Indus Tower currently has over 189,000 towers across India
Indian telecommunications tower company Indus Tower will accelerate investments to expand its infrastructure across the country to take advantage of the rapid rollout of 5G services by local carriers Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm, local newspaper Economic Times reported.
According to the report, the company will postpone the payment of dividends to continue investing in tower infrastructure, because Indus Tower’s management sees the ongoing 5G rollouts by Airtel and Jio as a “now or never” opportunity that could generate cash flows for the next ten years for its tower business.
Indus Tower noted that the mounting of 5G network equipment by local carriers on its existing tower sites will drive around 5-10% growth in monthly average rent per tenant going forward.
“From the capex point of view, we remain committed to growth because this is something that is going to keep the business healthy for a very long time. If you do not make it now, you will probably never make it,” the company’s managing director, Prachur Sah, said in a recent conference call with investors.
Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm have already rolled out 5G services in more than 3,000 and 2,300 cities or towns, respectively. Airtel is targeting to launch 5G services in all urban areas by September 2023, while Jio expects to complete its pan-India rollout by the end of 2023. Meanwhile, Vodafone Idea has not yet announced its 5G rollout timeline.
Earlier this year, Bharti Airtel had increased its direct stake in Indus Towers by acquiring 23.01% of shares held by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Nettle Infrastructure.
Following this transaction, Bharti Airtel holds 47.95% stake in Indus Towers.
The telecom operator earlier directly held a 24.94% stake, plus 23.01% through Nettle Infrastructure.
Indus Towers offers passive infrastructure services to telecom operators and other wireless services providers such as broadband service providers. The company has over 189,000 towers and 339,435 co-locations and a nationwide presence covering all 22 telecom circles