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IHS Towers in 5-Year Tower Tenancy Partnership With Airtel Nigeria to Boost 5G Coverage

IHS Nigeria, a subsidiary of IHS Towers, one of the largest independent owners, operators, and developers of shared communications infrastructure and Airtel Nigeria, a subsidiary of Airtel Africa, have today announced a commitment for Airtel Nigeria to take 3,950  tenancies over the next five years (with the majority expected over 2024/2025) and extended the term of its existing tenancies covering approximately 6,000 tenancies until December 2031.

The agreement includes 2,500 colocations in addition to 5G amendments and build to suit sites to be owned and operated by IHS Nigeria.

In line with Airtel Africa’s sustainability strategy launched in October 2021, and IHS Towers’ plans to pursue its Carbon Reduction Roadmap aimed at reducing IHS Towers’ intensity metric by 50% by 2030, both companies have agreed to cooperate on new green initiatives on the collective sites going forward.

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Sam Darwish, Chairman and CEO, IHS Towers, said: “The expansion and renewal of our relationship with Airtel Nigeria is a testament to our continued commitment to serving our customers and the connectivity demands of Africa. Airtel Nigeria, as well as Airtel Africa who we serve in other markets in Africa, has been a long-term partner of IHS, and I am delighted that we continue to strengthen our collaboration to help facilitate mobile connectivity in our largest market, supporting our customers in rolling out new sites throughout Nigeria.”

IHS Towers has nearly 40,000 towers across Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, markets which represent some of the fastest growing wireless communications opportunities and huge demand from subscribers for data services due to increasing smartphone penetration.

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According to the GSMA, Sub-Saharan Africa expects to have an estimated 98 million new unique mobile subscribers between 2021 and 2025, a further 44 million in the Middle East and North Africa and 37 million in Latin America by 2025. IHS Towers continues to see 4G penetration rising ahead of the onset of 5G penetration.

“The combination of low existing penetration, high subscriber growth and strong increase in demand for data services, supports major investment opportunities at every point along the mobile supply chain – from handsets to tower infrastructure,” according to the firm.

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IHS Towers acknowledges that mobile use throughout emerging markets is not just a business story but a social phenomenon. Mobiles powers business, remote learning, communities, agriculture, family, healthcare, transport and just about everything. Mobile connectivity remains integral to e-banking, mobile money and insurance platforms to name just a few.

Airtel Nigeria, one of the leading telecommunication companies in the country, has announced the launch of its 5G network today. The Chief Commercial Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Femi Oshinlaja, revealed that the 5G service will initially be available in Lagos State, Ogun State, Abuja State, and Rivers State and with time move to other cities across the country.

This partnership comes amidst the race towards 5G network deployment in Nigeria. According to data from the Nigeria Communication Commission, Airtel Nigeria holds 27.01% of the nation’s subscribers slightly behind MTN and Globacom, which hold 39.79% and 27.28% respectively. In January 2023, Airtel Nigeria acquired 5G spectrum for $316.7 million from the Nigeria Communication Commission. The number of 5G sites owned by Airtel Nigeria stood at over 250 in 2023 and there are plans to increase both 4G and 5G investments across the country.

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James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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