The Indian telecoms giant (Bharti Airtel) has pressed on with its recent sales of tower infrastructure by offloading 1,100 towers in Zambia and Rwanda in a bid to cut down losses.
Leading mobile telecommunications infrastructure provider, IHS Holdings Limited has secured the purchase of 1,100 towers from India’s Bharti Airtel, swelling its already sizeable portfolio of more than 10,500 across Africa. The deal will see IHS Holdings Limited take control of over 1,100 Airtel telecoms towers in Rwanda and Zambia in a renewable contract spanning ten years. The agreement between both companies is in its final stages, mostly waiting on the statutory and regulatory green light from the two countries where the towers are situated.
Both IHS Holdings and Airtel are keen to see the deal through due to ambitions being pursued by each company; IHS Holdings is looking to increase its tower coverage in Africa to in excess of 21, 000 in five nations while Airtel aims to divest in tower infrastructure, reduce debts and refocus on its core business and customers. IHS Holdings Limited’s prospective purchase of Airtel towers is sequel to its purchase and lease back agreement with Etisalat Nigeria for 2,136 towers as it continues to pursue its growth strategy.
Speaking on the deal, MD and CEO of Bharti Airtel Africa, Christian de Faria revealed that the deal would facilitate sharing of infrastructure between providers in the sector. This development would be beneficial to customers by bringing about lower, more affordable tariffs and improving and expanding network coverage due to the reduced cost of coverage borne by telecoms providers. On the part of IHS Holdings, Issam Darwish, its Group CEO expressed the company’s eagerness to seize the opportunity of expansion into the East African market and further deepening IHS’ leading position by serving a more diverse market.