India’s mobile tower sector is set to see its second major acquisition this year, according to reports, with US mobile mast operator American Tower expected to announce as early as today a deal to buy all the tower assets of Indian industrial group Essar for US$450 million. Essar Telecom Infrastructure is one of India’s largest independent mobile mast companies, with 4,500 towers.
Last month mobile operator Aircel, a unit of Malaysia’s Maxis Communications, sold its tower unit to GTL Infrastructure (India’s largest independent tower company) for US$1.8 billion. India’s largest mobile tower company is Indus, which has about 90,000 masts and is controlled by operators Vodafone Essar, Bharti and Idea. India is the world’s second-largest – and fastest-growing – mobile market in the world, with 3G license awards expected sometime this year.