South Africa’s Towers to Be Worth $1.5 B in Four Years
According to Frost & Sullivan analysts, Sub-Saharan Africa’s tower industry will be worth approximately $1.5 billion in the next four years, reported IT Web Africa. But today, South Africa is trailing behind Nigeria regarding independent tower management. To enact change and accomplish growth in the industry, increased tower management arrangements in some markets will commence and authorities in various regions will begin pressing telecom firms to share infrastructure.
According to Lehlohonolo Mokenela, ICT industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan, “To accelerate market growth, tower companies will need to convince MNOs, particularly the larger ones, of the reduced total cost of ownership of either outsourcing or selling off their infrastructure.”
According to Laura Graves, Managing Director for Africa at TowerXchange, “In South Africa, fewer than 10 percent of the country’s 29,500 sites are owned by independent towercos with Cell C having been the only operator to have sold their towers (although they are now in the process of rebuilding their tower portfolio).”
The good news is South Africa’s mobile operators – including MTN and Vodacom – have moved in to “embrace infrastructure sharing, not only through site swaps but increasingly through commercial arrangements.” And Telkom recently announced the formation of a new subsidiary, Gyro Towers, to better manage their tower portfolio, reported IT Web Africa.