Wholesale mobile infrastructure giant American Tower is to expand its operations into Kenya for the first time with a deal to acquire up to 723 mobile towers from Telkom Kenya.
"The Board of TKL has made it clear that our objective is to transform Telkom into a business which has a reputation for excellence in terms of the quality and reliability of its network," noted the operator's Board Chair Eddy Njoroge. "This agreement, in which we will be partnering with a leading global tower company, will enhance the quality and reliability of our network to the benefit of our customers." The deal is set to close during the second half of this year.
William H. Hess, American Tower's President of EMEA and Latin America added: "We are excited to announce the launch of operations in Kenya through our agreement to acquire TKL's towers. This represents American Tower's 17th market globally, and our fifth in Africa, and we look forward to helping expand the reach of mobile broadband throughout the country. Kenya is a very attractive market, and we have high expectations for its long-term growth potential."
American Tower (ATC) already operates in Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana and South Africa.
Telekom Kenya's CEO, Aldo Mareuse, added: "The network availability and service levels we have agreed with ATC are world class and this agreement represents another important step towards the transformation of this business and the service levels we deliver to our customers. Telkom will now focus on its core function -- the provision of quality telecommunications services to our customers. In addition, the sale will release capital for further investment in our 4G network and a number of state of the art IT platforms, all of which will further enhance services for our customers as they demand higher quality and speed from our mobile data networks as well as a richer range of services."
Telkom Kenya is aiming to become a stronger competitor to market leader Safaricom by investing in its active network and supporting systems, and may even collaborate or possibly merge with its other main rival, Airtel Kenya, to gain scale and greater market power. (See Is Safaricom's Dominance in Kenya Under Threat? and Telkom Kenya Lines Up $40M Loan for Network Upgrade.)
— The staff, Connecting Africa