Unitech Wireless, the telecom venture of the real estate developer Unitech Ltd, has signed an infrastructure sharing deal with Wireless-TT Infoservices Ltd (WTTIL), the tower arm of Tata Teleservices Ltd and Quippo Telecom Infrastructure Ltd. With the tower sharing agreement, Unitech's deal with Norway's Telenor would be closed very soon now. According to officials, this signing was the key element for the closing.
Unitech is expected to receive Rs 1,250 crore as the first tranche from Telenor this month, which would help the developer to pay Rs 2,000 crore from its outstanding debt. In October, Unitech sold 60% stake in its telecom venture Unitech Wireless for Rs 6,120 crore to Telenor. The developer had said the total investment would come by September 2009 in tranches, as per business plans.
Unitech Wireless will roll out its GSM services by the second half of 2009, and this deal will give the telecom firm access to 40,000 sites. The deal marks an important milestone in the rollout, as it will considerably shorten the time to market for Unitech Wireless.
GSM equipment vendors including Nokia, Ericcson, Huawei and Alcatel Lucent have submitted tenders and orders are expected to be placed within a week. For its IT requirement, Unitech is in talks with IT vendors including TCS, HP, Wipro and Tech Mahindra and same would be announced in two weeks.
Unitech Wireless will lease tower infrastructure across India and will leverage on the existing and future tower and the backbone infrastructure of WTTIL. An agreement for the provision of transmission has been entered into with Tata Teleservices Ltd. Tata Tele sold 49% stake in its tower arm, WTTIL, to Quippo Telecom, a tower company, which will have an inventory of about 22,000 towers by April 2009.