Indian mobile operator Datacom Solutions has signed a tower-sharing agreement with local peer Aircel, in a deal valued at about $400 million, the companies said.
The deal would help Datacom, which is yet to start operations, faster roll out of services across the country, while Aircel gets a new tenant for its towers, adding to its income and lowering cost and increasing valuations of the tower assets.
New telecom companies starting operations in India, the world’s fastest-growing mobile phone market, are looking to save on costs by sourcing infrastructure including mobile masts from existing telecom firms and independent tower companies.
Datacom, a unit of India’s Videocon group, will gain access to a minimum of 5,000 mobile masts of Aircel over a span of 16 months, the companies said in a statement.
Aircel, which is 74% owned by Malaysia’s Maxis, is looking to sell part or all of its tower assets and two banking. Sources told Reuters last month that it had shortlisted four firms including American Tower and Bharti Infratel to conduct due diligence of the assets.