Cignal invests €15m to expand Irish telecoms tower portfolio

2 Aug 2018429 Views

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Cignal portfolio expands to 500 towers across the land.

Telecoms infrastructure player Cignal said it has spent €15m in the past 18 months acquiring and building mobile and broadband towers across Ireland.

Since acquiring a portfolio of 400 sites from Collite in 2015, Cignal has added a further 100 sites through a series of acquisitions and new site developments.

‘The new sites we have added provide real value to local communities through solving coverage blackspots and urban densification, enabling the delivery of high-speed mobile and wireless broadband’
– COLIN CUNNINGHAM

With a total current portfolio of telecoms infrastructure in more than 500 key locations across urban and rural Ireland, Cignal now has reached a market share of 18pc of the Irish market for infrastructure supporting mobile, fixed wireless broadband communications and broadcast services.

Sending out a clear Cignal

Cignal CEO Colin Cunningham. Image: Cignal

Cignal CEO Colin Cunningham. Image: Cignal

Cignal’s customer base includes all the main mobile and wireless service providers in Ireland, the emergency services, and FM radio stations.

“We have been growing rapidly through the acquisition of new tower sites and we see opportunities for further consolidation of the telecoms infrastructure sector in Ireland,” explained Cignal CEO Colin Cunningham.

“The efficiencies and cost savings we can provide through hosting multiple operators is beneficial to customers and helps avoid the need for unnecessary towers being built. The new sites we have added provide real value to local communities through solving coverage blackspots and urban densification, enabling the delivery of high-speed mobile and wireless broadband. We will continue to invest in expanding our network to help our customers to provide enhanced speeds and service to communities across Ireland to their subscribers.”

Cignal’s market consolidation strategy has led to the acquisition of 30 towers from a privately owned company in 2017, with a further 10 towers acquired from Telent in early 2018. Telent had originally acquired these towers in 2015 as part of its acquisition of Arqiva’s Secure Solutions business.

In addition to these larger portfolio acquisitions, Cignal has made several acquisitions of small portfolios and individual towers.

Cignal has also invested in and constructed multiple new sites, with a particular focus on addressing coverage blackspots and densification, making up the balance of the additional 100 new towers.

The investment programme was supported by Cignal’s majority shareholder, Infravia Capital Partners, a specialist infrastructure investor that also has interests in the Irish private hospital and nursing home sectors.

“We identified Ireland as an attractive market and have been delighted with the growth trajectory of Cignal since we invested to support the Coillte transaction in 2015,” said Infravia partner Bruno Candès.

Candès added that the Cignal team has “a clear roadmap to build its portfolio of towers” and that Infravia was “committed to investing to support this expansion”.

He concluded: “With phone and broadband users requiring faster speeds and increased capacity, there will inevitably be strong demand from operators looking to provide the best network service to subscribers.”

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com