 4G onto MNOs’ existing sites.