Orange Sells Ugandan Mobile Network

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Orange has signed an agreement with Africell Holding for the sale of its majority stake in Orange Uganda.

The company put out a very brief statement that simply noted that the sale was part of an ongoing review of its assets. No financial details were provided about the transaction.

Orange originally entered the Uganda market in 2008 through a partnership with Hits Telecom, in which it bought a 53 percent stake, which has since been lifted to 95 percent.

The mobile network has struggled though and had just 620,000 customers at the end of last year. The market had been expecting MTN to buy the mobile network and merge with its existing operations.

The new owner, Africell Holding curently owns three mobile subsidiaries; Africell Gambia, Africell Sierra Leone and Africell DRC with a combined active subscriber base of over 7 million as at the end of last year.

It will however struggle to compete in the Ugandan market, as the recently merged Bharti/Warid network has a 38% market share, compared to MTN's 43%. Uganda Telecom has a 16% market share -- with the remaining four networks holding a fraction of a percent each.

Uganda Telecom is seen at the most likely company to fall next -- if only due to its struggling financial situation. The company is being sued by a number of firms over unpaid invoices.

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Tags: orange  africell holding  Uganda 

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