Mumbai: GSM mobile operators Vodafone, Bharti and Idea Cellular will jointly set up an independent tower company, Indus Towers, to share passive infrastructure with all telecom players to enable lower cost and a more competitive operating environment .
Bharti and Vodafone will own 42 per cent stake each in the tower company, with Idea will hold the balance 16 per cent. Indus Towers will be an independently managed and operated company.
The mobile phone companies will merge their existing assets, and the new infrastructure company will have 70,000 sites, which will be shared in 16 circles.
In addition to telecom companies, service providers such as broadcasters and broadband service providers would also share the infrastructure, Vodafone said in a statement.
"Indus Towers will enable optimisation of future tower rollout and enhanced operational efficiency leading to operational expenses and capital expenses savings for its customers," it said in the statement.
Customers will benefit from improved network reach and quality, more choice and greater access to mobile services across the country.
Telecom operators in India, the world''s fastest-growing mobile market, added 8.1 million wireless users in October, taking the subscriber base to over 217 million.