(Ecofin Agency) - According to the local telecom regulator, as of June 30, 2022, Côte d'Ivoire had nearly 46.5 million cell phone subscribers. MTN was controlling 34% of the market compared to 44% for Orange, the market leader.
Telecom operator MTN Côte d'Ivoire recently signed a 5-year renewable agreement with Canadian telecom infrastructure provider NuRAN Wireless to expand its network presence in rural areas. The partnership unveiled on Tuesday, October 11, will enable the construction of 1,000 sites under the Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) model.
The project is expected to support 2G and 3G with a variety of site categories to cover different population densities and coverage areas.
"We are extremely pleased to add Ivory Coast to our growing portfolio of African countries and to bring essential mobile connectivity to potentially over 3 million people. Ivory Coast is a stable country both politically and financially. The country has well-maintained roads and excellent infrastructure which helps to expedite the installation of new sites as compared to other countries," said Francis Létourneau, president and CEO of NuRAN Wireless.
MTN Côte d'Ivoire becomes MTN Group’s fourth African subsidiary with such an agreement with NuRAN after the South Sudanese, Namibian, and Sudanese subsidiaries. The investments reflect the group’s aim to allow access to the internet for rural populations in the targeted markets and become the leading digital service provider in Africa, in the coming years.
Over the contract lifetime, the partnership is expected to generate over US$75 million in gross revenues, assuming the 1,000 sites are completed. It is expected to enable MTN to reach millions more people and improve its position and its revenues in the Ivorian telecom market. NuRan Wireless, meanwhile, is moving toward its stated goal of reaching 10,000 contracted sites in Africa. With this agreement, the Canadian company brings its total number of contracted sites on the continent to 4,142.
Isaac K. Kassouwi