State-owned telecommunications operator Mauritius Telecom says it is assessing opportunities in several African nations as part of what is describes as a key strategic initiative to diversify out of the Indian Ocean island market.
Bloomberg reports that Mauritius Telecom is evaluating potential acquisitions in places like the Seychelles, Madagascar, Congo Brazzaville and Ghana.
Apart from the Seychelles, these countries have much larger populations than Mauritius, a market of some 1.26 million people. Here Mauritius Telecom dominates fibre provision with 100% fibre-to-home coverage, and has 1.05 million mobile subscribers and 393,000 fixed lines.
The diversification plans may sound a touch ambitious, but Mauritius Telecom claims to have the resources and the capacity to invest, backed by well-reputed banks based on its strong financial foothold. While expansion could be through an existing mobile operator, the company won’t limit itself to mobile communications.
It’s probably too early to expect a precise plan or timetable. However, we should not forget that the company is already involved in a project that stretches beyond the shores of its home country, as an investor in a new submarine fibre cable connecting Mauritius to South Africa. We reported in June that Liquid Intelligent Technologies had successfully installed the Mauritius Telecom T3 subsea cable connecting Mauritius to South Africa.
The next step will be its extension to India and Singapore for an estimated US$120 million. CEO Kapil Reesaul, interviewed by Bloomberg, notes that the company is currently in talks with Indian operators as well as Orange and Cable & Wireless of Seychelles.