Orange to Form Regional Tower Companies From its 40,000 Site Portfolio

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One of Europe’s largest carriers, Paris-based Orange, yesterday presented its new strategic plan looking forward to 2025. Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange, outlined key changes in reinventing the company’s operating model that included how the firm plans on repackaging a 40,000-site tower portfolio.

To optimize the deployment of its mobile infrastructure, particularly 5G, in terms of pace, coverage and financial capacity, Richard said Orange will rely on RAN-sharing agreements, while maintaining areas of differentiation.

“Alongside this,” he said, “to derive higher value from our owned 40,000 towers in our mobile network in Europe, we will create towercos in most of its European countries. These entities will be dedicated to the management of the towers and will have three key objectives: to improve operational efficiency and optimize mobile CAPEX, to increase the tower co-location rate whilst retaining Orange’s competitive advantage, and finally to better understand and highlight the quality and value of these assets.” 

Richard said Orange will retain control of these entities in the European countries where they are created. The first projects will start in 2020, in France and Spain. 

“Eventually, the consolidation of all or part of these local towercos into a European towerco, in which the company will retain majority control, will be considered in order to seize opportunities for consolidation of the tower market at a European level,” he said.

The company also announced the disposal of 1,500 non-strategic sites in Spain to Cellnex for 260 million euros (U.S.$288M). 

December 5, 2019

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