Chinese joint venture to gain nearly 1 million towers
A newly created Chinese joint venture telecoms company could gain nearly a million network towers in mainland China.
China Tower Company – a joint venture between China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom – will be formed from assets owned by the three operators that would enable them to book an estimated profit of $24 billion (148 billion yuan).
In July last year, the three operators formed the venture to handle the construction, maintenance and operation of the joint infrastructure network.
"We are taking the view that all ground-based towers of all three operators are to be injected into the tower company at one go," said Anand Ramachandran, lead author and head of Barclays' telecoms, internet and media equity research for Asia, excluding Japan.
"We estimate the number of towers at 999,000 among the three telecommunications network operators as of the end of last year.”
China’s central government has not announced details as to how the asset-injection plan for the venture would be achieved although the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the operators are working on an August 15 deadline regarding “corporate action involving the tower company”, according to Barclays in a research note.