China's telcos to form $1.6b tower JV

telecomasia.net

China's big three operators have cemented plans to establish a tower joint venture, and have committed a combined 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) to fund the project.

The companies announced on Friday that they will jointly establish China Communications Facilities Services Corporation.

China Mobile will own 40% of the joint venture and invest 4 billion yuan in its establishment. China Unicom will invest 3.01 billion for a 30.1% stake, while China Telecom will spend 2.99 billion for a 29.9% share.

The new company will manage the construction, maintenance and operation of telecom towers and supporting facilities for the three operators.

Announcing the plan to investors, China Mobile said establishing the JV will allow its owners to reduce duplication and redundant construction of telecom towers, optimize investment efficiency and cut back on capital expenditure.

In its own statement China Unicom added that the initiative will ease the bottleneck for tower location, promote resource conservation and environmental protection, while also increasing operational efficiency.

The three operators first announced they were negotiating over a potential tower JV in late April. At the time, Chinese media estimated that the total value of the tower assets that will be transferred to the venture is around $46.5 billion.

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