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Inaugural White Paper Launched on Africa’s Telecom Growth

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Vusi Melane
Vusi Melane
Staff Writer

SBA Communications, a prominent provider of essential wireless infrastructure, and Telecom Advisory Services, a highly respected consultancy agency in the telecommunications sector, are offering fresh perspectives on the African telecom industry through the launch of a pioneering white paper titled “The Independent Tower Industry as a Key Enabler of African Telecommunications Development.” This groundbreaking study delves into the telecommunications landscape of the continent, examining 14 significant markets such as Egypt, Morocco, Rwanda, South Africa, and Tanzania. It uncovers a compelling correlation between tower deployment and the performance of the mobile sector from 2010 to 2022.

The white paper employs robust econometric models, considering crucial variables such as 4G coverage, mobile broadband adoption, service quality, competition levels, and service affordability. This comprehensive approach provides a clear picture of the sector’s current state and its immense potential.

Pres Dr R Katz
President for Telecom Advisory Services, LLC, Dr Raul Katz

President and author for Telecom Advisory Services, Dr Raul Katz explains “The whitepaper highlights the significant impact of independent tower companies on wireless connectivity in Africa, with countries exhibiting better coverage, use, affordability, and quality of wireless connectivity when there is a larger share of independent tower companies.”

“The tower industry advocates for long-term guarantees and stability for investors because it provides a conducive environment for sustained growth and development, reducing their perceived risk and incentivising investment in infrastructure projects such as tower deployment.” he adds


Unlocking 5G’s potential

The study highlights the critical necessity for enhanced infrastructure to facilitate the deployment of next generation 5G networks. To accomplish this, the authors suggest a multi-faceted approach:

• Strategic Zoning: Implementing regulations that prevent excessive tower deployment while ensuring efficient use of land.
• Streamlined Approvals: Expediting permit processes to accelerate infrastructure development.

• Fair Market Access: Granting tower companies access to public buildings and right-of-way at market rates to facilitate optimal network placement.

All data indicates the competitive and dynamic nature of the tower industry, highlighting the necessity to cultivate an investment and regulatory environment that optimizes the advantages of infrastructure sharing, a pivotal element of the industry’s business model. This underscores a compelling argument for the independent tower industry as a driving force behind Africa’s vibrant telecom sector. By adopting the suggested recommendations, African nations can unleash the complete potential of digital infrastructure, fostering economic growth and social development throughout the continent.

The future of the tower industry

The tower industry plays a crucial role in the IoT and smart cities market sectors, providing new avenues for growth and innovation. The establishment of an independent tower industry is essential for advancing telecommunications in African nations, leading to enhanced service penetration. By adopting the recommendations outlined in this white paper, African governments can optimize tower deployment potential, stimulate competition, and bolster the future expansion of 5G networks. This strategic approach will unlock the complete potential of mobile connectivity, propelling economic growth and positioning Africa as a leader in the digital revolution.

This white paper serves as a guide for investors and businesses aiming to enter the burgeoning telecommunications sector in Africa, offering insights into the industry’s trajectory and the abundant opportunities it presents for economic growth and innovation.

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