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Page added on June 23, 2012

Helios Towers plans to reduce the proliferation of towers in connecting Africa’s rural communities

Helios Towers plans to reduce the proliferation of towers in connecting Africa’s rural communities thumbnail

Helios Towers Ghana (HTG), a subsidiary of Helios Towers Africa (HTA) and the first, leading tower company in Ghana, gave a speech at the 7th Annual Connecting Rural Communities Africa Forum 2012 Conference in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Michael Okine, Director at HTG, told Conference attendees about the advantages that towers companies can offer operators and governments in their efforts to reach Africa’s rural communities.

HTA believes that, without an increase in the sharing of infrastructure, the number of telecoms towers in Africa will have to double over the next five years from 75,000 to 150,000 in order to serve rapidly increasing levels of consumer demand for 2G voice alone, without incorporating the extra demand for 3G coverage.

In a speech entitled “The tower business, a success story in Africa”, Okine said that HTG has successfully added over 600 co-locations since early 2010, significantly reducing the proliferation of towers in Ghana and improving the uptime of all sites. This has resulted in improved customer service levels and less operating expenditure required by its clients.

At the conference, which was between 20–22 June, Okine also spoke on a panel session “Filling the access gaps in rural ICT connectivity”, where panellists discussed the issues and challenges in telecoms access and reviewed the levels of investment needed to accelerate universal coverage.

According to Okine, HTA, Africa’s leading, independent telecoms towers company, can play a vital role in ‘filling the gap’.  On the panel, Okine said that HTA’s independent, infrastructure sharing business is a proven, robust model, which is best because it benefits consumers, operators and regulators.  Okine also discussed the need for infrastructure investment in sub-Saharan Africa and how this can be reduced by cooperation and tower sharing. An additional benefit of an independent, specialist company managing towers is that network operators are able to focus on their core business, which is gaining new subscribers and improving their services.

Michael Okine, Director at HTG, commented:

“We are very pleased to attend the 7th Annual Connecting Rural Communities Africa Forum 2012 again this year.  Last year it was held in one of Helios Towers Africa’s core markets, Tanzania, and we are happy to bring the discussion to a new country.  The new ways and means that companies are discussing in order to reach the more rural areas of the continent is a sign of the scale of opportunities to be found within the African telecoms market.  HTA is excited to be playing a role in helping deliver improved operating and capital efficiency for mobile network operators, reducing their costs, as well as increasing accessibility and enabling a better network quality of service for users.”

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