BMI industry trend analysis - MTN fine the catalyst for South African tower sales
The potential evolution of tower transactions in Africa’s most developed mobile market
MTN’s multi-billion dollar fine in Nigeria will force the operator to advance its plans to sell its towers in South Africa. Smaller operators will likely follow suit, but Vodacom’s strong financial and competitive position mean it has little need to sell its towers, too. Competitive bidding between four major tower companies for access to the region’s most developed market will ensure high valuations.
The vast majority of towers in South Africa remain operator-captive. In 2010, third mobile operator Cell C sold 1,400 towers to American Tower Corporation (ATC) and TowerXchange estimates that Eaton Towers has built 170 towers in the country.