OCK finalising purchase of towers and stations

PETALING JAYA: Telecommunica-tion services network provider OCK Group Bhd is close to finalising a deal to purchase a few mobile-transmission towers and rooftop stations.

A source said that the towers and stations were likely to be bought from mobile operator U Mobile Sdn Bhd.

When contacted, OCK Group Bhd managing director Sam Ooi confirmed that it was in discussions with several telecom operators on this but declined to elaborate.

U Mobile, meanwhile, said it could not comment “at this time.”

It is understood that OCK’s interest in this type of assets are for the recurring income from leasing the towers and stations out to different mobile operators.

How much income can be generated per lease remains unclear although the cost of buying one tower or rooftop station is estimated at around RM250,000 to RM350,000.

Currently, OCK derives most of its income from network planning, design and optimisation services.

In the case of U Mobile, sources said it was considering this “sale and leaseback” model in order to improve its cash flows.

An industry player estimates that there are more than 20,000 transmission towers and rooftop stations nationwide.

Currently most of these are owned by mobile-phone operators. As operating and maintaining such towers and stations require capital and operational expenditure, it has been reported that some are looking to sell these assets amid increasing competition among telecom operators.

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