Orange is one of the biggest telecom operators in the world and may be seriously considering expanding its operations in Africa by adding South Africa and Nigeria, the continent’s largest mobile markets, to its map.

“It could make sense to be in economies such as Nigeria and South Africa. If one considers there are things to do, the time frame I am considering is rather a few months than a few years,” Orange’s CEO, Stephane Richard, is reported to have said while speaking to French newspaper Les Echos [1].

Orange telecom global map - an eye on Nigeri and South Africa

The Orange Map

Orange is of French origin and is the dominant mobile telecom operator in France.  It currently operates in 30 countries on 5 continents (Europe, Africa, North America, South America, and Asia). In Africa, its core markets are French-speaking countries, though it also operates in some English-speaking economies like Kenya and Liberia.

With a total of 18 African operations, adding South Africa and Nigeria will significantly boost its profile on the continent. These two countries easily generate the largest returns for existing operators. MTN Nigeria, for example, is the goose that lays the golden egg for the MTN Group on the continent.

South Africa And Nigeria

The French company’s interest in these two African countries isn’t new. The company runs a non-mobile subsidiary, Orange Business Services (OBS), in South Africa. OBS provides integration of communications products and services for businesses. As for Nigeria, Orange has been interested in getting a foot in for some years. That foot in might mean an acquisition of one of the existing mobile operators. 9mobile is a likely target.

While there are those who are hopeful that an Orange expansion to Nigeria via an acquisition is an impending threat to existing mobile operators, others believe that it will make no big splash in the industry should it happen.

This story is developing and we will keep you updated as events unfold.


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