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Cellular Operators Share Thier Towers

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Leaving behind their rivalry, the GSM and CDMA based mobile operators today operationalised the initiative to share infrastructure, a move that would reduce cost and ultimately tariffs for the consumers.

As part of that process, four sites were selected where the infrastructure would be shared -- Delhi High Court, Rajokri, Dhansa and Noida (sector 125).

Cellular and CDMA operators like Airtel, Hutch, Idea, MTNL, Reliance, Tata will be sharing the towers at these places.

The operators are sharing the infrastructure under the project Mobile Operators' Shared Towers (MOST).

T V Ramachandran, DG, COAI said 1800 more cell sites were targeted for sharing by 2007.

Unveiling three locations at which towers are being shared, Minister for IT and Communications Dayanidhi Maran said the shared site would enable the operators to roll out their networks into the more populated semi urban and rural areas besides lowering the cost.

"With India providing the lowest mobile tariffs in the world, we need to look at the possible solutions to improve our cost efficiencies and offer affordable services to consumers. These shared towers are first step towards achieving our aim", Maran said adding that with this the security issues of the consumers will be addressed easily.

The minister also asked TRAI to look into the possibility of a new policy, which would make it mandatory for the operators to share towers.

"The shared infrastructure for mobile will shortly be launched in the rural areas and about 8000-10,000 towers are likely to be set up in such areas", he said.

The mobile subscriber base is estimated to reach 200 million by 2007 and 500 million by 2010, which would require about 1.4 lakh towers by 2007 and 3.5 lakh towers by 2010, Ramachandran said.

For sustaining the growth momentum in subscriber base, about Rs 25,000 crore investment by 2007 is needed for setting up the required number of towers.

Currently about 70,000 towers are being used to provide services to 100 million subscribers.

"Subscriber base is growing rapidly with five million additions per month. To manage this growth, we need to increase the number of towers proportionately", he said.

He said infrastructure sharing helps in improving quality of service through better coverage besides reducing costs for infrastructure development.

It also helps in utilizing our scarce national resources in an optimal manner, he said


Wise Old Owl
It's old news man. Everyone knows it. It lowers cost considerably for all of them if they
share the towers, rather than each operator having his own tower. It's smart biz
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