Towers & network sharing

Towers & network sharing2021-02-08T15:47:13+00:00

We assist operators, investors, and policy makers in understanding the value of towers and other passive infrastructure.

As the industry continues to optimise the financial efficiency of its network assets, we assist our clients in understanding the value of towers and other passive infrastructure, as well as the pros and cons of monetising towers or sharing passive and active components within shared networks.

We provide support on both the buy and sell side of tower divestments, as well as advising operators on the benefits of passive and active network sharing. For tower transactions, we provide business cases together with commercial and technical due diligence. For network sharing, operators often jointly appoint us as a ‘clean team’ to build a business case without sharing data.

We also consider the policy issues raised by infrastructure sharing, applying our understanding of the pros and cons of TowerCo models and inter-operator network sharing from the perspectives of competition, consumer benefits and environmental benefits.

Our towers & network sharing services

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Our project experience

We provided technical and commercial due diligence for a recent tower transaction in the Middle East.

As part of our analysis, we developed detailed forecasts of the likely future site requirements of the mobile operators in the market, incorporating the impacts of 5G and future spectrum availability.  In parallel, we assessed the current wind load on the towers based on a database of installed equipment and provided an assessment of the available capacity of each site, with and without strengthening.

Bringing these analyses together in a comprehensive geographical model, we were able to develop realistic scenarios for the lease-up potential of existing sites.

Image: Identification of potential coverage and capacity sites

We prepared a vendor due diligence report and business case for the sale of a mobile operator’s entire tower portfolio in a market with extremely strict limitations on non-ionising radiation.

In addition to detailed geographic forecasting of site demand and loading capacity, we developed a detailed engineering-based model of the available power budget within the non-ionising radiation limits, taking account of all operator sites and their existing power allocations.

Our models allowed us to illustrate the long-term potential of the site portfolio under different regulatory regimes, despite the highly restrictive electromagnetic field (EMF) limits. A successful transaction followed, in which the site portfolio was sold to a major international TowerCo.

Image: Tenancy forecast for different EMF scenarios

Two operators jointly appointed Aetha as a ‘clean-team’ to assess a range of network sharing scenarios, including Multi-Operator RAN (MORAN) and Multi-Operator Core Network (MOCN) with spectrum sharing, without directly sharing confidential data with one another.

We modelled the evolution of each operator’s network and associated costs on a stand-alone basis, as well as for various network sharing scenarios. We did so in consideration of projected traffic, spectrum availability and technology evolution. For the shared network cases, network integration costs were carefully modelled, including costs associated with terminating site leases and introducing active sharing.

Multiple network consolidation scenarios were developed to explore the trade-offs between cost minimisation and implementation risk.

Image: Site matched-pair analysis

Relevant articles and reports

Our experts

Andrew Wright
Andrew WrightManaging Partner
Amit Nagpal
Amit NagpalPartner
Kiril Minchev
Kiril MinchevManager
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