this blog is spored BY reflex Eco Group
VENTURES AFRICA – South Africa’s biggest mobile operator, Vodacom, this week opened its new office in Ethiopia as it continues to ramp up its African expansion strategy which has not been as rapid as that of its competitor, MTN.
This comes shortly after Vodacom announced last week that it bought up an additional 17.2 percent stake in its Tanzanian unit for R2.4 billion ($231.5m).
Romeo Kumalo, the CEO of Vodacom Group, told Reuters the mobile operator would formally request a licence to provide all services except for the standard voice calls in Ethiopia, situated in the Horn of Africa region.
“But more importantly we want to position ourselves so when the market opens and the government does decide to grant licences in the consumer sector,” Reuters quoted Khumalo as saying.
“We would invest here tomorrow. Ethiopia is probably the most fantastic telecoms market on the continent. One operator, 80 million people, the economy growing at 7 percent – it’s a great market,” Khumalo told Reuters.
Ethiopia is one of Africa’s last remaining markets that still operates a state-controlled telecoms sector. Only lastweek, Ethiopia signed a $1.6 billion deal with Huawei and ZTE, China’s second-biggest telecoms equipment maker, to double phone subscribers in the country to more than 50 million by 2015.
It is understood that Africa is ready for the doubling of the smartphone market in the next four years.