The case for MNOs to retain “schmuck equity” in towerco joint ventures
MTN retains a 51% stake in Nigerian towers, 49% in Ghana and Uganda
The African independent towerco business model seems to be working. More and more towers are transferring from MNOs to towercos, more and more tenants are being added to towers. As 2G voice networks are overlaid with 3G and even 4G data networks, anchor tenants are starting to add second antennas to selected towers, generating amendment revenue. BTS programmes are yielding organic growth (and even better tenancy ratios). Efficiency programmes are reducing opex costs. It’s looking like betting on African towercos might pay dividends. So I thought I’d have a look at the bet MNOs are making on African towercos by retaining equity in joint ventures.