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Orange Madagascar renews license, plans network expansion

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Multinational telecommunication operator Orange has renewed its operational license in Madagascar and plans to invest in expanding its coverage to reach about 90% of the country's population by the end of 2024.

The announcement was made by the telco's CEO Frédéric Debord, who said the renewal is part of the operator's desire to invest long-term in the country.

"Orange has been here for 20 years, and we will be here for at least 15 years, the duration of our license, because we believe in Madagascar," Debord added.

Debord claimed that the license renewal will assist the telco in significantly increasing its network coverage in 2024, allowing it to cover almost 90% of the Malagasy population, up from about 56% population coverage now.

During a presentation, Debord also spoke about the company being the only telco to acquire a global license in December 2023 for €30 million (US$33 million).

He said, with that license, the operator would be able to offer services on various platforms, including copper, radio, fiber or satellite.

Furthermore, Orange Madagascar said for every 1,000 Malagasy Ariary ($0.22) in revenue, it reinvested 400 MGA ($0.09) into its infrastructure without any aid or subsidies over the past two years.

That investment allowed the telco to increase its technical site numbers by 60%, enhance transmission capacities, and establish a new north backbone.

"By developing telecommunications infrastructure Orange is showing its desire to contribute to the development of Madagascar's economy and social activities," Debord explained.

Orange connecting the underserved

The telco's plans come on the back of signing a ten-year agreement with Canadian telecom infrastructure provider NuRAN Wireless to expand its network presence in rural areas with the deployment of 500 2G and 3G sites in January 2023.

Expanding the company's network coverage is expected to reach underserved communities in the island nation.

Debord said that its infrastructure investment will also impact 5G deployment plans, which are underway in the country's urban areas.

Orange Madagascar's 5G plans are in line with Orange's plans to launch 5G services in most of its African operations by the end of 2024.

Orange Madagascar plans to significantly increase its network coverage in 2024, growing from about 56% population coverage to 90% by the end of the year.   (Source: Orange media center)
Orange Madagascar plans to significantly increase its network coverage in 2024, growing from about 56% population coverage to 90% by the end of the year.
(Source: Orange media center)

Statistics from market research company Omdia, a sister company of Connecting Africa, show that Orange Madagascar is the third largest telco on the island with an estimated 3.3 million mobile subscribers in the last quarter of 2023.


Follow Connecting Africa on our new X account @connect__africa to get the latest telecoms and tech news across Africa.


Telma Madagascar is the largest telco in the country with over 5 million mobile subscribers and is followed by Airtel Madagascar, which had an estimated 4.9 million subscribers during the same period. Blueline has the smallest number of subscribers with just 71,000.

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*Top image is of Orange Madagascar CEO Frédéric Debord. (Source: Orange Madagascar.)

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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