Regulator supports tower network sale

TCRA Head of Corporate Communications Innocent Mungy.The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has supported a trend of mobile telephone operators to outsource their tower infrastructure assets, saying the move augured well with strategies to minimise operating costs.

TCRA Head of Corporate Communications Innocent Mungy (pictured) told the ‘Daily News’ that although the regulator would not interfere in outsourcing deals among companies, they encourage infrastructure sharing to minimise costs and help in preserving the environment.

“We support sharing of tower network assets as it helps to minimise operating costs and mitigate environmental destruction,” he said in an interview.

Mr Mungyi said as regulators, they were encouraging measures that promote efficiency and minimise costs, provided such measures were not contravening the existing rules, regulations and procedures.

Lately, mobile phone operators in the country have embarked on the sale out of their tower networks, opting to outsourcing of the same from independent tower operators.

The latest such deal involves Vodacom Tanzania which sold its entire tower network assets to Helios Towers Africa (HTA) for 75 million US dollars (over 120bn/-) last Monday.

Under the agreement, Vodacom transfers its 1,149 existing telecoms towers to Helios, which has committed itself to an ambitious, shortterm rollout to significantly increase the towers, by more than doubling the firm’s infrastructure existing in the country.

As a result, Helios will be providing close to 2,700 points of service to Vodacom and affiliates across the country, while Helios’ tower coverage in Africa will expand to 4,700 owned towers.

HTA, an African infrastructure company backed by funds managed by George Soros, Madeleine Albright and Jacob Rothschild, has already struck a similar deal with Millicom, operators of the Tigo mobile network in the country.
Source: The Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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