By ISAH YUSUF
Helios Towers Nigeria (HTN) is considering court actions against Nigeria’s troubled CDMA operator Multi-links Telkom Nigeria over huge unpaid debt.
Sources claimed the huge debt is undermining HTN’s operation in a way that could affect its continuous existence. “Multi- links Telkom Nigeria accounts for about 40% of HTN earnings and this means the huge debt profile and the shaky nature of things at the Multi-links Telkom Nigeria could itself exit HTN from the market,” said one source.
South Africa’s Telkom SA, major investors in Multi-links Telkom Nigeria announced plans last year to exit its CDMA operations in Nigeria due to continued operating losses, despite cost reducing measures taken by the management of the firm to shore up profitability.
With less than 6 million subscribers and shrinking profit margins, Telkom SA described its Multi-links Telkom Nigeria operation as an investment misadventure owing to its inability to grapple with competition from the more aggressive GSM networks with MTN Nigeria alone leading with over 30 million subscribers.
Total GSM subscription base from the four GSM operators is in excess of 70 million compared to CDMA share of less than 10 million from about four operators.
Since its establishment in 2006, HTN has been operating wireless tower sites throughout Nigeria and leases space on its communications towers to local mobile phone operators.