06 September 2017
| Natalie Bannerman
Cellnex Telecom has completed its acquisition of Alticom, a Dutch infrastructure provider, in a deal worth €133 million.
The 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."