Feasibility Study for the implementation of a TowerCo for the promotion of 5G in a Middle Eastern Country

Project executed on behalf of a Public Technology Development Company in the Middle East

Project Objective

The objective of the study was to understand the infrastructure sharing options that could be implemented in the country for the promotion of 5G development. We had to assess the feasibility of a TowerCo for each of the identified available options and select the most viable approach.

Project Description

At a first stage of the project, we carried out a detailed assessment of the potential infrastructure sharing models, with focus on:

  • Main strengths and weaknesses of each model
  • Suitability for the country, based on the current market status
  • Technical/operational obstacles and impact on deployment plans
  • Impact on environment
  • Impact on competition and regulatory challenges
Figure1: Summary of main infrastructure sharing models

On a second stage of the project, we sized the infrastructure market in the country (in terms of expected new sites). The assessment was based on the existing infrastructure, the expected evolution of demand for ICT services, current and future spectrum allocations (including mmWaves), the technologies to be implemented (e.g., stand-alone 5G New Radio, Massive MIMO) and the new urbanistic developments in the country.

Based on the estimated demand, we developed a business plan for each of the sharing models and potential options that would be feasible in the country. The business plan measured several indicators of a setting TowerCo operations in the country, such as NPV, IRR, required funding, overall industry savings, etc.

Based on our analysis, we developed a full set of recommendations on the most interesting options for the country, the industry and potential investors, policies that could improve the business case and maximise the efficiency of the TowerCo as well as potential add-ons to improve its profitability (e.g., In-building solutions, small-cells, backhauling, etc.).

Finally, we developed an implementation plan for the establishment of a TowerCo in the country, based on our recommendations, with an assessment of all relevant stakeholders, their main roles, and the activities and actions that should be implemented before the TowerCo became operative.

Key Takeaways

The Feasibility Study provided detailed visibility on the implications of each of the possible infrastructure sharing models. As part of the project, the client obtained a full business plan that will help in future negotiations to set up a TowerCo in the country, as well as an implementation plan.