African infrastructure company Helios Towers partnered with South Africa-based network construction and maintenance company Vulatel to build open access wireless and fixed line infrastructure in the country in a bid to tap its 5G potential.
Helios Towers said in a statement it “expects the South African market to lead the way on 5G rollout in Sub-Saharan Africa with a consumer and industrial business case for better coverage and enhanced connectivity delivered through the country’s current mobile network operators.”
It stated the new unit it wants to create, Helios Towers South Africa, “will support the rollout by building greenfield mobile tower infrastructure and the associated high-speed microwave and fibre-optic infrastructure that will enable MNOs to meet their customers’ needs.”
Vulatel CEO Tlhabeli Ralebitso explained that demand for data services are not being met in the country, which “provides an unrivalled opportunity” to the companies.
Helios Towers said the deal will enable it to diversify its geographic mix. It was formed in 2009 and currently owns around 6,500 towers in Ghana, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In 2018 it pulled plans to float the company in the UK, a move which was expected to value the business at £2 billion.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back