In Brief:MTS Enters the Tower Infrastructure Market 

Russia's MTS has announced that it will start to accept 3rd party tenants on its own base station towers. In addition to renting space on towers and antenna support structures, potential tenants will have the possibility to rent appropriate communication channels.At the first stage of its implementation, MTS offers for rent space at more than 5,500 existing towers and antenna support structures.

***Ericsson has won a deal from MTN Ghana to deploy a new LTE network in the area surrounding the Ghanaian capital, Accra.
Although the Greater Accra region is the smallest of Ghana’s 10 administrative regions in terms of area, it is the second most populated region and accounts for 15.4% of Ghana’s total population, according to the government of Ghana.
The Sweden-based vendor said the LTE network deployment would enable MTN Ghana to offer HSPA and LTE technologies to its 16 million subscribers - although it was not specified how many are located within the Greater Accra area.

***Bharti Airtel has agreed to sell 950 telecoms towers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to independent towers company Helios Towers Africa, including towers that are currently under construction. Although the size of the deal was not disclosed, Helios noted that it would boost the number of its towers in Africa to over 6,500 while also helping Airtel to reduce debt and capex in Africa. Airtel will have full access to the towers under a long-term lease contract.

*** Bulgarian cellco Telenor (previously GloBul) has secured additional LTE-suitable spectrum in the 1800MHz band, local telecoms regulator the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) has revealed that frequencies have also been awarded to MobilTel (M-Tel) and Vivacom. The watchdog said that all three operators now have 2×15MHz of spectrum in the band. M-Tel disclosed that it paid BGN12 million (USD7 million) for the additional frequencies, while also revealing that it has already started utilising the spectrum; the operator now offers 4G download speeds of 130Mbps to 75% of the country’s population. Meanwhile, Vivacom is also gearing up for an LTE launch, which is now expected to take place on 9 May.

***The government of the Brazilian region of Pernambuco has expressed its willingness to support investments for the connection of the island of Fernando de Noronha to a new submarine cable, called EllaLink – which will link Lisbon (Portugal) with Fortaleza (Brazil) – and has requested a formal proposal by the cable developers to facilitate the agreement,TeleSintese reports.The EllaLink cable will stretch from Santos(Sao Paulo)to a hub in Fortaleza (Ceara)and will link the two Brazilian locations to Sines in Portugal, with additional branches to French Guiana,Cape Verde and the Canary Islands (Spain); it will pass roughly 60km from Fernando de Noronha. The 5,785km cable –which is being developed in partnership with Spain’s IslaLink –will require total investment of USD250 million and will have design capacity of 30Tbps.Brazilian state-owned telecoms infrastructure provider Telebras will have a 35% stake in the project,while IslaLink will hold 45%; the remaining 20% will be owned by a yet-to-be identified Brazilian shareholder.