A successful listing of Telkom's portfolio of properties, masts and towers will bring a notable entity to the JSE. Telkom has 6,225 masts and towers across South Africa. Just the proposal sent Telkom's share price up by 17%.
For more than three years, Telkom has grappled with the question of how to best manage its portfolio of properties, masts and towers.
Towers and masts are infrastructure used by mobile operators to extend telecommunications coverage and high-speed data services such as 4G and 5G to customers. They are costly to run for mobile operators, given the need to provide them with power and security for their sites. Adding to the cost base for mobile operators is that towers and masts require heavy investments - mainly for their maintenance and upgrades.
For Sipho Maseko, the outgoing Telkom CEO, the question of managing the telecoms operator's masts and towers has also been about how to create shareholder value and unlock the billions of rands that are trapped in its infrastructure.
Towers and masts were considered vital to a company's competitive standing. But as more mobile operators have started to share their infrastructure to reduce costs and improve coverage, towers and masts have instead...