India's BSNL plans to outsource its tower management operations - and auction spare capacity on its fiber network - as part of its ongoing turnaround drive.
The state-owned operator plans to invite bids for an initial three-year deal to manage its 60,000 telecom towers, Wall Street Journalreported.
While BSNL did not give an estimate of potential cost savings, operating the towers contributes to the company's second largest expense after labor costs.
BSNL also plans to raise at least $134 million by auctioning the capacity it has calculated will be spare after meeting its anticipated bandwidth needs for the next five years. BSNL's fiber network is the largest in the country, and one of the largest in the world.
According to the Business Standard, the operator is likely to auction spare capacity at both the backhaul and the end-user level.
BSNL has been taking measures aimed at reducing its losses – the company reported a 60 billion rupee ($1.16 billion) loss for the most recent full financial year - and addressing its mounting debt.
This debt was accrued in part due to the high prices the company was made to pay in 2010's 3G and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum auctions.
The government last year accepted BSNL's proposal to return the majority of the BWA spectrum it had acquired, likely in exchange for a refund.