Building and operating telecom infrastructure throughout emerging markets
Emerging markets are vast in size and geographically very diverse which can create obstacles for mobile network operators. IHS Towers is uniquely prepared to meet the challenges in several important ways, outlined below, while operating environmentally sustainable and reliable towers.
The right engineering expertise
Our technological know-how and understanding of the mobile sector are market-leading. We build, operate, and maintain towers based on deep expertise of our local environment, and the technology of the networks, past, present and future.
The best people on the ground
IHS Towers employs more than 2,000 employees. Our engineers’ local know-how and technological capabilities ensures that our towers are fit for purpose on day one and every day thereafter.
Respect for the environment and communities we operate in
Social and environmental sustainability are at the heart of what we do. We are leading the way with our solar-powered towers, and continue to make lasting social investments in our local communities.
You can read about our Sustainability programs here.
Emerging markets represent some of the fastest growing wireless communications opportunities in the world with increasing demand from subscribers for data services and increasing access to smartphones driving demand for wireless telecommunications infrastructure, according to industry reports.
GSMA estimates that 167 million new unique mobile subscribers are expected in Sub-Saharan Africa between 2018 and 2025, a further 77 million in the Middle East and North Africa and 68 million in Latin America over the same time period. In many of our markets, we continue to see 4G penetration rising ahead of the onset of 5G penetration in the future. The combination of low existing penetration, subscriber growth and strong increase in demand for data services all represent major investment opportunities at every point along the mobile supply chain – from handsets to tower infrastructure.
Even in highly penetrated markets like Kuwait, where smartphone penetration is among the highest in the Middle East, customers are more concerned with having high data plans and being early adopters of new technology. As new technology becomes available and carriers are able to increase bandwidth, data usage is expected to continue to increase, requiring additional infrastructure.
In Brazil and Nigeria for example, there are over 200 million and 180 million mobile subscribers, respectively. These markets are both expected to grow considerably over the next few years in terms of subscribers and required infrastructure.
Connecting people and their communities – Far more than a business story
Mobile use throughout emerging markets, and the towers that enable it, are not just a business story; they are a social phenomenon, as mobile connectivity empowers people economically, and links them and their communities to each other and the world beyond.
Enabling better business
For example, Rwanda mobile phone payment software has opened up opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses by providing ease and flexibility of use.
Farmers throughout emerging markets can receive the latest market prices with a single text message or gather information about sales and stock.
Improving education throughout emerging markets is at the heart of solving many economic, social and healthcare problems. Increasingly, mobile communications are understood to be key to remote learning in rural portions of the world and mobile phones also have enormous potential to impact e-banking, mobile money and insurance platforms to name just a few.
For mobile to work, networks have to be working
In Europe or the US, network downtime is a rare inconvenience. In emerging markets where there are far fewer fixed lines, less broadband penetration and unreliable power supply, network downtime can have far reaching implications. We believe we are the most reliable tower operator in the emerging markets.
“The level of service that IHS has provided, and we believe you will continue to provide, far exceeds our expectations. We are particularly impressed that, within eight months, the power availability on the Airtel Zambia network has improved tremendously. The average power availability before you took over was 98.3% and has increased to 99.6%. We previously had numerous challenges with passive infrastructure but, since you’ve taken over the sites, you’ve always managed to provide workable solutions.”
- Airtel Zambia Chief Technical Officer
We believe that our towers are the backbone of the emerging market mobile industry and our people are the foundation of our company.
We are able to find the best people – and keep them – because we have earned a reputation for our commitment to strong training programs and opportunities for career development.
The story of mobile in emerging markets, and therefore our story, is still in its early days. We expect IHS Towers to play a vital role in the future development and continued growth of these important markets.
IHS Towers focuses on three areas in order to operate greener, more reliable towers than its peers.
Planning for a sustainable future
Pioneering alternative energy supplies; investing in the communities around us; attracting, training and retaining the best talent from emerging markets – building a sustainable, efficient business that’s equipped for all of tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities.
Building the reliability the emerging markets need
As mobile phones become increasingly important to people, businesses and communities throughout emerging markets, so does mobile reliability. Our towers are some of the most reliable throughout emerging markets and we strive to continue improving our performance.
Driving down costs
For mobile to fulfil its promise throughout emerging markets, costs must come down. Through consistent investment in green energy solutions and R&D, IHS Towers is successfully enabling network expansion which helps to make services more affordable for the end users.
Read about how we are working to enable the development of our local communities