China’s three major operators inked separate deals with China Tower Corp to lower rates for leasing towers, which is expected to lead to significant long-term cost savings.
China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom said in separate stock exchange filings that they had each agreed five year lease agreements with China Tower, the infrastructure unit jointly set up by the three companies in 2014.
While the companies did not reveal concrete savings figures, analysts from Nomura, speaking to the South China Morning Post, estimate China Mobile will benefit the most from the deal, with savings of CNY2.4 billion ($359 million).
China Unicom and China Telecom will save CNY1.9 billion and CNY1.8 billion respectively.
According to reports, the operators are paying an average site lease fee of CNY26,000 per tower. Among other details, the filings revealed reduced fees on towers shared by two operators or more.
The development comes almost a year after the three operators agreed to transfer their tower assets, worth an estimated $36 billion, to China Tower Corp, which was formed to reduce redundant construction of telecoms infrastructure.