Supply chain crunch affects mast rollout for Vodafone in Europe

Supply chain crunch affects mast rollout for Vodafone in Europe

The global supply chain crunch has affected almost every industry, including smartphones. Now, it affects the antennas that propagate the signals those phones need.

Vantage Towers AG, a unit spun out of Vodafone Group, makes mobile masts and has said its plans to build new towers are facing issues because of the supply chains constrictions.

The company’s earnings report on Tuesday said that its build-to-suit program sped up in Q3, but the macro site build year-to-date has faced challenges related to the supply chain crunch. The company projects that the challenges will continue far into Q4 of this year and spill over into 2023.

The schedule takes a hit

Vantage’s operations are split between companies using existing towers and building new wireless infrastructure known as BTS (Build-to-Suit).

Companies that use existing infrastructure are served by Vantage through upgrades to newer technology like 5G and increasing capacity to accommodate the growing number of clients needing space.

Although the schedule is bound to see changes, Vantage said the changes do not affect the overall 2022 financial guidance or the delivery of 7,100 build-to-suit sites by 2026.

The most recent deal

In December 2021, Vantage Towers entered into a long-term contract with German telco 1&1 to provide passive infrastructure to create the country’s fourth mobile network.

The terms of the agreement will see Vantage Towers provide 1&1 access to up to 5000 existing sites.

Vivek Badrinath, the CEO of Vantage Towers, said that by co-locating sites with 1&1, it could launch the 5G network cost-effectively and keep it high quality, expressing his delight that the spun-off unit was given the task to help Germany roll out its 5G.