Boost for tower availability in Senegal and Zambia

Boost for tower availability in Senegal and Zambia

Helios Towers, which last year acquired the passive infrastructure assets of Senegal’s number two mobile player Free Senegal for $188.2 million, has announced a major investment in the country.

According to the Ecofin press service, Karim Ndiaye, CEO of Helios Towers Senegal, has announced that the company plans to invest nearly $200 million in improving telecommunications coverage in Senegal over the next five years.

After last year’s transaction, Helios became the largest independent tower infrastructure provider in Senegal, with 1,220 sites acquired from Free Senegal, and was able to add Senegal to an African presence that also includes Tanzania, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Ghana.

Senegal undoubtedly needs better telecommunications services, but operators may not be able to manage the infrastructure investment required. Using telecoms infrastructure owned by Helios Towers in areas where their coverage is weak could therefore benefit the country’s main operators, Sonatel, Free and Expresso.

Towers were also in the news this week in Zambia, where operator Zamtel has commissioned two new network towers in Kaputa and Nchelenge in Northern and Luapula Provinces respectively as part of efforts to grow its footprint.

Local press outlets reported that Zamtel CEO Sydney Mupeta announced that the new towers are part of the GRZ Communication Tower Project Phase II, which has delivered over 783 new sites since it began late 2017. Its aim is to construct and upgrade 1,009 communication towers as well as upgrading Zamtel’s core radio transmission network infrastructure.

This project is on schedule to finish this year, with a target of enabling over 90 percent mobile network coverage.