Mobile operator Vodacom says it is keen to expand its foot print in three new countries by the end of 2014, but analysts are asking the question, where?
Group CEO Shameel Joosub told Bloomberg that Vodacom aims to extend its footprint by acquiring local operators.
Two or three deals “in the next two years would be great,” he said. “There are some good opportunities out there and we are actively pursuing it. We hope to be able to add some acquisitions this year.”
However, in a presentation following the release of Vodacom’s results for the year ended March 2013, on Monday (20 May), Joosub said that the group is only targeting countries in Africa, with a population exceeding 10 million, with no ‘major’ operators present, a high GDP, and a low penetration rate (mobile).
Analysts have for years been critical over Vodacom’s limited footprint, especially when compared to rival MTN.
Aside from its headquarters in South Africa, Vodacom has additional networks in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Lesotho, but it is dwarfed by rival MTN Group, which has operations in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East.
One market which suits Vodacom’s criteria is Ethiopia, which has a monopoly operator, Ethiopia Telecom which has 20 million mobile SIM Card users in a country with a population of 84.7 million people.
“We are all interested in Ethiopia,” Joosub told Bloomberg. “You’d be crazy not be.”
The following table depicts the African countries which may meet Vodacom’s requirements.
African Mobile Operators by country with population over 10 million
||Number of operators||Operators|
|Algeria||36.0||3||Nedjma, Mobilis, Djezzy|
|Angola||19.6||2||Unitel, Movicel (Angloa Telecom)|
|Benin||10.0||5||MTN Benin, Bell Benin Communications, Libercom, Globacomm, Moov|
|Burkina Faso||17.0||3||Airtel, Onatel, Telecel Faso|
|Cameroon||20||3||Camtel, MTN Cameroon, Orange|
|Chad||11.5||3||Airtel, Millicom, Salam|
|Cote d’Ivoire||20.2||6||Cafe Mobile , Comium (Koz), Green, Moov, MTN Cote d’Ivoire, Orange|
|DRC||67.8||6||Airtel, Orange, Congolese Wireless Network, SuperCell, Tigo, Vodacom|
|Egypt||82.5||3||Etisalat, MobiNil, Vodafone|
|Ghana||25.0||6||Airtel, Expresso, Glo Ghana, Millicom Ghana (Tigo), MTN, Vodafone|
|Guinea||10.2||5||Orange, MTN, Sotelgui, Cellcom, Intercel|
|Kenya||41.6||4||Airtel, Safaricom, Orange, Yu|
|Madagascar||21.3||4||Airtel, Telecom Malagasy, Orange, Life (not yet in use)|
|Malawi||15.3||4||Airtel, TNM, G-Mobile and Celcom (not yet in use)|
|Mali||15.8||3||Malitel, Orange, Planor (not yet in use)|
|Mozambique||24.0||3||Movitel, Vodacom, mCell|
|Morocco||32.2||3||Maroc Telecom, Inwi, Medi Telecom|
|Niger||16.0||4||Airtel, Sonite, Moov, Orange|
|Nigeria||162.4||9||Airtel, Etisalat, Globacom, Starcomms, MTN Nigeria, Mtel (NITEL), Visafone, Zoom, MultiLinks|
|Rwanda||10.94||3||MTN, Tigo, Bharti Airtel|
|Senegal||12.7||3||Expresso, Orange, Tigo|
|South Africa||50.5||4||MTN, Vodacom, Telkom Mobile, Cell C|
|Sudan||34.3||5||Canar, MTN, SMTC, Vivacell, Zain|
|Tanzania||46.2||7||ZanTel,Vodacom, Airtel, Benson Infomatics, Sasatel, Tigo, Tanzania Telecommunications|
|Tunisia||10.67||3||Tunisie Telecom,Tunisiana, Orange|
|Uganda||34.5||6||MTN, Airtel, UT Mobile, Warid, Orange, Essar|
|Zambia||13.47||3||Airtel, MTN, Zamtel|
|Zimbabwe||12.7||3||Econet, Telecel Zimbabwe, TelOne|