Tower Activity Heats Up in Africa

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Although MeetUp Africa, an event hosted by TowerXchange, won’t be held in Johannesburg until October of 2018, the event comes at a time of increased activity in areas such as broadband infrastructure investment, mobile tower strategies, and spectrum sharing.

Laura Graves, Managing Director for Africa at TowerXchange, said in South Africa, fewer than 10 percent of the country’s 29,500 sites are owned by independent tower companies, with Cell C having been the only operator to have sold its towers (although they are in the process of rebuilding their tower portfolio).

According to TowerXchange, in Nigeria, 77 percent of the country’s 28,241 towers are owned by independent tower companies.

In September 2017, Pan African Towers was reported to be in talks to acquire about 850 towers in Nigeria from local tower companies, with plans to add 1,500 strategically located build-to-suite sites by 2019, according to Telecompaper. In August 2017, Helios Towers Africa (HTA), reached an agreement with Zanzibar Telecom (Zantel) for the acquisition of all unique sites of its mainland tower portfolio. Through the acquisition, HTT said it hopes to grow its telecom tower sites in Tanzania to around 3,700 owned towers.

Frost & Sullivan estimates the mobile network tower industry in Sub-Saharan Africa will be worth approximately US$1.5 billion in the next four years.

January 16, 2018

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