Pan African Towers Limited Gets NCC approval For Collocation in Nigeria - Sundiata Tech

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Pan African Towers Limited Gets NCC approval For Collocation in Nigeria

Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, has given approval to Pan African Towers Limited (PAT) to operate as a telecommunications collocation company in Nigeria, a statement has said. This is after a rigorous process and presentation to the regulatory body on the Company’s grand vision for Nigeria mobile operators while applauding NCC for a thorough job as

the regulator.

The approval was said to be communicated to the company by NCC in a letter dated August 9, 2017 and signed by the Executive Vice Chairman. The Pan African Tower company which plans to have operations in over 10 African countries, according to the statement will commence operations in Nigeria immediately with this approval from NCC. Plans are said to be  on-going to launch in Cote d’ Ivoire and Sierra Leone before the end of the year and Liberia, Gambia, Guinea and Senegal planned for 2018.

The company, according to the source, is already in advanced negotiation to acquire about 850 towers (operating sites) in Nigeria from some local companies hosting all the telecommunications operators in Nigeria and plans to construct an additional 1,500 strategically located build-to-suite sites in the next 2 years.

“PAT’s innovative business model will enable it to charge lease rate in each country’s local currency on all new build to suite sites across Africa; a move that will be most welcome by several operators who are groaning under the existing rate structure. The management team of PAT has among them over 100 years of combined experience in the telecommunication and tower industry”.

The Nigerian collocation sector of the Telecomms industry is currently dominated by 2 to 3 operators controlling over 90 percent of the sector, hence the urgent need for healthy competition. This is in line with the efforts made by the regulator to address the need for service improvement and increase operational efficiency thus creating value for subscribers who are plagued with persistent network quality problems and call drops.  This will also prevent anti-competitive activities in the collocation sector which is to the detriment of both operators and subscribers and may lead to business collapse of some operators.

The new tower company said it will use green technology to reduce cost and help accelerate broadband penetration which is necessary for economic development and poverty reduction. “Sub Saharan Africa has 125,000 towers out of which 45,000 or 36 percent is currently owned by TowerCos, an additional 95,000 towers are required to meet the growing need for broadband services leaving a huge market yet to be tapped for PAT in Africa which has its strategic thrust as ‘ Think Africa Act Local’.

According to Sohail Haider, a director of PAT, according to the statement,  the NCC approval is a welcome development and will serve as a relief to the operators in Nigeria and across Africa who have been craving for more competition in that sector; PAT is well positioned to achieve that goal. According to recent reports from NCC, Nigeria needs about 80,000 base stations to achieve the Smart Nigeria Initiative using 4G /5G technology but currently has much less than 50,000 base stations. Businessday.

 

Daniel Obi

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