Rumour Mill: FT Orange eyes South African entry

France Telecom (FT) Orange could make an entry into the South African mobile market as an MVNO. The company, according to the consulting and research firm Frost & Sullivan, is believed to be looking to start operations in the country as early as this year.

"What we anticipate for 2012 is that we will see new MVNOs in South Africa and we predict Orange could see the market as a key destination," Birgitta Cederstrom, the business unit leader at Frost & Sullivan Africa ICT, told IT News Africa. She said that FT Orange is already in merger talks with the South African IT and communication integration house Business Connexion, "and our prediction for 2012 is that a global telecommunications company will enter the market."

FT Orange has denied any moves are underway as outlined by Cederstrom.

Separately, FT CEO Stephane Richard has said that regulatory issues were not expected to obstruct the agreed sale of its 35 per cent holding in Orange Austria. 3 Austria, owned by Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa, is reportedly close to acquiring Orange Austria in a merger of the country's third- and fourth-largest mobile operators that values Oraneg Austria at €1.4 billion.

Richard, according to Dow Jones Newswires, said that the sale is largely in the hands of private-equity group Mid Europa Partners, which owns the remaining 65 per cent stake in Orange Austria.

For more:
- see this IT News Africa article
- see this Dow Jones Newswire article

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