Vodacom and Orange in Talks for Strategic Partnership to Expand Infrastructure in Africa

A vibrant scene in Africa showcasing telecommunications infrastructure development. The image features modern telecom towers and technicians working

Vodacom Group is in discussions with France’s Orange about forming a strategic partnership in Africa to explore infrastructure deals aimed at reducing costs on the continent, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The telecommunications companies are considering agreements in overlapping markets, including Egypt and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and are reviewing other potential opportunities for collaboration. The discussions, which are private, involve sharing infrastructure and jointly building connectivity in rural areas. No final decisions have been made, and an agreement may not be reached.

Vodacom, Africa’s largest mobile operator, is also in talks with service providers in other countries where it operates. A representative for Vodacom stated, “We are looking at partnerships with other mobile operators and financial investors in countries where we operate. Our aim is to potentially alleviate the costs of roll-out and rural connectivity, helping to address cost to communicate and narrow the digital divide.”

The company will comment on specific agreements once they are finalized. A representative for Orange did not provide an immediate comment.

Growth Drivers

Vodacom and Orange are working to capture the rapidly growing market for mobile services in Africa, where young, tech-savvy users are increasingly using devices for entertainment and financial services. These African operations are significant growth drivers for each group’s European parent companies.

However, expanding infrastructure, especially in rural areas, is costly and offers lower capital returns. Joint ventures between operators could help ease this financial burden, making it more feasible to expand connectivity and services across the continent.

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