Orange is now operating in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East with the recent launch of operations in Liberia and Burkina Faso, and the completion of acquisition of 100% of Airtel in Sierra Leone. For the deal in Sierra Leone, the Operator partnered with Senegal-based Sonatel.
Since signing an agreement with Bharti Airtel International in January 2016, Orange said that it has obtained all the official approbations necessary to complete this transaction.
Airtel is the leading mobile operator in Sierra Leone with over 1.3 million customers for a total population of 6.3 million people. With a mobile penetration of around 50% of the population, Sierra Leone offers considerable growth potential, particularly at a time when significant investments are underway to extend the operator’s 3G network. This network, which already offers good coverage in Freetown and other major towns in Sierra Leone, is set to provide internet access to customers living outside major urban areas.
The investments planned in the coming years will enable customers in Sierra Leone to benefit from the support of the Sonatel group and take advantage of the Orange group’s expertise and momentum in terms of innovation and development of the digital ecosystem.
Early this year, Orange signed an agreement to take over Bharti Airtel's subsidiaries in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone that boast a consolidated revenue around 275 million euros. The agreement follows an inital deal between the two operators in July 2015 regarding the potential acquisition of Airtel’s operations in Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Chad and Congo Brazzaville.