More third-party tower deals expected in Africa

More third-party tower deals expected in Africa

Helios Towers Africa (HTA) expect to make more telecommunications infrastructure acquisitions in the next 12 months, following the purchase of Vodacom Tanzania’s 1,149 towers.

HumanIPO reported yesterday Helios Towers Tanzania had completed the deal, which brings HTA’s total number of towers on the continent to 4,700.

In an exclusive interview with HumanIPO Andres de Orleans-Borbon, HTA’s chief financial officer (CFO), said the deal was a sign of things to come.

Orleans-Borbon said: “I expect there could be a few more deals like this in the next 12 months. We are always looking to add more towers, whether that is through acquisitions like this one or by building more ourselves.”

HTA currently owns towers in Ghana, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo and while Orleans-Borbo said they would be looking to add more infrastructure in those countries, he added HTA would also target those markets which have multiple operators.

Orleans-Borbon said: “We already have very good relationships with all the operators in Africa. Those countries where there are multiple operators who are competing are always looking for efficiency savings.

“We are in discussions with a group of operators.”

Regarding why network operators in Africa appeared to be slow to move to the third party model of tower ownership compared to other markets such as the United States which has embraced it as the norm, Orleans-Borbon said it was probably down to the maturity of the industry.

He added: “The whole telecoms industry is younger in Africa. It was also a very rich industry a number of years ago because there was less competition, but now there is increased competition they are all looking at outsourcing to make savings.”

Orleans-Borbon also put HTA’s “pure focus” on tower management down as an important down factor when operators consider selling their infrastructure.

He said: “We don’t do anything special that they (network operators) can’t do themselves, but they are busy providing services to their subscribers.

“They don’t want to be bothered by refuelling their masts and maintaining them.”

Posted in: Telecoms

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