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IHS, Zain Sign $165m Tower Portfolio Agreement

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Mobile communications infrastructure company, IHS has entered into agreements to buy and leaseback the passive physical infrastructure of Kuwait-based mobile operator, KSCP (Zain), for US$165 million.

According to IHS, which has operations in Europe, Middle East, and in Africa, the transaction will result in the formation of a new entity that will acquire and manage Zain’s tower assets in Kuwait, with Zain assuming a minority shareholding in the newly formed entity.

“I’m very proud of Zain team for its professionalism in completing the first agreement of its kind in the MENA region,” says Bader Al-Kharafi, Vice-Chairman and Group CEO of Zain, adding that the transaction is set to support Zain’s transformational strategy in becoming a digital lifestyle provider.

“The transaction has been approved by Kuwait’s Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority (CITRA), and is still subject to other regulatory and statutory approvals, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018,” notes IHS in a statement.

Under the terms of the transaction, Zain is selling only its passive, physical infrastructure to the new company and will retain its intelligent software, technology, and intellectual property with respect to managing its network.

IHS says upon completion, the transaction will be the first sale and leaseback of telecom towers in the Middle East region by a licensed mobile operator, and creates the first independent tower operator of scale in the region. “This transaction is part of IHS’ broader strategy to apply its operational expertise from its international portfolio further throughout emerging markets.”

In Africa, IHS has operations in Nigeria (15,754 towers), Cameroon (2,408 towers), Cote d’Ivoire (2,560 towers), Rwanda (804) towers, and Zambia (1,966 towers).The company claims to be the largest independent tower operator in Europe, Middle East, and Africa by tower count and the third largest independent multinational tower company globally.

Frost & Sullivan analysts estimate that the mobile network tower industry in Sub-Saharan Africa will be worth approximately US$1.5 billion in the next four years. “This will be on the back of increased take-up of tower management arrangements in some markets, with authorities in various regions also pressing telecom firms to share infrastructure.”

In August, the take-up of tower management arrangements in South Africa was seen to be in stark contrast to establishments in Nigeria, where 77% of the country’s 28,241 towers are owned by independent towercos, according to Tower Exchange. Etisalat, MTN, and Airtel in Nigeria had divested their portfolios through transactions with IHS Towers and American Tower Corporation.

During January 2017, MTN exchanged its 51% share of Nigeria Tower InterCo B.V. (the parent of Nigerian telecoms tower operator INT Towers Limited) for an increased stake in IHS.

MTN’s stake in IHS increased to approximately 29% from approximately 15%. “This transaction enables MTN to simplify its tower ownership structure and diversify its exposure to tower infrastructure across the IHS Group,” said MTN.

In July last year, IHS completed the acquisition of Helios Towers Nigeria Limited’s 1,211 diversified tower sites throughout Nigeria.

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PTECSSAN Calls for call for Implementation of Executive Order on Local Contents

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Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communication

Private Telecommunication and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN) has called for the implementation of the President’s Executive Order on local contents.

 

Oladapo Moses, president of PTECSSAN, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, alleging increase in number of foreigners working in Nigeria.

 

Moses noted that four months after the executive order was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, there had been no blue print for its implementation.

 

NAN recalls that President Buhari signed the executive order on February 2 to improve local contents in science, engineering and technology components.

 

The order, among others, prohibits the Ministry of Interior from giving visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria.

 

Moses claimed that since the order was signed, the number of expatriates whose expertise was available in the country had continued to increased.

 

He said that if the trend was allowed to continue, the plans of the current administration to create 740,000 in the country would fail.

 

He said: “The rate at which Ministries, Departments and Agencies grant expatriate quotas to foreign workers is worrisome.

 

“This is a direct abuse of the laws. Imagine an expatriate working in Nigeria as a Security Manager, Fleet Manager, Account Manager and Human Resource Manager. This is sad.”

 

According to him, telecommunication companies keep Nigerian workers as casual or outsource staff while their foreign counterparts, some of who are less qualified, are treated with full benefits.

 

He said: “This is against the laws as no Nigerian worker understudies the expatriates; rather the reverse is the case.

 

“We have companies with 30 per cent locals and 70 per cent foreigners as staff.”

