Tech Nova was invited to a media roundtable by American Tower Corporation (ATC) to have a discussion about the company and its operations in Ghana.
Here are some things we learned from the event:
About The Company
ATC is an American company that operates mainly in the US but has operations in some African countries including Ghana, Uganda, and South Africa.
The company is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) and they own and operate income-producing real estate. In Ghana, they currently provide real estate for wireless and communications networks including telecom networks, broadcasters, and internet service providers.
By The Numbers
- ATC operates on 6 continents and in 26 countries.
- ATC was incorporated in Ghana in 2011.
- It currently has ~4000 sites operating in Ghana serving ISPs, telecom networks, and government agencies.
- The company currently has 178 direct employees and 12,716 indirect employees
- To date, the company has invested about $1.5 billion in Ghana.
The Big Picture
The cost of operations in Ghana has been increasing for the company. Apart from the high taxes (ATC pays about 40% in tax), the company has also been affected by the increase in the price of fuel which it purchases for the operations of its generators at most of its sites.
The company has also had cases of theft at some of its sites where culprits siphoned fuel from its onsite generators and as well as its batteries on its towers.
Last year, the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications asked the government to classify telecommunication sites as national security assets to bring more security attention to telecom sites.
Lastly, the company has had some challenges with the leasing of land due for tower construction due to high prices, especially in the city.
Currently, ATC is prepping for the oncoming 5G adoption by working with its stakeholders including MTN for the deployment of 5G on select sites.
The company is also working with the National Communications Authority to revise the 2010 Tower Guidelines for Tower companies which is currently outdated. The company is hoping for an update to the guidelines by mid-2023.
The company is also hoping to lean more into energy sustainability with increase usage of solar on some of its sites.
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