According to reports, mobile operator Bharti Airtel Limited, commonly known as Airtel, has reached an agreement to sell 1,000 of its telecommunication towers in Tanzania to Helios Towers, which currently owns and operates more than 7,800 towers in Africa with operations in Tanzania, Ghana, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Bharti Airtel is reportedly preparing to dispose of its mobile phone towers in Africa by selling its masts to specialist tower firms such as Helios and then leasing them back in an effort to reduce their overall maintenance costs.
Others operators have taken similar action as was the case when South Africa’s MTN sold 9,100 towers in Nigeria in September 2014 and also conducted similar transactions in Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Rwanda and Zambia.
Bharti Airtel is reportedly planning a similar sale of units in Malawi to Eaton Towers.
While details of the agreements have not yet been disclosed, Bharti has reportedly agreed to sell 3,500 towers across six countries to Eaton and 3,100 masts in four countries to Helios.
CEO of Eaton, Alan Harper, has indicated that deals have been signed, but not yet closed, though he expects them to close by the first quarter of 2015.
Bharti Airtel Limited, is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa.
Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 4 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers.