With an investment of €800 million [approximately $943 million USD], Cellnex will expand its mobile towers assets with a big move in Poland. The purchase of Play, Poland’s largest telecom, will give Cellnex access to 73,000 sites across nine countries. While Cellnex will not be its sole owner, it will give the company 60 percent control over Play, reports MobileWorldLive.com. The remaining 40 percent is owned by French telecom, Iliad.
Cellnex chairman Franco Bernabe, commented that the acquisition will position Play “to present ourselves as a natural partner of choice for European mobile operators.”
There are about 7,000 cell towers in Play’s network in Poland. As 5G continues its rollout throughout Europe, Cellnex says it intends to invest up to €1.3 billion [$1.54 billion USD] during the next decade in building out up to 5,000 new sites. Although Play would be its first occupant, Cellnex would also offer tower space to other providers. Cellnex functions as a multi-tenant neutral host operator, allowing participating providers to share passive infrastructure.
While final deals have yet to be finalized, the 60/40 ownership arrangement is expected to be completed by 2021. In the meantime, the joint venture already has plans to keep building. Cellnex is looking beyond the poles of Poland to interests in edge computing and IoT network infrastructure.