As we are nearing (entering) summer, the energy crisis in the country has started hitting its highest feasible limits. Already, more than 10 hours in cities and 12 plus hours energy cut in countryside areas has badly damaged business operations. Nature of my blog confines me not to cover details of this energy cut, however I will mainly discuss tower sharing concept, and how it can reduce worst financial impacts that energy outage is leaving on telecom and IT like any other business domain.
There is no doubt that operating expenses of telecom companies have increased with this long energy outage schedules. Like so many other telecom analysts, Babar Bhatti has also raised his voice over the crucial moment that our Telecom sector is going through, due to various reasons, mainly the low ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) and increasingly saturation stage in telecom.
With increasing tournament, decaying service prices, investment pressure for 3G rollout, emergence of brand-new players and growing operational expenses, energy shortage in the country has fanned the fire in shaking telecom investors. an immediate and effective re-evaluation of business strategy should be carried out in order to lessen the effects of this dilemma.
With considerable geographic spread and a populous countryside track, telecom companies are working vigorously to diversify their network come to far flung areas of the country. The current business scenario, where the rise in cost of primary and uninterrupted energy supply has amplified enormously telecom companies must tie their hands together to share their infrastructure to minimize the expenses.
energy outage causes additional labor cost to telecom companies, who replace and supervise alternate energy for telecom tool. There are also reports from various parts of the country regarding the network downtime as well; ultimately affecting the revenues.
Estimates, suggest that there are more than twenty thousand telecom towers in he country that worth millions of dollars. marketplace study predicts that at least twenty percent telecom towers are erected with no opponent’s presence. These 20 percent of twenty thousand towers can be shared amongst the cellular operators.
Telecom infrastructure sharing can not only shave the fat off an operator’s capex but also opex costs as well, can be vital in coming days. All operators’ under the umbrella of government must unite to earn the benefits of network sharing.
Government (Pakistan Telecommunication dominance) should peruse into possibilities where telecom companies commence sharing their infrastructure. We have seen in India where government has made it mandatory for telecom operators to share their passive infrastructure such as towers to lower cost of benefaction services, also they have approved for telecom operators to share active tower infrastructure.
In India, operators can share towers, shelters, cooling systems, AC and DC energy supply, diesel generators, breeze conditioning, site leases and other electrical and civil works, electronic elements such as antennas, feeder cables, nodes, radio access network, transmission systems and backhaul.
Cellular operators including Airtel, concept Cellular, Reliance Communication and Aircel are sharing their infrastructure. Vodafone has also announced a sharing agreement with Airtel.
“Guidelines for Lease / Rental / Sale of Infrastructure/ Telecommunication Tower” from PTA allow the telecom service providers to share their towers with competitors’. It says
an infrastructure/ Telecommunication Tower Provider may share the use of tool with another Infrastructure/ Telecommunication Tower Provider for leasing or renting to their respective customer Operators.
However, by just introducing a clause is not enough; effective measures are required from PTA to make it compulsory for telecom operators to share their network infrastructure in an organized manner.
Another come that can be followed is, by setting up a private towering company that may offer towering services for multiple cellular companies. Indus Telecom is one of such instance, which is joint quest of Vodafone Essar, Bharti Infratel Limited and concept Cellular Limited.