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Etisalat DB, Reliance sign infrastructure sharing deal
|23 июля 2009|
India's Etisalat DB Telecom Pvt Ltd. and Reliance Communications Ltd. Wednesday said they have signed an agreement worth more than INR100 billion ($2.2 billion) to share telecom infrastructure in the world's fastest-growing telecom market.
Etisalat DB - which in 2008 received spectrum and licenses to offer telecom services in 15 of India's 22 service areas - will use Reliance Communications' passive and some active infrastructure, a joint statement said.
Unit Reliance Infratel Ltd. runs the telecom infrastructure business for Reliance Communications, India's second-largest mobile services provider by subscriber base. At the end of March, Reliance Infratel had 48,000 telecom towers.
Passive infrastructure refers to towers, repeaters, shelters and generators, while active infrastructure refers to electronic components such as antennas, feeder cables, nodes, radio access network and transmission systems.
News of the deal boosted Reliance Communications shares. But the stock came off its intraday high of INR279 - in line with the broader market - and was trading down 1% at INR265 at 0924 GMT. The benchmark Sensex was also down 1.2%.
Nishna Biyani, an analyst at Mumbai-based brokerage Prabhudas Lilladher, said the deal could cause "Reliance Communications' earnings per share for this fiscal (year ending March 31, 2010) to increase by around 100 basis points."
Biyani expects shares of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group company to rise as much as 20% over the next few days.
Under the terms of the deal, Etisalat will be offered 30,000 locations from which it can transmit radio signals, or cell sites, over a span of two years, Reliance Infratel President Inder Bajaj told Dow Jones Newswires.
"We will start delivering sites in 60-90 days and ramp up over the next 18-24 months," he said.
The deal, and a few others in the pipeline, will help Reliance Infratel double its tower occupancy to 3.2 tenants per tower by the end of this year, Bajaj said.
The company hopes to close more such deals with new operators, or ones expanding into new service areas "shortly," he added.
New telecom service providers in India opt to share passive infrastructure such as telecom towers and outsource non-core activities such as network and technology management, to reduce costs and roll out services faster.
Boost For Reliance Infratel Valuation
The deal would push Reliance Infratel's valuation to INR90-INR95 a share from INR75 now, said a Mumbai-based analyst who didn't wish to be named.
Reliance Communications said it is awaiting better market conditions to launch Infratel's IPO. It is also looking to sell a 5%-10% stake to a strategic investor.
Источник: Total Telecom