Telecoms giant Orange looks set to enter the South African and Nigerian markets “within months” to take advantage of their potential growth opportunities.
Speaking to Les Echos business newspaper, Orange CEO Stephane Richard said:
“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 has previously had a presence in South Africa, albeit as a retailer and phone repair shop.
The telco giant exited South Africa back in November 2016 but now looks ready to gain a foothold in the market once again.
Africa and the Middle East are currently Orange’s fastest-growing markets. The France-based operator is active in 18 countries across the regions.
A large amount of Orange’s revenue in the Middle East and Africa comes from transferring payments. It’s clear that the company sees a lot of growth potential across the regions from offering more traditional telecoms services.
The lack of available spectrum in South Africa has been a problem for new entrants. Television broadcasting is still taking up frequencies due to a delay in shifting from analogue to digital terrestrial television.
Richard declined to comment on reported interest in South Africa’s MTN Group Ltd. Orange has 208 million subscribers, while MTN has 257 million subscribers.