Helios Towers gets Tanzania licence

Helios Towers Africa says it has been awarded the first licence by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority to independently operate a network of telecoms towers.

The company says the move confirms the completion of Tanzania’s first tower sharing leaseback deal.

This transaction follows the successful launch of Helios Towers Africa’s business in Ghana.  In 2010, the company pioneered Africa’s first sales and leaseback deal, with the purchase of 735 towers from Millicom in Ghana.

Helios Towers Africa purchased the 1,180 telecoms towers from Tigo Tanzania, the Tanzanian operation of South Africa’s Millicom International Cellular, in December 2010. 

Tigo Tanzania will receive USD80m in cash upfront and will retain a significant minority interest in the company.  Helios Towers has also purchased 729 towers from Millicom in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Charles Green, CEO of Helios Towers Africa, said: “We are very pleased to be at the forefront of such an exciting and important new phase in Tanzania’s telecoms industry. Helios Towers pioneered independent tower sharing in Africa – this model is the best way to ensure accessibility, affordability and the highest quality of communications service through increased efficiency and competition.  We have seen significant success with our operations in Nigeria and Ghana and we look forward to bringing the same experience and benefits to Tanzania.”

Simon Horner, CEO of Helios Towers Tanzania, said: “This deal marks a significant moment in the development and growth of Tanzania’s telecoms industry.  We are deeply committed to delivering the greatest value to all telecoms operators and their customers across Tanzania. Helios Towers Africa has the unique experience, scale and quality of management to ensure the best deal is achieved for all concerned.”

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