RIL Plans Ultra-Low-Cost Base Stations

Reliance Industries is working on installing low cost telecom towers, which would cost only Rs1lakh, to be used for transmitting signals for telecom service providers. This cost would be 1/40th of the current base station deployment price. 

These ultra low cost towers are part of the private telecom service provider’s plans as it gears up to storm into the telecom space through Infotel Broadband. Reliance said that currently some leading telecom service providers are using towers which cost as much as Rs 30-40 lakhs while low cost towers cost about 15-20 lakhs. However some Chinese companies are developing towers costing about Rs 5-10 lakhs. Cost of towers change as transmission capabilities and volume of orders change. 

A source from Infotel said that the company is planning to develop its network with a mix of its own base tower station (BTS) and rented mobile towers. The company is looking for BTS costing around Rs 1 lakh each.

An spokesperson from Reliance said that the rental for these ultra-low-cost towers varies between Rs 30,000 to 50,000 per month. Use of these low cost towers would prove to be highly cost effective. The company is looking to develop one lakh towers for its own use and to lease out through third parties. Infotel is focusing to gain competitive advantage with these low cost towers and to offer 4G telecom services at lower prices compared to its competitors. 

These services are expected to be launched by the end of 2012 or early 2013. In the initial days the cost of BTS development is expected to be around Rs 50 lakh to 60 lakh. With technology advancement it has come down to about 30 lakh to 40 lakh. Infotel had floated a tender for its plans to deploy towers in one lakh new locations after which the company is looking to rent out some base stations. A rental offered by Infotel varies between Rs 15,000 to 50,000 per month which excludes various on site costs.