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What We Do

The backbone of mobile in the emerging markets

IHS spans the African continent, bringing the power of mobile to millions, whilst creating strong returns for investors. Learn more about our thriving markets here.

Building and operating towers throughout EMEA

The sheer size of many emerging markets, as well as their huge geographic diversity, creates serious challenges for mobile network operators.

There are three ways in which IHS Towers overcomes these challenges to operate greener, more reliable towers.

The right engineering expertise

Our technological know-how and understanding of the wider mobile market are best in class. We build and maintain towers based in deep expertise the environment they function in, and the technology of the networks around them.

The best people on the ground

IHS employs close to 40,000 people directly and indirectly through our exclusive subcontractors, and over 95% of our employees are local. Our engineers’ local know-how and technological expertise 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 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 social investments here.

Market opportunities

The emerging markets will lead smartphone growth over the next few years.

Africa is the world’s fastest growing mobile market, and the biggest after Asia. The facts below are just a snapshot of the EMEA market, but they tell a compelling investment story, especially in light of the relatively low penetration of mobile in Africa – just 80% on average compared with Western Europe’s 124% and Asia Pacific’s 93%*. With a prediction of internet use on mobile phones increasing 20-fold in the next five years.

This combination of low penetration and strong growth represents a major investment opportunity at every point along the mobile supply chain – from handsets to towers.

* Source:

Connecting people and their communities – Far more than a business story

Mobile throughout the emerging markets, and the towers that enable it, are not just a business story; they are a social phenomenon, linking people and communities to each other and world beyond.

Enabling better business

In Rwanda mobile phone payment software has opened up opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses by providing ease and flexibility of use.

Farmers all over the emerging markets can receive the latest market prices with a single text message or gather information about sales and stock.

Mobile learning

Improving education throughout the 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 Africa - which is often the only kind of learning possible. Mobile technology has huge educational potential worldwide.

For mobile to work networks have to be working

In Europe, Asia or the US network downtime is a rare inconvenience. In the emerging markets where there are far fewer fixed lines, and less broadband penetration, downtime can be disastrous.

IHS is the most reliable tower operator in the emerging markets. Our towers are up and running at least 99% of the time.

“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 99.58%. 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

Our people

Our towers are the backbone of the emerging market mobile industry and our people are the foundation of our company.

We’re able to find the best people – and keep them – because we have earned a reputation for strong training programmes and great career progression.

Long-term thinking

The story of mobile in the emerging markets, and therefore our story, is just beginning. We expect IHS Towers to play a vital role in it for years to come.

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 the 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 becomes increasingly important to people, businesses and communities throughout EMEA, so does mobile reliability. IHS’s towers are already the most reliable throughout EMEA and we strive to continue to improve our performance.

Driving down costs

For mobile to fulfil its promise throughout the emerging markets, costs must come down. Through consistent investment in green energy solutions and R&D, IHS is successfully driving down costs for operators which makes their services more affordable for the end users.

Read about how we are working to preserve precious resources.