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Helios Towers Tanzania acquires Zantel mainland tower portfolio

Helios Towers Tanzania acquires Zantel mainland tower portfolio

Helios Towers Tanzania (HTT), the Tanzanian subsidiary of independent telecoms tower infrastructure company Helios Towers Africa (HTA), has reached an agreement with Zanzibar Telecom (Zantel) for the acquisition of all unique sites of its mainland tower portfolio.

Through the acquisition, HTT says it hopes to grow its telecom tower sites in Tanzania to around 3 700 owned towers.

HTT says it is also working with Zantel to decommission the duplicate towers under a separate services agreement.

"Decommissioning of duplicate towers underscores strategy to reduce the environmental impact of telecoms services and further enables HTT to drive cost efficiencies throughout the industry, lower consumer prices and enhance network coverage," read a statement from HTA.

HTA says it is committed to driving increased infrastructure sharing, "thereby reducing the costs incurred by mobile operators to deliver vital telecoms services that support economic growth, social development and job creation in local communities."

The company describes the Tanzanian market as "one of the largest and fastest growing telecommunications markets in Africa with 37% expected growth by 2020."

"The acquisition, has received regulatory approval from the Tanzanian authorities and it highlights the economic benefits of a telecoms towers company working with multiple operators to combine multiple legacy networks," says HTA CEO, Kash Pandya.

According to Pandya, "the acquisition and the decommissioning of duplicate infrastructure will help operators meet growing consumer demand whilst ensuring network expansion is done in a sustainable and responsible way."

Sherif El-Barbary, CEO of Zantel says the company is delighted about the sale, "With this sale and an ongoing relationship with Helios Towers, Zantel will streamline its infrastructure costs and improve the overall efficiency of the market."

HTA says it has established one of Africa's most extensive tower networks with more than 6 500 towers in four markets. The company builds and manages telecom passive infrastructure, leasing it to operators across the continent.

In 2012, HTA acquired the tower portfolio of telecoms company Tigo in Tanzania and that of Vodacom in 2014. Through these and the construction of additional multi-tenant towers, HTA says HTT will own over 3 700 sites following acquisition of 185 Zantel towers and the consolidation of 385.

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