Wednesday, 08 April 2020

Bouygues Telecom strikes deal with Phoenix Tower International for 4,000 French towers

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Tuesday 24 March 20

The deal will see Phoenix build the infrastructure over 12 years, targetting rural areas for connectivity

A new joint venture between Bouygues Telecom and Phoenix Tower International will see the latter build and operate 4,000 new tower sites in France.     The move comes in part to help Bouygues Telecom achieve the targets set by the French regulator as part of the so-called New Deal, in which spectrum licence holders are required to extend 4G availability to the country&rsquo…

A new joint venture between Bouygues Telecom and Phoenix Tower International will see the latter build and operate 4,000 new tower sites in France.  
 
The move comes in part to help Bouygues Telecom achieve the targets set by the French regulator as part of the so-called New Deal, in which spectrum licence holders are required to extend 4G availability to the country’s entire population. 
 
"This agreement allows Bouygues Telecom to sustain its efforts in sites deployment in Less Dense Areas and also to meet the New Deal requirements,” explained Jean Paul Arzel, Bouygues Telecom’s chief network officer. “It will also contribute to considerably strengthen our mobile network coverage in rural areas.”
 
For Phoenix Tower International, this agreement will see a 50% increase in its tower portfolio. With the majority of its 8,000 current towers situated in North and South America, the move also constitutes a significant foray into Europe, with France a particularly desirable market according to Phoenix Tower International’s CEO, Dagan Kasavana.
 
“We believe the French market is well positioned for significant wireless growth throughout the country as further 4G and 5G deployments are made over the coming years and we are proud of our participation in these deployments,” he said.
 
This is not the first of Bouygues Telecom’s recent infrastructure partnerships. Last month, the French operator launched a separate joint venture investing €1 billion with Cellnex to deploy a national fibre broadband network, primarily to help their rollout of 5G within the country. The contract sees Bouygues Telecom become the 30-year anchor-tenant for the network in a deal worth an estimated €4 billion. 
 
In the last decade, Bouygues Telecom has undergone a remarkable turnaround. In the first half of the 2010s, the French company was struggling with market upheaval, operating at a significant loss. Around this time, there were multiple rivals, such as Altice and Orange, in discussion to potentially buy the company. However, Bouygues Telecom decided to stick to its guns and this seems to have proved a wise decision; in Q1 2019, the company reported an operating profit of €91 million, with its mobile market share now sitting at around 18%.
 
With its substantial partnerships with Phoenix and Cellnex, the company is now well positioned for continued growth.
 
 
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