African towercos’ strategies to date and plans for the future
Insights gleaned from the keynote towerco CXO panel session at the TowerXchange Meetup Africa, held in Q4 2014
This article summarises talking points from the keynote towerco CXO panel session at the TowerXchange Meetup Africa 2014, featuring Chuck Green, CEO of Helios Towers Africa; Terry Rhodes, then Co-founder and Director of Eaton Towers (now interim CEO); American Tower’s Africa CEO Pieter Nel; and Abhulime Ehiagwina, CFO of Helios Towers Nigeria. The panel was moderated by Marco Cardoni of Analysys Mason.
The dominoes have fallen in the sub-Saharan African tower industry; over the last four years independent towercos’ ownership of SSA towers has risen from 0% to 29%. Given that the towerco business model depends on the credit worthiness of the anchor tenants, and towercos have little appetite to acquire towers with overlapping coverage, Africa’s towercos do not want to acquire all the towers; 55% penetration might represent market saturation.