Vantage Towers continues journey of sustainable organic growth with full support of new owners
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Vantage Towers continues journey of sustainable organic growth with full support of new owners

Ahead of Meetup Europe, TowerXchange speaks with Sonia Hernandez, Chief Commercial Officer at Vantage Towers.

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With over 83,000 towers in 10 European markets, Vantage Towers burst onto the European tower market just three years ago as one of the continent’s most significant players in the industry. Having signed a number of important deals in the past years, the company continues to make solid progress against its growth targets.

TowerXchange was delighted to sit down with Sonia Hernandez, Chief Commercial Officer at Vantage Towers, to learn more about how the recent change of ownership will shape the commercial growth of the company and how Vantage Towers is delivering on its ESG strategy.

How will the recent ownership deal shape the commercial growth of Vantage Towers?

Sonia Hernandez, CCO, Vantage Towers:

We are thrilled to welcome our new owners, already providing a great support to Vantage Towers as we enter the next phase of our growth journey. As one of Europe's leading tower companies, our focus has been on strategic commercial growth, leveraging the strong and resilient grid and underlying market potential of the growing towerco market. Since the beginning, our management team has been driven by a commercial approach that aims to empower Europe's digital transformation.

Looking ahead, our focus remains on putting our customers first, and we are excited to build on our commercial momentum through organic growth with the support of our new ownership structure. We are confident that this approach will help us to thrive and continue delivering the best possible outcomes for everyone involved.

Going forward, what will be your key commercial priorities, especially beyond your core business?

Sonia Hernandez, CCO, Vantage Towers:

Europe’s digital transformation is accelerating with the growing need for more and better connectivity. From the way we communicate to the way we do business, it's hard to imagine life without it. It's clear that digitalization has had a major impact on our society and has helped to drive significant socio-economic development on a global scale.

Considering mobile market, with the increasing number of smartphone subscriptions and higher 5G penetration, mobile data consumption is on the rise. As Vantage Towers, we are excited to be an integral part of this overall digital and mobile market development.

As a neutral 5G superhost, we help our customers from different verticals grow their business. Our key focus will remain on rolling out new sites and boosting sharing with colocation to meet the coverage and densification requirements of our customers.

As we move forward, our priority remains to prioritize the needs of our customers. We're also attuned to the evolving demands of our customers, including their interest in adjacent services like indoor coverage solutions, edge computing, and mobile private networks. We're actively exploring these needs and are in the process of designing our products with ongoing pilot projects and proof of concepts. As soon as any new businesses fits our financial targets and is attractive, we are keen to expand further.

How do you see 5G (and potentially 6G) achieving the overall company objectives?

Sonia Hernandez, CCO, Vantage Towers:

I believe there is a great opportunity for us to strengthen our position as one of the leading players in the 5G space, facilitating speedy 5G upgrades for our customers e.g. currently in Spain for Telefónica and promoting an efficient 5G densification throughout Europe.

In order to accomplish this, Fiber to the site (FTTS) will play a crucial role and the DAS (Distributed antenna system) business for indoor coverage will become even more relevant. Additionally, we can expect the potential introduction of outdoor small cells with the increasing densification needs.

As 5G use cases continue to emerge, such as gaming for end consumers or scaled smart automotive for industry and society, latency will become a critical issue. This is where distributed edge computing will come into play, and our towers are ideally situated to provide the necessary infrastructure.

What are the trends you foresee that can create risks for towercos and specifically for Vantage Towers’ growth agenda?

Sonia Hernandez, CCO, Vantage Towers:

Active network sharing and MNO consolidation present both risks and opportunities for our industry. However, I firmly believe that this shift is a positive development that will lead to a more efficient use of capital and deployment. Our customers will be able to invest in 5G more quickly and effectively, which will ultimately benefit everyone involved. Although we must remain mindful of potential risks, we cannot ignore the significant opportunities presented by this shift. With careful planning and diligence, we can seize this exciting new development and make the most of it.

Being present in 10 European markets has its own national and international specifics. How does internationality affect and drive the wider company culture?

Sonia Hernandez, CCO, Vantage Towers:

Utilizing our scale while maintaining a lean and efficient organization is essential to reaping enormous benefits. To achieve this, we have centralized certain aspects of our business, such as tools, processes, systems, and supply chain. This enables us to operate more efficiently on an international level, prioritizing the unique local dynamics of different regions, like Spain and Germany. However, we also recognize the immense value in leveraging best practices to promote accelerated organic growth.

From the company culture side, internationality widens a company's perspective by bringing in employees from various backgrounds, leading to a diverse pool of ideas and fostering an innovative and inclusive culture. Adapting to different laws and regulations makes the company more flexible and open-minded, driving growth and success.

Could you elaborate on how your ESG strategy is fitting into your overall strategy?

Sonia Hernandez, CCO, Vantage Towers:

We have a strong dedication to ESG and closing the digital gap, which is evident in our persistent efforts. Our Cape Clear initiative in Ireland where we aimed to connect rural communities, has proven effective through the success of our “Towers for Good” – ESG programme.

Considering our overall ESG strategy and objectives, we are proud to say that we use 100% of electricity used to operate infrastructure from renewable sources, and our initiatives to generate energy from renewables directly on site have successfully reduced our carbon footprint. We prioritize diversity and inclusion in our workforce and have achieved an over 40% female representation at Vantage Towers.

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