As 3G usage increases in Indian Cities and coverage holes crop up, there will be higher demand for new 3G sites or alternate Wireless Data Handling Capabilities. One of the drawbacks of scaling 3G Data in India is the limited Spectrum allotted to Operators just 5 MHz in every circle.
In the US, rapidly rising data traffic has indeed opened up a new revenue stream for Tower Cos – which is installation, management and rentals from small cells, which are needed in substantial numbers in cities to handle data traffic.
Data growth needs to be managed increasingly through small cell architecture which needs higher technological grasp where pedigreed companies such as Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and NSN will be competitors. Wi-Fi deployment would be largely undertaken through negotiations between telcos and real estate developers with little upside for tower cos.
Deployment of Small Cells / Wi-Fi Equipment
The ongoing small cell deployments in largely involves direct interactions of telcos with real-estate developers / owners limiting the opportunities for Telecom Infrastructure companies. The role of Infratel companies will be limited to providing very simple maintenance services in towers where different telcos have taken equipment from different vendors, simplifying low level maintenance by having common resources.