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Orange Madagascar, NuRAN partner to connect underserved

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Multinational telecommunications company Orange Madagascar has signed a ten-year agreement with Canadian telecoms infrastructure provider NuRAN Wireless for the deployment of up to 500 rural networking sites on the country's east coast by 2025.

Under the Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) model, the project will support 2G and 3G networks with different categories of sites to cover different population densities and coverage areas, the companies said in a statement.

Through this partnership, Orange will provide more than a million people with access to financial services via Orange Money. The partnership will also enable the telco to extend its mobile network footprint in remote areas of Madagascar.

"We are pleased with the materialization of this partnership, which aims to bring mobile telephony services to Malagasy people who have until now been excluded from digital connectivity," said Orange Madagascar CEO Frédéric Debord.

According to NuRAN, the agreement with Orange will generate over US$90 million in potential gross revenue at an approximate rate of $1,500 per site per month and an estimated gross margin of 70%.

"We are extremely pleased to add Madagascar to our growing portfolio of African countries. We are also thankful to Orange for this third contract as we continue to build and grow this strong relationship with them. With the addition of these 500 sites, we have now reached 4,642 sites under contract in less than two years from receiving our first NaaS contract," added NuRAN CEO Francis Letourneau.

Connecting the underserved

The Southern African island is Orange's third subsidiary to sign such an agreement with NuRAN Wireless after Orange Cameroon and Orange in the Democratic Republic of Congo (known as Orange RDC). The agreement will help Orange Madagascar reach millions of people in a country that do not have access to mobile services.

Furthermore, The MTN Group has also signed similar agreements with NuRAN in Sudan, South Sudan, Namibia and Côte d'Ivoire.

Orange is present in 18 countries in Africa and the Middle East and had around 130 million customers.

Orange Madagascar is the third largest telco in the island nation with an estimated 3 million subscribers in the last quarter of 2022, this is according to statistics from market research company Omdia.

Telma Madagascar is the largest telco in the country with 5.1 million subscribers and is followed by Airtel Madagascar which had an estimated 4.9 million subscribers during the same period. Blueline has the least number of subscribers with just 56,840.

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*Top image is of an Orange Shop in Burkina Faso (Source: Orange media center).

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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