Bouygues Telecom turned to US-based Phoenix Tower International to assist in meeting coverage obligations in its home market, France, with plans to form a joint venture to handle construction and operation of thousands of new towers in the country.
In a statement, the tower company explained it would control the joint venture, which will own and operate around 4,000 new sites to be constructed over the next 12 years. In addition to contributing to Bouygues Telecom’s coverage commitments, Phoenix Tower International said the agreement would also accelerate tower rollouts “alongside transportation routes” and ultimately position the business as “an infrastructure operator of choice in the market”.
Jean Paul Arzel, head of Bouygues Telecom’s network division, said the agreement enables the operator to “sustain its efforts in sites [sic] deployment in less dense areas”, and “contribute to considerably strengthen our mobile network coverage in rural areas”.
A key element, though, is meeting targets specified by French regulator Arcep under what is dubbed New Deal coverage objectives. These include providing 4G access to the entire population, along with boosting in-building access.
Dagan Kasavana, Phoenix Tower International CEO, said the “French market is well positioned for significant wireless growth throughout the country as further 4G and 5G deployments are made over the coming years”.
The tower company noted the deal also significantly expands its footprint in France. The bulk of the 8,000 towers it currently operates are situated in the US, Latin America and the Caribbean.