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10 June 2019

Cellnex boosts UK tower footprint through BT agreement

UK telco BT is dramatically rationalizing its property portfolio, from central offices to offices, and the process is also affecting its tower sites. It has signed a deal with Spanish tower operator Cellnex, to sell the operating rights for 220 UK towers for a period of 20 years, an agreement which could lead to further cooperation in future.

The deal will be a welcome expansion in the UK for Cellnex, whose main markets are in Spain and Italy, but which plans to extend its reach with the stated aim of becoming the “American Tower of Europe”. The firm said the £100m agreement will increase its UK locations by almost 40%, enabling it to operate and market the sites on behalf of BT, while also offering new equipment co-location services to other operators and communications companies.

New revenues which are generated by such activities will be shared between the two companies, and Cellnex said it was committed to “exploring the potential for further collaborative opportunities in the UK telecommunications market”.

Last month, Cellnex announced a €2bn deal to acquire towers in France, Italy and Switzerland from French cable/wireless group Iliad.

Alex Tempest, MD of BT’s wholesale division, said: “We are pleased to be working with Cellnex to help bring a more flexible approach to UK’s site sharing market.”