 

Moses said it was wrong to believe that Nigerians in the telecommunication sector “still needed to learn forever, after over a decade of learning and teaching the supposed teachers”.

 

He said that some multi-nationals hid under redundancy policy to terminate employment of the indigenous workers only to bring in foreigners to take over their positions.

 

Moses added: “The result is that Nigerians lose their jobs to foreign workers.

 

“We urge the MDA’s to immediately work with all labour unions in the information sector to nip this development in the bud.”

 

The union leader lamented that the executive order has not been implemented and advised Nigerian telecommunication workers to wake up and be united to be able to tackle the challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

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Internet of Things Spending to Reach $1.2 Trillion in 2022- IDC

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International Data Corporation (IDC) reports on Internet of Things shows that spending will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.6% over the 2017-2022 forecast period and reach $1.2 trillion in 2022.

 

The forecast is based on the latest research in the burgeoning IoT technology market, which offers business investment opportunities across a spectrum of industries and illuminated through use case implementations.

 

As the diverse IoT market reaches broad-based critical mass, innovative offerings in analytics software, cloud technologies, and business and IT services have expanded rapidly.

 

Carrie MacGillivray, group vice president, Internet of Things and Mobility, said, “The IoT market is at a turning point – projects are moving from proof of concept into commercial deployments.

 

“Organizations are looking to extend their investment as they scale their projects, driving spending for the hardware, software, services, and connectivity required to enable IoT solutions.”

 

The intersection of multiple technology domains is one key to successfully understanding and developing a supply-side product and market development strategy.

 

The IDC IoT Spending Guide is an industry defining market intelligence tool that details end-user adoption and spending across multiple segmentations.

 

Marcus Torchia, research director, Customer Insights & Analysis, said, “The latest IoT Spending Guide release fully aligns to IDC’s Industry Taxonomy.

 

“We now forecast all 20 standard IDC Industries,”

 

“As a result, we are proactively mapping IoT use cases that have segmentations in shared domains, such as in Smart Cities and Digital Transformation investment areas.

 

“As a part of these improvements, IoT supports spending forecasts for 100 use cases.”

 

Forecast highlights show that the consumer sector will lead IoT spending growth with a worldwide CAGR of 19%, followed closely by the insurance and healthcare provider industries.

 

From a total spending perspective, discrete manufacturing and transportation will each exceed $150 billion in spending in 2022, making these the two largest industries for IoT spending.

 

From an enterprise use case perspective, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) solutions will experience the fastest spending growth (29% CAGR) over the forecast period, followed by traffic management and connected vehicle security.

 

The Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide forecasts IoT spending for 14 technologies across 20 vertical industries in nine regions and 53 countries through 100 use cases.

 

 

Unlike any other research in the industry, this comprehensive spending guide was designed to help vendors clearly understand the industry-specific opportunity for IoT technologies today.

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ALTON Seek Policy Breather for Ailing CDMA

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Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has called for policy flexibility in favour of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators.

 

Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, ALTON Chairman, said in Lagos that the federal government should give the operators access to capital and other incentives to survive.

 

“With the declining CDMA operation in Nigeria, there is urgent need to help the operators remain in business in order to allow for the continuity of their operations, which has cheaper tariff than GSM service,” he said.

 

Adebayo called on telecommunications regulators to revisit the interconnect rate model and give preferential treatment to CDMA operators.

 

CDMA is a wireless communication technology that allows multiple people to use a single radio channel at the same time with little interference and very high security.

 

Adebayo said that CDMA operators still existed and had subscribers but were not as prominent as they used to be. “The fact remains that the choice of technology being used now does not favour CDMA operators,’’ he said.

 

The chairman noted that CDMA lines were mostly used in the country in the past.

 

He said that the use of the CDMA lines was reduced as a result of stiff competition with GSM operators.

 

Adebayo said that GSM operators churned out innovative and exciting products for subscribers and lowered call tariffs and SIM cards, causing decline in the number of subscribers on CDMA network.

 

Adebayo said that GSM operators’ subscriber base had continued to rise to the disadvantage of CDMA operators. According to statistics released by the Nigeria Communications Commission for 2018, active mobile telephone lines in Nigeria rose from 149 million in March to 160 million in April.

 

 

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