Telecom companies Orange Uganda and Warid Telecom have outsources management of their network infrastructure and assets to UK-based Eaton Towers, in a bid to cut operational costs and improve efficiency.
The two companies issued separate statements about the deal recently. Orange signed a 15-year partnership with Eaton, which it said will exploit the high quality coverage provided by the company’s tower portfolio. It also includes outsourcing of the maintenance and operation of sites and construction of build-to-suit new sites to cut capital expenditure and costs.
Warid said it had entered into a “definitive agreement” with Eaton Towers for sale and management of up to 394 towers assets and other passive network infrastructure, but expected to close the sale “in the first half of 2012.”
“This is an important strategic transaction for Warid Telecom Uganda which has undergone significant transformation over the past few years,” said Sriram Yarlagadda, CEO Warid Uganda and Director, Telecom Business Africa, in a statement on March 19.
“It will allow us to realize the value embedded in our passive infrastructure without impacting the quality of service we provide our customers. This transaction will reduce our long term infrastructure costs and help us focus on our core business of providing affordable communication service to our customers." “The partnership will enable us to expand our network and develop new multimedia services, in particular in rural areas, helping us achieve our ambition to provide the Ugandan population with the best network coverage and high-quality services,” said Philippe Luxcey, CEO of France Telecom-controlled Orange Uganda, in a recent statement.
Eaton Towers is said to be chaired by Sanjiv Ahuja, former Orange CEO. “Our ownership and management of the telecoms network infrastructure will ensure that Orange Uganda’s network is continually enhanced and expanded, whilst maintaining low operating costs for the mobile operator,” said Alan Harper, CEO of Eaton Towers.
Luxcey said the partnership will reduce operational costs and control the proliferation of masts, thereby reducing the environmental and visual impact of the network, especially in urban and ecologically-sensitive areas.