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March 31, 2023
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Nigeria: Orange pauses entry plans for the short term

(Ecofin Agency) – Nigeria is the largest telecom market in Africa by the number of subscribers. Its characteristics attracted French telecom group Orange, which began prospecting it, for a possible expansion, in July 2022. 

French telecom group Orange has paused plans to expand into the Nigerian market. The decision was disclosed by Jerome Hénique (photo), Orange’s general manager for the Middle East and Africa, who spoke to Developing Telecoms on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress. According to the executives, one of the factors that forced the pause is the lack of favorable conditions. 

According to Hénique, the French group has no plans to enter Nigeria in the short term, but it is not ruling out a future entry into the market. “When we consider what we have to invest, we believe that being the big number one or number two player is a condition for success. Nigeria is already a mature market, but we of course continue to monitor all markets and opportunities in Africa,” he added.

The decision follows a market survey launched by the group in July 2022. According to the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), the group sent a team to explore expansion possibilities. For Hénique, there were no positive conclusions from the exploration.  

NCC statistics (January 2023) show that the Nigerian mobile market has 226.2 million subscribers shared between MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9mobile. The four major operators control 40.71%, 26.81%, 26.71%, and 5.77% of the market respectively. The mobile penetration rate is 118.51 percent and the country has 156.2 million Internet users while its broadband penetration rate is 48.20%.

Isaac K. Kassouwi


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