Cellnex looks towards 5G with Dutch acquisition


Spanish infrastructure operator Cellnex has extended its reach into the Netherlands with the acquisition of a rival Dutch tower company.

The €133 million deal to purchase Alticom will give Cellnex 30 sites across the Netherlands.

Cellnex said these sites would provide it with high-capacity and long-range network towers with fibre backhaul, allowing it to provide caching servers and bring storage and processing closer to receivers. It added this would facilitate the lower latencies required by 5G.

Each site can cover a radius of 15km, reaching 60 percent of the country.

Cellnex already manages 758 sites in the country, supplementing the networks of KPN, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Tele2.

It also manages sites in France, Spain, Italy, the UK and Switzerland.

Cellnex CEO Tobias Martinez said the move represented “a further commitment, in the wake of the acquisition of CommsCon in Italy in 2016, to the 5G ecosystem on which Cellnex is working extremely hard".

He added: "A key facet in the roll-out of 5G will be to respond to the technological challenge of latency.”

In July, Cellnex agreed to buy up to 600 new cellular sites in France from Bouygues Telecom. The agreement, worth €170 million, expanded its total sites across France to over 4,000 and was the latest sale of infrastructure between the two telcos.

In May, Sunrise sold its Swiss Towers infrastructure business, which had 2,239 telecom towers in Switzerland, to a consortium led by Cellnex for CHF500 million (€458 million).