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Egypt inks deal with IHS Towers to build communication towers

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has witnessed the signing of a partnership agreement between Digital Egypt for Investment (the biggest shareholder of Misr Towers for Technology Services), IHS Netherlands GCC B.V., IHS Netherlands EGY B.V., and IHS Holding Limited (IHS Towers). The aim is to obtain a license from the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) to build and lease telecom towers in Egypt through IHS Telecom Towers Egypt SAE, a joint venture to be established under the agreement.

The partnership aims to cover the Egyptian market’s needs by building 6,000 telecom towers over the next three years and implement the coverage plan following the work scheme and related licensing requirements. The license would also allow for the acquisition and operation of existing mobile phone towers.

The agreement was signed by the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) CEO and Digital Egypt for Investment Chairman Amr Mahfouz, and IHS Towers Co-Founder and Group Chief Operating Officer William Saad.

The signing ceremony was attended by Former ICT Minister and Misr Towers for Technology Services Chairman Mohamed Salem; Assistant Minister for Global Information Infrastructure (GII) Mohamed Nasr Eldin; and Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) Joseph Edward.

Commenting on the agreement, Nasr Eldin underlined that sharing telecom towers helps operators focus on customer satisfaction. He added that the sharing of towers enables operators to provide various services more efficiently, improve service quality, and increase network coverage by reducing the burden of asset management and lower operating and capital costs. According to the agreement, the shared towers company will build telecom towers, bear capital and operating costs, and lease towers to telecom operators.

It is worth noting that telecom operators still have the right to build telecom towers. The sharing of towers is a commercial and technical option for telecom operators. It offers commercial advantages, helps expedite the implementation of coverage plans, and guarantees better coverage where there is no space to build new towers, especially in underserved areas where the government seeks to provide better network coverage to fulfill its plans of creating a digital society through achieving balance and encouraging competition between companies.

IHS Telecom Towers Egypt will be 20% owned by Digital Egypt for Investment and 80% by IHS Towers.

The parties to the agreement also signed the license documents. It is expected that the procedures for obtaining the license will be finalized this week after the license costs are paid.
CT Bureau

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