ComAp and Telecommunication

The Telecom Industry is Undergoing Transformation

These have been interesting and indeed busy years for the telecom market. As smartphone penetration has grown to approx. 48 % over recent years, so has the average data usage per person. As of 2018, each one of us consumes about 1.6 GB of data every month! To keep up with this development, new technologies are being introduced at an increasing rate, such as 5G which is already being tested by customers in Japan. While data traffic and requirements for complex infrastructure keep growing, average profit per mobile user, on the other hand, continues to decline, hence putting enormous pressure on decreasing OPEX. This is also why, in order to stay cash-positive, some mobile operators have decided to divest their cell tower assets and outsource the management to external companies. And that is how the so-called tower companies were born.

What does it mean for ComAp? In principle, tower companies have shifted their focus from CAPEX towards OPEX, looking for solutions which would lower runtime of gen-sets installed on the majority of cell towers. Therefore, ComAp has developed products specifically for telecom sites – InteliLite Telecom – enabling full control of systems combining generator, battery and eventually renewable sources of energy, altogether reducing gen-set runtime significantly.

As of 2017, the largest and fastest growing telecom tower market in the world was the Asia-Pacific
region. 1 992 467 out of 3 047 847 towers in APAC are owned or operated by tower companies, representing 65 % of the total inventory of assets. This number is expected to grow even further, mainly in developing countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan.

The largest tower markets in APAC are by far China and India. Their total of approximately 2.4 million towers make up almost 80 % of APAC’s tower count. What’s more, the rural areas of India as well as China are still under-penetrated, therefore, further tower growth is to be expected.

China is home to the world’s largest tower company – China Tower Corporation Limited (CTC). Established in 2014, CTC has grown from 1.44 million towers to 1.9 million in 2017, controlling assets of all three of China’s mobile operators: China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.

This article has been published in The Current. Subscribe to the magazine for free here.
Lukas Kral
Lukas Kral

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