IHS Holding, a global telecom infrastructure behemoth led by US-Nigerian telecom tycoon Sam Darwish, and Airtel Nigeria, a subsidiary of Airtel Africa Plc, have announced a strategic partnership to elevate and expand their collaborative efforts in shared communications infrastructure, ushering in a new era of telecom advancement in Nigeria and beyond.
Airtel Nigeria plans to secure 3,950 tenancies over five years, with the majority expected in 2024 and 2025. This is a historic move. Simultaneously, the period of Airtel Nigeria’s existing tenancies, which include about 6,000 locations, has been extended until December 2031.
The entire arrangement includes 2,500 colocations, 5G upgrades, and the development of build-to-suit sites, all of which will be owned and controlled by IHS Nigeria. This strategic relationship puts both organizations at the vanguard of the quickly evolving 5G environment, which is critical for fulfilling the growing demands of a fast digitized African continent.
Darwish, chairman and CEO of IHS Towers, expressed pleasure for the expanded cooperation, saying, “The expansion and renewal of our relationship with Airtel Nigeria is a testament to our continued commitment to serving our customers and the connectivity demands of Africa.”
Darwish stressed the long-term engagement with Airtel, noting that it will improve mobile connection in Nigeria and help the launch of new sites around the country.
The recent tower deal between IHS Holding, one of the world’s largest independent owners, operators, and developers of shared communications infrastructure, and Airtel Africa Plc, one of Africa’s largest mobile network operators, is expected to not only improve both entities’ technological capabilities but also significantly contribute to Nigeria’s and the continent’s overall socioeconomic development.
Darwish founded IHS in 2001, and it has since established itself as the leading telecom infrastructure business in Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Globally, the firm is the third-largest independent global tower company by tower count. Darwish, a notable person in the African telecom business, owns a significant 4.17 percent investment in the company, which equates to 13,958,158 ordinary shares.
As both firms embark on this revolutionary journey, their shared goal of sustainable and technologically advanced connection demonstrates the transformative power of strategic collaborations in today’s fast changing telecom industry. This alliance is expected to play an important role in satisfying Africa’s expanding connectivity needs.