India’s telecom tower industry is set to get a new top dog. Having already pipped its older rivals—Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) and Bharti Airtel—to become the largest Indian telecom operator by number of subscribers, Reliance Jio is set to replicate that feat in towers.
Reliance Jio Infratel—Jio’s tower asset venture—aims to add another 45,000 towers to its 130,000-strong portfolio over the coming year. This would beat the combined might of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers, which hold around 163,000 towers. The two have been in merger talks since late 2018. Once these plans come to fruition, Jio Infratel’s portfolio will be the second largest in the world, bested only by China Tower, which has a whopping 1.95 million towers in its home country.