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Network disruption likely over MTN tower ownership — IHS




IHS Holding has said the lease of the 2,500 towers it lost to American Tower Corporation could cause network disruption in Nigeria.

It said this as it tried to offer improved commercial terms to MTN Nigeria. In September, MTN announced that the leasing of 2,500 sites with IHS of its due to expire in 2024 and 2025 had been awarded to ATC Nigeria after a bidding process.

At the time, the telco said the deal would diversify its towers portfolio and help it reduce network costs.

The Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola, said, “Efficient tower contracts are key in driving cost-effective, deep broadband penetration and leading technology across our operations, and in our quest of achieving differentiated value, we will from time to time review the contracts we have with our partners to ensure they optimally meet our site requirements.

“But beyond efficiency, we will also focus on cost optimisation, green energy utilisation, and sustainability.”

However, IHS Towers Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sam Darwish, told Reuters on Thursday that while the towers represent only a small fraction of the company’s total tenancies, it is willing to match ATC’s terms.

He said, “IHS has offered improved commercial terms on the 2,500 towers to close the gap (between the offers) as our main aim is to prevent network disruption in Nigeria.”

Responding, MTN stated that the agreement with ATC was final, and it would continue to engage with IHS on further opportunities, including renewal of its other sites.

It stated.“Our preference is always for bilateral renewal, subject to competitive pricing and terms. In this instance the ATC proposal was superior,”