Bharti + Idea + Vodafone announce birth of Indus Towers

Idea Cellular has informed us that Bharti Infratel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone India have agreed to form a independent tower company, Indus Towers, to provide passive infrastructure services in India to all operators on a non-discriminatory basis. This follows the infrastructure sharing MoU signed between Bharti and Vodafone in February 2007. Complete analysis on why the GSM Lobby formed this association is available on Convergence India.

The three companies will each merge their existing passive infrastructure assets in 16 telecom circles in India. Bharti and Vodafone Essar will own approximately 42% each and the Idea will own the remaining 16% stake in Indus Towers. New passive infrastructure rollouts in the 16 circles will be undertaken by Indus Towers.

This transaction highlights Bharti, Idea and Vodafone Essar’s commitment to enhancing the sharing of passive infrastructure and takes a firm step towards delivering on the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) recommendations on infrastructure sharing. The primary benefit will be the accelerated expansion of coverage, especially into rural areas, and enables wider access to affordable services for all, helping to meet the Government’s teledensity targets. Indus towers welcomes all operators to become customers. While these operators will continue to, run their active infrastructure completely independently, they will be able to enjoy opex savings, enhanced operational efficiency and quicker expansion of coverage.

Indus Towers will be an independently managed and operated Company, offering services to all telecom operators and other wireless services providers such as broadcasters and broadband services providers.