The African telecoms market has long been a pioneer of cell tower sharing and outsourcing and on Friday operator group Etisalat voted in favour of the model with a proposal to sell 2,136 towers in Nigeria to regional tower management specialist IHS Holding.
Investment fund Essar Group has reached an agreement to offload its Kenyan telecom business to African carriers Safaricom and Airtel for $120m.
African airline Kenya Airways this week entered the communications service provider sector after striking an MVNO agreement with African and Asian emerging markets carrier Bharti Airtel.
Vodafone Egypt has signed up Ericsson as its first outsourcing partner, under a three year managed services agreement, to deliver network field maintenance services and improve the quality of its network in the greater Cairo area.
Emerging markets specialist operator Bharti Airtel said this week that it has crossed the 300 million customer mark across its operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Its customer base consists of mobile, fixed line & DSL, and DTH users.
Emerging markets-focused satellite operator O3b Networks has announced the successful launch of its latest constellation of satellites. Four satellites were launched from the Space Center in French Guiana at the end of last week.
African telecoms tower specialist Helios Towers has raised $630m in new investment, supporting its claims that there is huge potential in the African market for tower sharing and management.
Operator group Bharti Airtel, which focuses on emerging markets in Asia and Africa, has divested 3,100 telecom towers to Helios Towers Africa for an undisclosed sum. Local reports suggest the deal could raise as much as $2bn.
Towards the end of last week, Google quietly dropped $500m on a satellite company that specialises in super high quality imaging. Now that the market has had a few days to digest the purchase, it seems the possibilities for Google are several – including connected car applications and connectivity for remote regions.
French incumbent telco Orange has announced that it is to sell its 53 per cent stake in Orange Uganda to Africell, an aspiring pan-regional operator that currently provides services in the DRC, Gambia and Sierra Leone. The deal awaits approval from the relevant authorities, Orange said.
Amsterdam-headquartered operator Vimpelcom, which has operations in Russia, the CIS as well as Algeria, Bangladesh, Italy and Pakistan, has reported a 90 per cent year-on-year dive in net profit for the first quarter of 2014. Revenue was down ten per cent to $5.02bn, while profit for the quarter sat at $39m, down from $408m for the first quarter of 2013.
Algerian incumbent operator Algérie Télécom has launched North Africa’s first LTE network, to boost its broadband offering as well as offer VoLTE services. Swedish vendor Ericsson, which supplied the network, said it would help alleviate problems caused by demand for fixed broadband services among Algérie Télécom’s user base.
Emirates-based Etisalat has signed an agreement to sell its holdings in Benin, the Central African Republic, Gabon, the Ivory Coast, Niger and Togo, to Maroc Telecom for $650m. The units all operate under the Moov brand but the agreement also covers Ivory Coast-based IT services provider Prestige Telecom.
African operator group MTN has sold all of its 1,269 mobile network towers in Rwanda and Zambia to independent mobile infrastructure provider IHS Holding for an undisclosed amount. IHS subsidiaries will own and manage 550 towers in Rwanda and 719 towers in Zambia.
French conglomerate Vivendi looks set to continue its offloading of telecom interests after Emirates-based Etisalat announced that it has secured funding to buy the French firm out of Maroc Telecom. Etisalat signed a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of Vivendi’s 53 per cent stake in the Moroccan operator back in November.
Developing markets operator Millicom said Thursday that Tigo customers in Tanzania will be the first consumers in East Africa to get free access to Facebook on their mobile handsets. On the back of a similar service which launched in Latin America in December 2013, Millicom and Facebook have now extended the partnership to East Africa.
South African mobile service reseller Nashua Mobile, which trades in subscriptions for the country’s main operators, is to close operations and sell its 750,000 users to Vodacom and MTN. The company is also looking to offload its Cell C customer base to a third party.
Operator group Millicom has announced the appointment of a general manager for its Tigo subsidiary in Ghana as well as a VP for TV services in Latin America.
Operator groups Millicom and Orange have announced start up incubator projects as they look to promote technological innovation in the markets they operate in.
Global voice and data services provider Glocall Telecoms, through its Somali operator subsidiary Sahal Telecoms, has announced it will deploy LTE services in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.