Lagos grants mast co-location licence to Helios Towers
The Lagos State Infrastructure Management and Regulatory Agency, (LASIMRA) has granted permit to Helios Towers for the construction, installation and erection of telecom masts in eight different locations in State .
The permit, which has already taken immediate effect, is expected to allow telecommunication operators in the state, to co-locate infrastructure, and share telecom masts instead of each operator building its own masts.
Announcing the new arrangement in Lagos at the weekend, Joe Igbokwe, LASIMRA General Manager stated that Helios Towers has been given permit to build eight model co-location masts in Lagos .The new arrangement, he said, will put an end to illegal and indiscriminate installation of telecom masts in Lagos .
Igbowe who insisted that it is illegal for telecom operators to build and install any base stations in Lagos without the express permit of the Agency, passionately appealed to both the GSM and CDMA telecom operators to see the new arrangement as an opportunity to share facilities in order to make Lagos cleaner, safer and hazard-free. "With the arrangement in place, both operators and subscribers would be proud to live in Lagos , that would be free from any perceived health hazard from electromagnetic emission from multiple masts, Igbokwe said.
Part of the permit letter from LASIMRA to Helios Towers , which was signed by the Agency's Secretary, and made available, reads in part. "I am directed to convey approval to your company to construct/install/erect 8 Nos telecom mast at the under-listed locations in the metropolis. The locations include Yaba, Akoka, Surulere, Isheri, Agege, Unilag Estate in Magodo, Akoka campus ofUnilag, and Obalende"
The approval letter further reads that eight site-boards of the Agency shall be released to your company for display at the eight sites to stamp the Agency's authority on the projects. The site-boards shall be returned to the Agency immediately after the completion of the project.
The agency, however, insists that excavation sites must be reinstated within five days upon the completion of the project. Igbokwe explained that Helios Towers has also gotten the approval of local government authorities and communities to carry out the project with any obstruction.
Both LASIMRA and the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) had been at loggerhead over mast regulation in the state. LASIMRA had insisted it will regulate telecom masts in the state, following refusal by ALTON to resist telecoms mast regulation.
With the new arrangement, Helios Towers Nigeria Limited is to build, install and manage the telecom masts on behalf of the operators, thus allaying fears of sabotage, if the operators had to jointly manage such infrastructure.