© Chhor Sokunthea/ World Bank
When telecom tower infrastructure is shared by several operators and professionally managed by independent tower companies, it can be optimally deployed and allocated. Tower sharing facilitates competition, eases market entry for new players, and reduces the environmental footprint of the telecom industry. Tower construction and maintenance require substantial capital. Taking these expenses off telecom operators’ balance sheets frees up resources to upgrade networks with new technologies, expand to new areas, and improve product offerings for all types of customers.
In the last decade, the tower-sharing concept has expanded across developing economies. IFC has supported several strong players in the industry – including Helios Towers and IHS Towers, two companies which have since held successful IPOs.