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17th February 2010

EAIF commits US$19m to finance telecommunications expansion in Nigeria

EAIF committed US$ 19 million of debt for the nationwide expansion of Helios Towers Nigeria's shared telecommunication infrastructure network.

Helios Towers Nigeria Ltd builds and maintains a network of telecommunications towers, and leases space on the towers to multiple GSM, fixed wireless and other providers of wireless services under long-term lease agreements. HTN commenced commercial operations in 2006 and has quickly grown to become the leading shared service provider and the reference point for quality of service in the Nigerian telecom sector.

EAIF, a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) Facility, committed US$ 19 million of debt for the nationwide expansion of HTN's shared telecommunication infrastructure network. The EAIF financing is part a US$ 250 million syndicated loan led by the International Finance Cooperation (IFC).

Development benefits:

  • With the construction of additional tower sites, existing mobile operators will be able to expand the reach of their services both in terms of geography and capacity. Collocation reduces the incremental cost of expanding service for all carriers thereby allowing them to service remote and economically less developed areas where revenues and usage will be lower.
  • Helios Towers Nigeria will be building a tower network that is capable of supporting not only mobile cellular networks, but also wireless broadband and backhaul networks, thereby improving the penetration of these technologies.
  • A significant benefit of sharing tower infrastructure arises from the material, energy and emissions savings that ensue from building only one tower instead of three or four.
  • The project is expected to create >200 jobs within the company and a substantial number of indirect jobs.

For more information, visit www.emergingafricafund.com.