VENTURES AFRICA – UK-based Eaton Towers has revealed intentions to add another 250 transmitter towers to the African telecommunications infrastructure, growing the company’s position on the continent.
The telecoms company plans to build 100 new transmitter towers in South Africa, 100 in Uganda, and an additional 50 towers in Ghana over the span of 2013, the Chief Executive Officer of Eaton Towers, Alan Harper, told Reuters.
Eaton Towers currently owns, or manages, 1,500 transmitter towers; with the additional towers to be constructed next year, this figure will rise to 1,750 – signalling significant growth in Africa over the space of one year.
In line with the emerging trend among foreign investors, Eaton Towers is positioning itself to be an integral player in the development of African economies – with growth on the continent expected to boom over the coming period, as six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are found on the African continent.
Speaking on Eaton’s plans to expand in Africa, Harper told Reuters: “We still have a number of things we’re working on in east and west Africa.”
He went on to disclose: “In the first half of 2013 we would be expecting to look at new business to open up in places where there’s a strong economy, good GDP growth and more, rather than less, operators.”
However, with multiple African countries highlighting the importance of telecoms in economic development, and many governments setting ambitious targets such as 100 per cent coverage within the next decade or two, Eaton Towers will not be alone to vie for a place in the development process, and there will foreseeably be a battle amongst private entities to own and manage the telecoms towers of Africa.
Harper concedes: “There’s still quite a lot of work going on with the major Africa operators – MTN, Orange, Vodafone, Etisalat – they are all looking at doing things with towers in different countries.”