Etisalat Sells 2,136 Towers To IHS

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Etisalat Nigeria has sold 2,136 of its towers to IHS Holding Ltd as part of a broader strategy to drive improvements in the quality of its network performance and to accelerate roll out of 2G & 3G coverage and new services to its customers.

The transaction, the first by a major GSM operator in Nigeria, is expected to close later this year. Etisalat has the highest quality network in Nigeria and the partnership with IHS is designed to promote network sharing, ensure higher quality, sustain reliable mobile services, lower overall costs and also promote a cleaner environment through reduced diesel usage and increased investments in alternative energy solutions.

Over the past 18 months, IHS has installed a large number of alternative energy sites in Nigeria. These investments in addition to further investments in its state-of-the-art network operations centre, mean that uptimes of over 99 percent are achieved on its owned sites.

The telecoms operator said under the terms of the transaction, IHS has committed to investing a further $100 million in the towers acquired, on advanced generators, efficient batteries and alternative energy solutions to reduce diesel consumption and improve efficiency of grid use.

Etisalat Nigeria chief executive officer, Matthew Willsher said: “Continued demand for mobile connectivity along with increased consumption of data requires reliable and effective networks that are also cost efficient for network operators. The decision to sell our passive infrastructure to an experienced commercial partner, such as IHS, is part of our strategy to increase network coverage and capacity which is already rated number one for quality of service by the NCC.

IHS chief executive Issam Darwish added that: “This partnership will provide significant long-term benefits to Etisalat Nigeria, allowing them to focus entirely on marketing new customer propositions to a wider market.”

On conclusion of this transaction, IHS will own and manage over 6,540 towers in Nigeria, all of which will be managed by the most advanced Network Operating Centre (NOC) in the country, providing customers with market and industry leading levels of passive network uptime.

IHS will market services on the towers promoting tower sharing and colocation to help drive network improvements, better service to subscribers and economic growth.

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