Telecom industry has an impact on every part of our lives. India has the second – largest telecom network in the world. Rapid change in technology, penetration and policy has led to Nation’s growth and economic transformation thus making telecommunication an extremely essential tool for socio-economic development. As per reports generated by some of the industry associations, the Tele- density grew from 18.23% in FY16 to 87.37% in FY20. India also has the second highest number of internet subscribers globally with quarterly growth of 3.66% adding new subscribers from 749.07 million in June 2020 to 776.45 million in September 2020. The total subscriber base in the country stood at 1,171.80 million, as of October 31, 2020 including rural and urban India. India is also one of the biggest consumers of data worldwide.

“The new measure of success would probably be site-level- profitability. It’s vital to have an ability to manage costs and quality”

Industry Transformation

An increase in the subscriber base has necessitated network expansion covering a wider area, followed by need for significant investment in telecom infrastructure. Telecom companies have been segregating their tower assets into separate companies, in order to curb cost and focus on core operations. Creating separate tower companies has helped telecom companies to lower operating cost and improve capital structure. Initially this model worked well for both Telecom companies and Tower Companies as far as it was about expanding footprints. Over a period of time, with the changing dynamics, this transformation impels more responsibility on the tower companies. Increasing operational efficiency by ensuring appropriate utilisation of resources and delivering uninterrupted services is of prime importance. Tower companies need to address issues regarding sustainability, security, data encryption, vandalism, theft, site level profitability etc. With the Increasing opportunity, Independent Tower companies are on the rise focusing on operational excellence and a fervent exploration of new business models. It’s past, when the success of a tower company was measured or considered in terms of the number of operators it had, and this transformation is taking place due to the maturity of market. The growing data traffic is driving the growth of Telecom Industry. The new measure of success would probably be sitelevel- profitability. It’s vital to have an ability to manage costs and quality.

“To stay on top of the changing trends, tower companies need reliable real- time visibility of assets and capacity utilisation.”

Technology driving opportunities, bundled with challenges.

The telecommunication industry is on a platform undergoing a significant development with new trends in technology and cloud. The Internet of things, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and microservices are forcing the telecommunication industry to restructure their operations, realign their strategies, architecture and networks according to the cloud era. The emerging trends such as 5G networks and reliable services created sense of reliance amongst the customers thus laying more responsibility on the industry. To stay on top of the changing trends, tower companies need reliable real- time visibility of assets and capacity utilisation. The Telecom sector stands forth on IoT technology. It helps deliver operational efficacy by facilitating secure infrastructure environment, remote monitoring, asset management etc. Bundles of opportunities for Telecom Infrastructure companies in India are accompanied with loads of challenges that they face day in and out; naming a few like availability of spectrum is significantly low compared to developed nations, low broadband penetration etc. Managing big data possess, a great difficulty in terms of information security.

“Physical Security threat is one of the major contributors to increased operational cost and decreased profit margins.”

Physical Security Threats for Telecom Infrastructure

MNOs insist on maintaining a high level of security measure for networks whereas the emphasis on physical security of assets and tower sites is relatively less. Telecom towers, infrastructure and networks can be found in the most inhospitable and remote domains. Physical Security threat is one of the major contributors to increased operational cost and decreased profit margins. Vandalism and theft lead to interrupted services resulting into tangible and intangible losses. For years there has been issues regarding vandalism and thefts at Telecom Tower sites reporting theft of batteries, fuel, copper cables etc. Such increasing thefts are taking a toll on the cash flows and revenue of Tower companies. A proven digital access management system can create a secure infrastructure with higher asset visibility and operational flexibility helping to minimise downtime, especially during maintenance or in unforeseen emergency situations ensuring improved revenue and operation. With this, tower companies can ensure reliable security across the telecom infrastructure and remotely monitor their site, with controlled access within the restricted areas, ultimately delivering uninterrupted network service and reduced downtimes.