The war between CDMA and GSM proponents may not exactly be drawing to a close, but at least they’re starting to find some middle ground. In order to keep up with the rapidly growing subscriber base, mobile service providers in India have agreed to share their infrastructure, particularly cell phone towers, with one another.
The project has been dubbed “MOST”, standing for Mobile Operators’ Shared Towers, and that is exactly the gist of the idea. All the mobile service providers can build what they need on the same towers, alleviating the heavy costs of setting up their networks. At least four sites have been identified for this project – Delhi High Court, Rajorkri, Dhansa, and Noida – with surely many more to come in the future.
As the mobile subscriber base in India continues to grow, operators like Airtel, Hutch and Tata will need to expand their service to accommodate. According to some estimates, there will be 200 million cell phones in use in India by 2007. They will need to double the number of towers (currently 70,000) to be able to handle that many subscribers. By 2010, they’re expecting half a billion users, and the need rises to 350,000 towers.