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Telecoms operators spend N40m to site base transceiver stations

By Adeyemi Adepetun
01 June 2016   |   3:40 am
Although most of the telecommunications operators in Nigeria have outsourced their Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) to Independent Tower companies in Nigeria ...
A BTS

A base transceiver stations

• IHS power towers with 30m litres of diesel monthly

Although most of the telecommunications operators in Nigeria have outsourced their Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) to Independent Tower companies in Nigeria, information has revealed that siting a tower usually cost about N40 million.

Currently, available data from the industry showed that there are about 31,000 telecommunications BTS in Nigeria.

MTN in 2014 outsourced about 9,151 towers to IHS Holding, at a transaction cost estimated to be at about N1.8 billion. Etisalat, which has about 4000 towers spread across the country, also outsourced majority of them to IHS.

Speaking to journalists in Lagos, co-founder and interim chief executive officer, IHS Nigeria, Mohamad Darwish, disclosed that building a base station will cost an operator an average of N40 million.

“Tower business is a highly capital-intensive one, as it cost an operator average of N40 million to build a base station and in a very difficult place, it could cost up to N50 million,” he said.

IHS is an independent a neutral tower management company with has operated in Nigeria for 16 years.

With over 23,000 towers in IHS portfolio in Nigeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda and Zambia, Darwish said the company also spends a lot of money maintaining the towers to keep them working round the clock to support operator’s business.

For instance, Darwish confirmed that IHS currently powers its 16, 000 sites in the country with a minimum of 30 million liters of diesel monthly to keep it functional.

Darwish has recommended renewable energy to bridge the energy gap in telecommunications sector in Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African (SAA) countries.