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Telecom giants Orange and Vodacom are exploring a strategic partnership to cut costs and expand network coverage in Africa, aiming to enhance connectivity and digital reach. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Leading telecommunications giants Orange and Vodacom are in talks to form a strategic partnership in Africa, aiming to cut costs and expand network coverage across the continent 

This potential collaboration could revolutionise African telecommunications, enhancing connectivity and digital services for millions.

Sources indicate that the two companies are considering agreements to share infrastructure and jointly develop connectivity in overlapping markets, such as Egypt and the Democratic Republic of Congo. By combining their resources and expertise, Orange and Vodacom hope to reduce the financial strain of network expansions, especially in rural areas where returns on investment are typically lower. This initiative could significantly speed up the deployment of mobile networks and help bridge the digital divide in underserved regions.

Both companies are eager to tap into the rapidly growing African market, which has seen a surge in mobile service adoption, particularly among young, tech-savvy users. The partnership could allow them to offer a broader range of innovative services, including data-driven solutions and mobile financial services, tailored to the evolving needs of African consumers.

Their potential collaboration is further supported by a successful pilot project in Romania, where they achieved a technological breakthrough by conducting the first real-life 4G calls over a shared commercial network using Open RAN technology. This success showcases the feasibility of their joint approach to network development and innovation.

If the partnership comes to fruition, it could have significant implications for the African telecommunications industry, setting a new standard for cooperation among major players. However, challenges remain, including securing regulatory approvals, managing operational complexities, and ensuring fair market competition.

While discussions are ongoing and no final decisions have been made, the prospective Orange-Vodacom partnership represents a major step towards transforming African connectivity. By joining forces, these industry leaders could accelerate the continent’s digital transformation, provide millions with affordable mobile services, and stimulate economic growth through innovation.

The next few months will be critical as both companies navigate negotiations and seek regulatory approvals. As the African market continues to evolve, this potential partnership could play a key role in shaping the future of telecommunications on the continent.

“Our aim is to potentially alleviate the costs of rollout and rural connectivity, helping to address costs to communicate and narrow the digital divide,” a source from Vodacom told the news agency.

The two companies have been looking to boost their presence in Africa.

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