Mobile towers in India are likely to grow to over 500,000 by 2020 from about 400,000 at present due to increase in demand of wireless internet services, a study said on Tuesday.
"Towers are expected to grow at 3 percent CAGR for next five years and the total number of towers is expected to grow to more than 511,000 by financial year 2020, of which 30,000 towers are expected to be only supporting data sites," Deloitte India report said.
The report Indian Tower Industry: The Future is Data estimates that there are about 400,000 mobile towers which include only 700 standalone 3G and 4G towers.
According to the report, industry tenancy ratio is expected to grow from 1.77 (FY15) to 2.48 by 2020.
Tenancy ratio refers to the number of tenants (operators) who have put up their antennae and other active infrastructure on each tower.
Overall site tenancies (2G, 3G & 4G all inclusive) are expected to increase to approximately 12.68 lakh by FY20, Deloitte said.
A total of 44 percent of the mobile traffic is expected to be off-loaded to Wi-Fi and small cells by 2020, where in small cells will contribute to 7 percent of off-loaded data traffic in most likely scenario, it added.