Towering Above: Building Tomorrow’s Digital Infrastructure in Asia

Towering Above: Building Tomorrow’s Digital Infrastructure in Asia

September 13, 2022
"Given today’s telecommunications industry dynamics, TowerCos must evolve to become active digital infrastructure providers to ensure the needed industry scalability, efficiency and flexibility."
Portrait of Damien Dujacquier
Senior Partner, Managing Partner Southeast Asia
Singapore Office, Southeast Asia

The global telecommunications industry is at a crossroads. While on one hand, it will continue to act as a key engine for innovation, inclusivity and digital innovation in fuelling explosive demand, telecom operators will continue to be under immense pressure to unlock viable emerging business cases as revenues have stagnated amidst ever-growing costs and the need for fresh capital injection ensues.

Further, there is an urgent need to transform the traditional business models and network deployment strategies, especially with 5G on the horizon. Expectation from 5G is high – yielding a paradigm shift against its predecessors, but this may come with complex partnership and integration requirements, infrastructure expansion, and investment.

Against this backdrop, TowerCos* in emerging Asian countries will continue to play a pivotal role in evolving infrastructure ecosystem to ensure efficiency, scalability and flexibility with a projected contribution of USD 10 billion of savings accrued to the MNOs, yielding an incremental consumer benefit of USD 67 billion from price improvement and GDP growth, as well as a reduction of up to 17 million metric tonnes of carbon footprint by 2025.

(*) TowerCo - is a tower company, that is a company that provides the infrastructure and related services for mobile towers

Success will heavily depend on a conducive regulatory environment as TowerCos face challenges in the realization of its full potential. Five key regulatory dimensions are critical:

  • strong digital infrastructure mandate,
  • simplified and conducive licensing and ownership,
  • active promotion and guidelines for network sharing,
  • streamlined regulations for infrastructure deployment,
  • enablement of adjacencies.

Overall, there is further room for growth in terms of regulatory and policy support which countries in emerging Asia can adopt compared to global best practices to enable digital advancement in their respective countries.

These important insights were discussed in the recent panel session where

· Ahmad-Ridhwan Azizan, Panelist (Roland Berger)

· Gayan Koralage, Panelist (edotco Group)

· Tugay Yilmaz, Guest Panelist (International Finance Corporation),

in conversation with Freda Liu as a moderator discussed the role of TowerCos to provide connectivity intended for the needs of communities and business, how the telecom market dynamics has changed in recent years, what can be expected as 5G comes into the picture, what plays a pivotal role in this evolving ecosystem, as well as more insights from the recent Roland Berger report "Towering Above: Building Tomorrow’s Digital Infrastructure in Asia".

Please enjoy the video of the panel discussion below:

The study was commissioned by edotco Group, the first regional and integrated telecommunications infrastructure services company in Asia.

The full report can be downloaded here: