State-owned Indian telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is understood to be searching for a private telecom infrastructure company to manage its tower and optical fibre cable network across the country, the Hindu Business Line reports. Under the telcos plan it is believed that any potential partner would be asked to manage, operate and maintain BSNL’s equipment nationwide, while it would also be permitted to rent out additional capacity to other operators. With around 70,000 mobile towers and around 625,000km of fibre-optic cable in India, BSNL is thought to view the plan as a means of bringing down the cost of owning and operating such infrastructure. Commenting on the development, R.K. Upadhyay, BSNL’s chairman and managing director, noted: ‘Our new business unit is finalising the plan. We hope to float the request for proposal in one month’s time. This is one of the new revenue streams for BSNL going forward.’ BSNL officials have reportedly suggested that companies such as Viom Networks, GTL and American Tower Company could bid for the project.
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