MTN Nigeria says tower contract award to ATC is conclusive
MTN Nigeria has stated that there is no going back on its decision to award the 2500 tower sites contract to the American Tower Corporation (ATC), which the company announced in September - this after the tower company outbid competitors to clinch the contract, expected to expire in 2024 and 2025.
This is contrary to media reports that the mobile network operator is reconsidering its choice in light of an allegedly better offer from IHS Towers.
In response to this assertion, MTN Nigeria stated on Tuesday that it has not received a revised offer from IHS and that any reports that it is now reconsidering its decision to award the 2500 tower sites contract to ATC are inaccurate.
MTN Nigeria recently awarded tower contracts to ATC giving it 13% share of the total tower assets. Karl Toriola, MTN Nigeria boss, disclosed that IHS currently has 14,600 sites representing 60% of MTN Nigeria’s total tower assets, compared with ATC’s 2,300 representing 13% of the assets.
Tobechukwu Okigbo, chief corporate services, MTN Nigeria said, “The agreement with ATC over the 2,500 sites is final, having gone through a rigorous process involving our highest governance approvals. Our preference is always for bilateral renewal, subject to competitive pricing and terms. In this instance the ATC proposal was superior.”
MTN plans to continue to engage with IHS Towers on further opportunities that arise, including the renewal of the next vintages of towers that come up for renewals in 2025. However, there will also be participation from other parties.
Despite concerns that giving the contract to ATC may cause disruptions and possibly have a detrimental effect on the environment, Okigbo said such concerns are “factually incorrect, and misleading” as tower transfers between two infrastructure companies do not necessarily lead to network disruption. MTN Nigeria is expectant that the transition will be smooth.
“Through our partnership with ATC, we are setting the stage for a new era of connectivity in Nigeria, one that not only meets the growing demands of our customers but also aligns with our focus on expense efficiencies, commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility,” said Okigbo.
The telco is also expecting ATC to adhere strictly to NCC guidelines and NESREA regulations on deploying telecoms sites.
“We are deeply committed to achieving net-zero emissions and part of the differentiated value ATC provides is a commitment to operating green sites, ensuring significant reduction in carbon emissions. Contrary to the allegations of harmful environmental impact, the partnership with ATC will reduce greenhouse gases,” Okigbo said.