India: American Tower seals Idea-Vodafone tower deal
Vodafone and Idea Cellular agreed to sell their tower portfolios to American Tower for a combined value of around US$1.2bn. Idea’s portfolio include 8,886 sites with a tenancy ratio of 1.7 (or 15,418 tenants) while Vodafone’s comprises 10,926 towers with a tenancy ratio of 1.5 (15,846 tenants). However, following the merger around 6,300 co-located tenancies of the two MNOs will become single tenancies over a two-year timeframe, as noted in a statement published by the two operators. The collapse in tenancies won’t entail any exit penalty. The transaction should be completed within H2 2018.
India: Reliance Communications to shut down voice services in December
Reliance Communications plans to shut down its voice services starting on December 1, 2017 as communicated to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). RCOM won’t shut its 4G mobile data offering as the operator only plans to close down its 2G and 3G networks and to upgrade its CDMA network to LTE.
India: Brookfield – Reliance Communications deal stalls
The deal between the investment firm and the telecom giant for the sale of a 51% stake in Reliance Infratel is not going ahead, according to various Indian news outlets. The fall through of the transaction follows the announcement of the failed merger between Reliance Communication and Aircel.
India: Airtel plans 3G network shutdown by 2021 and transfers fibre unit
Bharti Airtel will close its 3G network by 2021 as it plans to refarm its spectrum in the 2100MHz band for LTE usage. Additionally, Airtel is transferring its fibre-optic unit to its subsidiary Telesonic Network for an approximate value of US$873mn.
India: Vodafone’s CEO on Indus Towers’ stake and Idea’s merger
Vodafone has valued its 42% stake in Indus Towers at US$5bn, as recently reported by Indian news outlet Economic Times. During a recent analyst call, Vittorio Colao, Vodafone’s CEO, reported “quicker-than-expected progress” on the merger with Idea Cellular, which should close by September 2018. Colao added that “competition remains intense” in India but there are signs of positive developments in the Indian market, with consolidation of smaller operators and recent price increases from the new entrant. Jio has raised its prices in October which is good.”
India: Bharti Airtel sells stake in Bharti Infratel
Bharti Airtel sold 83mn shares of Bharti Infratel via Nettle Infrastructure Investments and raised US$510mn. The secondary share sale is being used to reduce the company’s debt. Following the sale, Bharti Airtel and its subsidiaries own 53.51% of Bharti Infratel.
Bangladesh: edotco deploying wind and solar at 500 sites in Bangladesh
Through its “Tower to Power” initiative, edotco Bangladesh distributes excess electricity from its tower sites to the community for free. edotco’s use of renewable energy and green technology has helped to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations by 20%.
China: China Tower Corporation IPO delayed to Q1 2018
Originally hoping for a year-end listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, CTC’s IPO process has stalled. With previous GM Liu Aili reassigned to China Mobile in late September (he subsequently resigned and is now at China Telecom), CTC has yet to officially announce its new leadership.
Malaysia: edotco Malaysia partners with Telekom Malaysia to expand LTE services
Telekom Malaysia (TM) will provide backhaul services for the connectivity between mobile operator’s cell sites and their core network at edotco’s identified ground-based tower sites in selected areas. TM and edotco Malaysia will also explore opportunities to provide common infrastructure via Smart Centralised Radio Access Network (Smart CRAN) Services.