Explore Issue 3 of Africa Outlook Magazine Magazine, the B2B magazine for Africa.

Latest 03 Corporate Stories

Eaton Towers

Towering ahead Africa Outlook talks to Alan Harper, the Co-founder and CEO of African telecoms infrastructure firm Eaton Towers, which owns and manages telecom infrastructure across the continent and has plans to build 250 transmitter towers this year. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Ben Weaver African telecoms infrastructure firm Eaton Towers is continuing to expand its mobile operations and is one of a number of specialist players to launch services in Africa in recent years. It plans to build another 250 transmitter towers in 2013, increasing its African portfolio by a sixth. What's that down to? Growing internet use. "We will build about 100 towers in Uganda, 100 in South Africa and 50 in Ghana," says Alan Harper, Eaton Towers' Co-founder and CEO. Customers include Airtel, Vodafone, South Africa's MTN and Orange. "The internet boom is one of the key drivers - more people are getting online as smartphone prices fall and telecom operators improve their networks. Mobile operators are building new base stations for two reasons – one is obviously coverage, and there is still some coverage expansion going on, but increasingly it is for adding capacity to the networks." A lack of extensive fixed-line infrastructure in most African countries means mobile networks provide the main means for people to access the internet, he adds. "That's right. With fixed-line penetration being so low in so many countries most of the data usage is on the mobile networks and therefore whether it is 3G, or now we are seeing some LT E development in some markets,

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