New Delhi: The telecom sector could pare as much as Rs 90,000 crore debt if stake sale deals of mobile tower assets, currently being discussed, materialise, Icra said on Monday.
It predicted structural and material changes for the telecom tower industry in the medium term.
Icra also anticipated some headwinds in the short term, as consolidation of telecom operators leads to rationalisation of tenancies, but remained confident about the growth prospects in coming years.
This growth would be fuelled by the network expansion of telecom operators, keen to meet the data needs of consumers, it said.
“As per Icra estimates, debt to the tune of Rs 80,000- 90,000 crores can be pruned from the telecom industry if the stake sale transactions of tower assets currently under discussions materialise,” it said.
With around 4 lakh towers and 8 lakh tenancies, the telecom tower space is a sizeable one in the world, it added.
It said the sector has 10 organised players (besides small owners) wherein nearly three-fourths of the portfolio (74 per cent) is controlled either by tower companies promoted by telecom operators, or by operators themselves.