A George Soros fund has backed a $350 million plan to build mobile network towers across Africa.
Soros Strategic Partners, lead investor Helios Strategic Partners and others have signed a letter of intent to form Helios Towers Africa (HTA).
HTA will build and maintain telecom towers, leasing space on the towers to wireless operators across Africa, Helios said.
HTA's business model will be based on the already-operational Helios Towers Nigeria (HTN), Africa's first independent telecom tower operator. HTN will soon have 2,000 tower sites Nigeria-wide.
Co-investors include RIT Capital Partners and Albright Capital Management, it said.
Africa's mobile penetration is just 45%, leaving the continent's markets with much room for growth, Helios said.