BSNL to hive off tower infra to a new company

State owned telecom company, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited is planning to hive off its telecom tower infrastructure into a separate company, reports PTI. A tender will be floated this week to appoint consultants. 11

The company’s profits have been in a downward spiral since 2004-05 and in 2009-10 it dipped into red, clocking a loss of Rs 1822 cr ($.33 bn) for the year on a topline of Rs 32,045 cr ($ 8.5 bn).

The company’s Managing Director R K Upadhyay told PTI:

We are exploring opportunity to bring our tower business under separate company for optimum utilisation. In this regard, BSNL will issue expression of interest this week to appoint consultant that will suggest us the roadmap

BSNL’s declining market share and profits are mostly attributed to intense competition from private players in the country. Operators like Airtel have been aggressively acquiring customers.
BSNL owns nearly 70,000 towers and licensing the infrastructure to other operators is likely to bring in revenues at little additional costs, helping the company prop up its sagging bottom-line.

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