Cellnex Telecom acquires Alticom

06 September 2017 | Natalie Bannerman

Cellnex Telecom has completed its acquisition of Alticom, a Dutch infrastructure provider, in a deal worth €133 million.

Cellnex Footprint 160 x 186The deal includes the consolidation of Alticom’s 30 long-range, high-capacity telecommunications towers, which enables the transmission for voice, data and audio-visual content operators. 

The infrastructure adds to Cellnex’s existing network of 758 urban and rural sites in the Netherlands. In addition, Alticom has a portfolio of clients that includes all the telecoms and broadcast operators in the Netherlands, with which they have contracts spanning five to 10 years. 

The news comes following the acquisition of CommsCon in Italy in June 2016. CommsCon is an Italian operator and provider of innovative 'small cell’ solutions and together with this newest deal, Cellnex, an independent European operator of wireless communications, is expanding the capabilities of its 5G ecosystem.

Tobias Martinez, CEO of Cellnex, said: "The acquisition of Alticom's assets in the Netherlands provides consistency and solidity to our activity in the Netherlands by incorporating a recurring business, with predictable medium- and long-term flows, while constituting a further commitment, in the wake of the acquisition of CommsCon in Italy in 2016, to the 5G ecosystem on which Cellnex is working extremely hard."

Distributed-antenna systems and small cells are key in the roll out of 5G, for which CommsCon is one of the European experts. Long-range, high-capacity infrastructure nodes, like those owned by Alticom in the Netherlands, enable latencies of up to 1 millisecond, another requirement of 5G.

Cellnex is financing the deal through available cash and credit lines, and the acquisition will contribute an expected €11.5 million in EBITDA in 2018.

"A key facet in the roll-out of 5G will be to respond to the technological challenge of latency," said Martinez. "In terms of network architecture, there are several issues that need to be resolved. The reduction of ’cells', or areas of coverage, will be served with a denser network based on distributed antenna systems such as those operated by CommsCon; equally, it is essential that processing and storage capacity and fibre connectivity for broadband content – something known as 'caching servers’ – are brought closer to receivers to ensure expected speed and response rates. This latter issue is precisely one of the lines of work in which Alticom has experience and will add the required expertise to Cellnex's 5G ecosystem."

Topics: Alticom, Cellnex Telecom, CommsCon, Tobias Martinez, small cells, DAS, 5G, Networks, Netherlands