Indus Towers continues to show robust growth in the segment and maintain its standing in the overall telecom infra and equipment companies.
With over 123,000 towers operating in 15 telecom circles, 3 out of 5 calls in India are carried over a tower of the company. This is because of its strong operational performance achieving an average uptime of 99.98%, which is very hard to achieve in a country like India where energy supply is inconsistent and unreliable.
Indus Towers also enjoys the highest rate of tenancy in the industry at 2.35x compared to industry average of 1.9x.
The biggest activity for the company remained its merger talks with Bharti Infratel, which got approved in April 2018. With this merger the new entity is a $15 billion company, among the largest in the world and will have over 163,000 towers across the country. Bharti Infratel will have now 84% stake in the company after Vodafone sold its 42% stake to Bharti Infratel. The merged entity would be named as Indus Towers Limited.
However, on the business side, the merged entity will have the traffic of Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, which will be over 65% of the total user base in India.
The company continued its focus on converting diesel based off-grid sites to green and alternative fuel run sites. In the fiscal 2017-18, Indus towers invested over Rs 300 crore in moving on to greener alternatives helping in reducing the pollution and carbon footprint contributions.
The company also signed an agreement with IOCL to set up towers across 26,000 outlets of the oil company to boost the mobile coverage in and around the oil filling stations. This will also help the petroleum company to support digital payments in an efficient manner. Indus Towers would deploy NextGen tower designs including camouflaged palm trees, ground-based mast, roof-top tower and poles across these IOCL retail outlets.
The company also deployed GPRS tracking and management solution across its mobile tower sites in Karnataka after it was witnessing theft of telecom equipment at sites across the state. Because of this solution, the company was able to track the theft in one of the cases in Jigani, Karnataka, where the thefts attempted to sell off the batteries to scrap dealers. However, due to tracking installed, Indus was able to track the location and seek help from law enforcing agencies. This is a classic example of implementation of M2M or IoT for asset tracking and management in telecom.