Pan-African MTN Group may consolidate its position in the Nigerian mobile market with the acquisition of CDMA operator Visafone.
While no firm details have emerged regarding a potential acquisition, the firms are believed to be in negotiations.
Formed in 2008 through a merger of three CDMA network providers, Visafone offers fixed and mobile services. The Nigerian market is challenging for smaller CDMA operators in the face of competition from major players such as Bharti Airtel, Etisalat and indeed MTN.
MTN leads the market with 61.2 million connections, giving it a 43% share. Meanwhile, Visafone’s 2.17 million connections put it in a distant fifth place, with a market share of 1.56%. Nigeria provides MTN Group with 27% of its total connections, making it a highly important market for the operator.
The pan-African group is also believed to be considering a fixed-line acquisition in South Africa in an attempt to increase its market share against Vodacom’s.