Cote d’Ivoire Telecom, Orange Cote d’Ivoire and Orange Cameroon, subsidiaries of France Telecom-Orange, have signed an agreement with IHS, a major mobile infrastructure operator in Africa, for the operation of all the subsidiaries’ towers in Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon which is expected to improve mobile networks in both countries.
Under the terms of the agreement, which involves more than 2,000 sites in Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon, the towers will remain the property of the Orange subsidiaries. IHS will operate the towers for Orange for a term of 15 years and bring specialist knowledge and skills to improve the customer experience whilst reducing Orange’s cost base.
IHS’ focus on the passive infrastructure (infrastructure not directly related to the transmission of the signal, such as energy supply and tower sites) will enable and accelerate further network modernisation, particularly in the areas of efficient grid and diesel utilisation and the growing use of renewable energy to power the network. Through IHS’ tower sharing model, available space on these towers will be marketed to other mobile operators whilst Orange subsidiaries will benefit from access to available slots on towers that IHS currently owns in both countries.
To further expand the network and meet local demand, IHS has committed to building new hybrid solar and generator power sites, thereby cutting diesel consumption at these sites by up to 70 percent. Solar-only sites are favoured in rural areas with low consumption where delivering diesel is more expensive.
Marc Rennard, Executive Director in charge of Africa, Middle East and Asia for the Orange Group, said: “Sharing passive infrastructure is a compelling opportunity for Orange to offer a better service to its customers in Africa and the Middle East through improved network coverage and reliability. It also allows us to drive efficiencies, reduce costs and manage the particular conditions in emerging markets such as the cost of energy and accessibility of sites. This agreement leaves open the possibility for Orange subsidiaries elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East to look into similar partnerships.”
“Placing tower infrastructure in the hands of mobile tower specialists benefits consumers, businesses and local economies, as well as the operators themselves,” said Issam Darwish, CEO and Founder of IHS.
“Our 12 years’ experience in the market, coupled with strong relationships with mobile network operators and equipment suppliers, allows us to bring improvements right across the value chain. Through innovation and our engineering experience we are also able to bring environmental benefits to Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon through a more efficient energy mix using solar power and the most up-to-date generator equipment.”