& cplSiteName &

China Operators Mull Tower Spin-off

Robert Clark
News Analysis
Robert Clark
5/1/2014
50%
50%

In a surprise move, China's network operators are considering spinning off their mobile towers into a jointly owned tower company.

The plan, rumors of which surfaced earlier this week, was confirmed by the industry regulator MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology) on its website Wednesday.

The MIIT statement said the three telcos were studying the joint creation of a dedicated firm that would coordinate tower facilities construction "and further improve the level of joint construction and sharing of telecom infrastructure."

The move comes as the three network operators -- China Mobile Ltd., China Telecom Corp. Ltd., and China Unicom Ltd. -- continue with their extensive investments in 4G radio access equipment, and the transport systems needed to support a major ramp in data services, across the country. (See China Mobile Dishes Out 100G Deals, China Unicom Calls 4G Tender, China Issues 4G TDD Licences, and China Holds Key to LTE TDD.)

Tower-sharing is widely used in other Asian emerging markets as a way of sharing the cost of large-scale rollouts, but would be a major departure for China's traditional, state-controlled industry structure, which permits only three operators to build and manage infrastructure to serve the country's 1.1 billion mobile users.

Direct government control of the sector will not change, but as part of the wider government effort to spark economic growth, the MIIT has licensed a dozen MVNO players to provide service -- the first privately held telcos allowed into the market. (See Year of the Horse: Can China Telecoms Break Into a Gallop?)

— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/1/2014 | 11:34:52 PM
Not surprising at all
Given China Mobile alone has 500,000 cell towers that it should upgrading to LTE, it makes India has long been operating on the same model. The Tower Cos operate parallel to the Telcos.
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders talks with VMware's Shekar Ayyar, who explains why cloud architectures are becoming more distributed, what that means for workloads, and why telcos can still be significant cloud services players.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
I'm Back for the Future of Communications
Phil Harvey, US News Editor, 4/20/2018
BDAC Blowback – Ex-Chair Arrested
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/17/2018
Verizon: Lack of Interoperability, Consistency Slows Automation
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/18/2018
AT&T Exec Dishes That He's Not So Hot on Rival-Partner Comcast
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/19/2018
Facebook Hearings Were the TIP of the Data Iceberg
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/20/2018
Animals with Phones
I Heard There Was a Dresscode... Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed