Bharti Airtel to sell 3,500 mobile masts in Africa

Indian operator Bharti Airtel has agreed to sell-off 3,500 mobile masts across six African countries to telecoms infrastructure player Eaton Towers.

Airtel said the move was designed to cut costs, and the company will now lease back the infrastructure from Eaton on a 10-year agreement.

Rival player MTN Nigeria struck a partnership with tower specialist IHS for the company to manage its tower operations last week.

Airtel’s move follows a growing trend of outsourcing the tower infrastructure on the continent.

Airtel has already sold part of its tower portfolio this year, and divested 3,100 masts in four countries across Africa to Helios Towers Africa in July. The Indian group is planning to sell over 15,000 towers in Africa, and aims to raise $2 billion.