China’s three major mobile operators have approved five-year rental agreements with China Tower, which will allow the trio to continue the build-out of high-efficiency networks and accelerate the construction of low-carbon infrastructure. Meanwhile, the Philippines’ Globe Telecom completed the sale of another 750 towers, giving it the flexibility to cover its 2023 debt servicing requirements in an environment of rising interest rates, with the deal bringing the total capital raised to PHP28 billion ($505.2 million).
During 2022, several tower asset consolidations have been announced and further tower sell-offs, spin-outs and new partnerships are expected to continue at pace, the proceeds of which allow operators to pay down debt and/or invest in new projects or business lines. An open question is whether the divestment of towers by operators makes wholesale access to competitors a part of sale and leaseback agreements. The infrastructure-sharing model reduces physical and environmental impacts, in addition to allowing operators to roll out their 5G networks more quickly and cost-effectively.