What’s left? Etisalat, Orange, Millicom, Vodacom and Vodafone’s tower strategies in SSA
…Plus a look at the attractiveness of towers owned by Africa’s other MNOs
2014 was the year the SSA independent tower industry reached scale. Africa’s ‘Big Four’ towercos each have tower counts over or approaching 10,000 assets. Having diversified country and counterparty risk and grown portfolios to the point where best practices can be shared and economies of scale realised, the prevailing opinion at the Q4 2014 TowerXchange Meetup Africa seemed to be that Africa’s ‘Big Four’ towercos were moving from land-grab to a period of integration of assets, driving toward profitability and prospective IPO / trade sale in 18-36 months time.
One of the main reasons the land grab is coming to an end, although not yet complete, is that the investibility of emerging market towercos is somewhat dependent on the credit worthiness of the anchor tenant.