IHS' knowledge and experience in the sector will help drive efficiencies and enhance network uptime, says MTN president and CEO
In a deal said to be worth close to R20 billion, MTN Nigeria has signed an agreement with
While the value of the deal has not been revealed, Reuters quotes a source familiar with the transactions as saying the sale was worth around
In terms of the deal, the towers would be transferred to a new company, which will be owned jointly by MTN and IHS, with IHS having full operational control of the underlying business. The transaction essentially doubles the size of the IHS business.
The new towers company will market independent infrastructure sharing services to other mobile operators and Internet service providers (ISPs) in
"We are delighted to have entered into a further transfer transaction with IHS, in our largest African market. IHS' deep knowledge and considerable experience in the sector will help drive efficiencies and enhance our network uptime, allowing us to concentrate on further raising our own service levels, improving the customer experience and ensuring we remain the number one operator in
This is the ninth tower transaction for IHS and its fifth with MTN following the transactions in
The MTN transaction follows a deal last month between Etisalat Nigeria and IHS, involving the sale of 2 136 of
As part of the MTN deal, the new towers company has committed more than $500 million of additional investment, over four years, into tower upgrades and a maintenance programme to improve quality of service and enhance the customer experience on the MTN Nigeria network.
In addition, further investments will be made into IHS' centralised network operations centre in
MTN Nigeria CEO
"We will continue to embrace strategies that enhance our services to our customers while ensuring our long-term business continuity, without compromising best practice."
"It gives me great pleasure to be agreeing this deal with MTN, a partner we have worked with for more than 10 years and with whom we have an excellent relationship. I am confident that MTN's customers and management will benefit almost immediately from IHS' focus on quality of service, innovative tower management and sustainable energy approach."
The deal is important for MTN and is a natural progression of how telecoms operators are starting to do business in developing markets, says Ovum analyst
"Selling towers to IHS means you are essentially giving away part of your business, and your competitors – who are doing the same – end up with the same coverage as you. This means these operators have to find other ways of competing against each other, such as cost-efficiency or additional services."
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