Founded by Issam Darwish in Lagos, Nigeria, in 2001, IHS is a company specializing in building towers and managing sites for mobile network operators (MNOs). It is one of the world’s fastest growing tower operators and maintains operations in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Zambia and Rwanda. Following the recent acquisitions of the tower portfolios of MTN and Etisalat in Nigeria, IHS owns and manages over 23,000 towers in Africa.
IHS operates three business models: building its own tower sites and leasing them to operators; acquiring existing MNO sites and leasing tower space back; taking over the management of operators networks with an agreement to lease the sites to other operators.
Some of the MNOs that IHS works with include: MTN, Orange , Airtel , Etisalat and Millicom.
IHS is heavily involved in bringing broadband internet to the whole of Africa. IHS partners with startup telecom companies such as Spectranet and Smile to help finance the deployment of their network into urban areas.