According to a recent report published by EY and Towers and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA), telecom tower penetration in India in the last decade has reached 83 per cent, second only to China’s 100 per cent, and exhibits revenue potential around Rs 215 billion- Rs 310 billion for infrastructure providers in next three years.

However, to tap on this potential, the tower sector would require an investment of Rs 660 billion – 930 billion in the five year timeframe up to 2023.

Further, the report added, the number of towers have grown over two folds at an annual growth rate of 7.1 per cent to reach 606,300, between 2007-2020.

As per the report, passive elements sharing have brought cost synergies of 35 per cent – 40 per cent towards capital and operating expenditures for operators, whereas, active sharing including spectrum can save upto 63 per cent-78 per cent.

Further, it added that the fibre connectivity exhibits potential as the deployment curve is expected to increase 1.9x and touch 2.8 million cable kilometers in 2023. Small cells is another exciting opportunity, with outdoor small deployment slated to reach 250,000 by 2023. EY forecasts that 68.4 per cent of telecom towers in India will be fiberised by 2023 as against 42.6 per cent in 2020.

Meanwhile, the report said that India is expected to have 197 million 5G mobile connections in the next five years, up from 2 million in 2021. Though the increase in 5G connections during the period is expected to be lower than the rise of 4G connections between 2015 and 2019.