Tata Teleservices Ltd, India's sixth-biggest mobile services company, has entered into an agreement to share the mobile towers of state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd across the country for 15 years.
Under the terms of the agreement – the first between a private telecom operator and a state-run company - TTSL and its separate arm TTSL (Maharashtra) will have access to thousands of BSNL towers. So far mainly a CDMA operator, TTSL said this agreement would help it to expand its GSM services.
''This agreement has the potential to not just speed up our network expansion and roll-out process, but would also have a substantial impact in terms of reduced costs,'' A G Rao, chief technology officer, TTSL, said in New Delhi on Wednesday. He added that Tata Teleservices said it is expanding its GSM-based services in all of India's 22 telecom zones.
The company did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement; nor did it quantify the cost savings it expects from the arrangement, as it is in the process of working out how many of BSNL's towers it will use.
This is the third major tower-sharing deal in India in recent months. Earlier this year, Tata-Quippo signed an infrastructure sharing deal with Unitech Wireless, while Reliance Communications has a similar arrangement with UAE's Etisalat DB.
Japan's NTT DoCoMo owns a 26 per cent stake in Tata Teleservices.