State-run telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, (BSNL) yesterday said that it has signed a deal to lease its network towers to mobile operator Datacom Solutions.
Details of the deal with Datacom, which is yet to start operations in India, were not disclosed.
This is the third such infrastructure sharing deal BSNL has entered into since September, when it signed similar agreements with with Aircel and Tata Docomo.
BSNL, signed a 10-year pact with Aircel, India's seventh-ranked mobile operator, to lease its 45,000 mobile towers across the country, shortly after Tata Teleservices, the sixth-ranked mobile firm, in which Japan's NTT DoCoMo owns a 26-per cent stake, became the first firm to sign a 15-year tower-lease pact with BSNL last month.
In a drive to save costs, telecom companies in India are increasingly sourcing infrastructure including mobile masts from peers and independent tower companies as they move into semi-urban and rural are areas of the fastest growing mobile phone market in the world.
BSNL is also seeking to establish a footprint in the African continent and is actively pursuing an entry in Ethiopia. The company has expressed interest in running the networks and operations of Ethiopian Telecommunications.