Indus Towers Ltd has announced plans of utilizing its vast base of telecom towers to charge electric vehicles and eventually morph into an overall infrastructure provider. The move can be seen as a way for Indus to deviate from its traditional model of renting out towers and be a part of the rapidly-growing space.
The onset of Jio a few years ago called for major disruptions in the telecom sector where smaller operations were either forced to shut down or merge with other operators. In the current market, the only two networks that rival Jio are Vodafone and Bharti Airtel. With fewer telecom tenants, the industry has flipped from being a seller’s market to a buyer’s market in recent times.
According to reports, the company believes that hosting charging points could be a natural extension for the company because of its large footprint. Indus’ announcement comes a few weeks after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam expanded room for the expansion of electric vehicles in India. In this year’s budget, the government announced an income tax rebut of up to ₹1.5 lakh to customers on interest paid on loans to buy electric vehicles, with a total exemption benefit of ₹2.5 lakh over the entire loan period.
The company which commenced operation in 2007 as a joint venture between certain entities of Bharti Group, Vodafone Group and Idea Cellular, is currently in the final stages of completing a merger with Bharti Infratel Ltd. In April 2018, the tower companies had agreed to merge their businesses to create the world’s largest tower company outside China tower.