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Ericsson launches telecom tower for Indian market
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Swedish telecom equipment major Ericsson unveiled Tower Tube – its latest radio base station site concept – for the Indian telecom market in Hyderabad on Thursday.

“The company has set up a prototype of the Tower Tube at Ibrahimpatnam near Hyderabad and would decide about the location of the production facility depending on the customers it would get,” P Balaji, vice-president (marketing and strategy), Ericsson India, told mediapersons. The over $28-billion company has a facility in Jaipur to manufacture about 8,000 base stations a month.

Tower Tube is a self-contained fully-encapsulated site with a five-metre diameter room at the base to house all equipment. Ericsson claims that Tower Tube consumes 40 percent less electricity and produces 30 percent less carbon emission when compared with traditional towers.

“While traditional towers cost Rs 30 lakh to Rs 40 lakh, Tower Tube will reduce the total cost of ownership and the entire investment can be recovered in two to three years,” Balaji said, adding that over 100,000 towers were expected to come up in the coming few years in the country. “This is a good opportunity to the industry as a whole and for us as a company. We hope to capture a significant share of this.”

Speaking on the occasion, Ajay Bhattacharya, administrator of the Universal Services Obligation Fund, which was formed with an aim of providing telecom services in rural and remote areas, said the Fund is currently in the process of laying out 7,800 towers to see mobile coverage in habitations of over 2,000 population across the country at an outlay of over Rs 500 crore.

“About Rs 14,000 crore funds are available with us and we are attempting to put up 10,000 more towers in the second phase with an investment of about Rs 5,000 crore in a couple of months that would cover habitations having over 5,000 population,” Bhattacharya said.

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