The government of Niger has announced the award of a 4G licence to operator Zamani Com.
The award of the 15-year licence for the establishment and operation of a 4G network to Zamani Com, the new owner of mobile operator Orange Niger, makes it the second operator in Niger, after Airtel, the local subsidiary of Indian giant Bharti Airtel, to plan to offer 4G in the country.
The announcement also notes that Zamani Com’s existing 2G and 3G licences have been renewed for a further 15 years.
According to local press reports the total cost will be around $19.7 million for the new 4G/LTE licence. The 2G and 3G renewals will cost around $47 million.
Orange completed the sale of its entire 95.5 per cent stake in Orange Niger to Zamani Com in November last year. Zamani Com is wholly owned by Mohamed Rissa of Rimbo Invest and Moctar Thiam of Greenline Communications, both minority shareholders of Orange Niger. The company’s services were to continue to be marketed under the Orange brand during a transition period.
In its press announcement at the time, Orange said that the Africa and Middle East region remained a strategic priority for the Orange Group. “However,” it added, “the market environment in Niger has led Orange to make this decision responsibly, prioritising business continuity for the benefit of the company’s customers and protecting the interests of the women and men working at Orange Niger.”