Shared infrastructure helps telcos cut costs, increase service quality

July 9, 2023 | 04:06 pm GMT+7

Passive telecommunication infrastructure sharing has helped save investment costs for telecom carriers.


According to Europe Fibercos and Towercos Market Report of Global Data, telecom carriers in the world have increasingly realized benefits from reducing ownership over passive telecommunication infrastructure such as antenna masts or internet fiber optic lines.

Instead of spending money to developing new telecommunications infrastructure, mobile network operators lease infrastructure from other suppliers. As for infrastructure they have owned before, they will try to lease to get money from the assets.

Thanks to reductions in investment in fixed assets such as antenna masts and stations, network operators can cut operation costs significantly. This also brings benefits to society: infrastructure sharing will help solve problems related to landscapes and save general resources.

The trend is growing in Vietnam, especially after the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) issued Instruction No52 on strengthening the common use of passive telecommunication technical infrastructure in 2019.

Many telecom carriers have signed cooperation agreements on sharing infrastructure, and the trend is believed to continue increasing once 5G is deployed on a large scale.

MobiFone, one of the three largest mobile network operators, said it is sharing nearly 4,000 base transceiver stations (BTS) of telcos and 13,400 BTS developed by other investors.

“The infrastructure sharing has been implemented in all 63 cities and provinces. The localities with the highest number of shared items are Hanoi, HCM City and Dong Nai,” a representative of MobiFone said.

As for Viettel, it shares 1,000 BTS locations, poles and 25,000 transmission optic cables, mostly in HCM City, Binh Dinh, Kon Tum, Hai Duong and Ha Giang.

VNPT said it shares about 33,000 kilometers of cables and 5,000 infrastructure items for mobile services. Cable infrastructure and peripheral networks in cities and provinces are also shared.

VNPT said this helps solve the problems during the processing of building infrastructure – opposition from the public and possible effects on urban architecture.

In general, this helps reduce society’s investments. Instead of having to build three BTS, for example, telcos just have to build one. 

The passive sharing will also help shift from CAPEX (capital expenditures) to OPEX (operating expenditure), thus allowing enterprises to re-plan their expenditures to optimize operating efficiency.

The Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) estimates that the passive sharing of telecommunication infrastructure can help save 16-35 percent of CAPEX/OPEX costs. This helps mitigate unquantifiable costs and time, such as negotiations on land to build BTS, and negotiations with people in construction areas.