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TATA Teleservices (TTSL) has signed a 15-year infrastructure sharing deal with state-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) across the country, in a first such partnership that would help the Tata firm expand its GSM network expeditiously.

   Without disclosing the financial details of the deal, TTSL chief technology officer AG Rao said, “This agreement has the potential to not just speed up our network expansion and roll out process, but would also have a substantial impact in terms of reduced costs.”

   TTSL added: “This is a moment of pride for us as we have become the first private telecom operator to enter into such a strategically important agreement with BSNL, one that will allow us to expand our telecom footprint across the country much more quickly.”

   The agreement is applicable to the unlisted company TTSL and its listed subsidiary Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) in all the 22 telecom circles they operate.

   The deal comes at a strategic time for Tatas as the company is in the process to launch its GSM mobile services under the Tata DoCoMo brand name and BSNL has infrastructure assets across the country—the largest for any telecom firm. TTSL has 24,000 towers while BSNL has over 40,000.

   In the last three months, the company has rolled out GSM services in nine circle—Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Orissa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Haryana.

   The infrastructure sharing would give advantage to the company in terms of reduced cost and the same would be reflected in the tariff structure of both the firms.

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