BSNL to hive off tower infrastructure into new firm in nine months

The mobile tower infrastructure of the state-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) will be hived off into a separate subsidiary in nine-months, Union Cabinet Minister for Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Wednesday.

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“The establishment of a new subsidiary tower company and the transfer of all tower-related assets and liabilities of BSNL is targeted to be completed in nine-months,” Prasad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

The Cabinet, in its meeting held on August 5, 2015, had approved the proposal for hiving off telecom tower structure of BSNL into a separate subsidiary company, which will be fully-owned by BSNL.

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The establishment of a separate company for holding and managing the tower infrastructure assets of BSNL will enable the new company to unlock the true potential of the tower business and leverage it for expansion of investment and spread of infrastructure, the telecom minister said.

“No such proposal is under consideration at present for Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL),” Prasad said.

In case of BSNL, tower assets are included in the figures of ‘Aerial and Masts’, for which the net book value is Rs 2,206 crore and in case of MTNL, the tower assets are included in the figures of ‘Apparatus and Plant’, for which the net book value is Rs 2,825 crore as on March 31, 2015, Prasad added.