Free Newsletter

Vodafone may expand in Egypt and Myanmar

Operator reported to want to buy out Telekom Egypt from their JV, and to partner with Myanmar's state telco


Published: 28 October, 2013


Vodafone has not yet received the windfall from the sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless, but it is still pursuing its twin strategies of expanding in wireline markets in Europe, and in emerging economies. In both cases, it is looking at new acquisitions, and at gaining majority control in carriers where it has only a minority stake, as in India - or offloading those minor holdings, as in the US.

Its latest move is likely to be to buy full ownership of Vodafone Egypt, which would involve paying a potential $2bn to Telecom Egypt for its 45% stake. Telecom Egypt is 80% owned by the state and an exit from the Vodafone joint venture could avoid a conflict of interest, since the state telco - which is the fixed line monopoly - has also applied for an integrated licence, so that it could offer fixed and mobile services under one brand (although the operator has said it is not obliged to sell its Vodafone stake in order to gain the new concession).

Integrated licences are the way that Egypt hopes to increase competition because they will allow the three cellcos - Vodafone, Etisalat and Orange - to offer fixed and quad play services too.

While Vodafone would get the full control it seeks in most markets, its partner would gain welcome funds to pay for its integrated licence, but the cash might also fund the purchase of its own 4G spectrum and network in future, making it a direct rival to Vodafone. Of course, it could also provide a quad play via an MVNO deal with one of the three cellcos - the regulator has already said that it would grant Telecom Egypt an MVNO licence so that it could offer mobile services under its own name.

According to GSMA Wireless Intelligence, Vodafone is the largest operator in Egypt with 41.9m subscribers as of the the end of the third quarter, followed by Orange (34.2m) and Etisalat (25.3m).

Vodafone's emerging economies expansion could also reach into the just-opening market of Myanmar, where it could seek a joint venture with state-owned MPT (Myanmar Posts and Telecom). Vodafone, as well as SingTel and Orange, have reportedly been invited to submit a JV proposal, giving them a second chance to enter this country. They lost out to Telenor of Norway and Ooredoo of Qatar in the recent auction of two national telecoms licences.

In that process, Orange was named the runner-up while SingTel was left out. Vodafone had planned to bid in a joint venture with China Mobile, but the pair withdrew their offer before the winners were announced. There may be further interest in the MPT partnership - the telco's managing director U Aung Maw said recently that his firm was in talks with operators in Singapore, "some western countries", and Japan.

Although Vodafone's strategy is to gain control of its subsidiaries, sometimes it will have to consider minority stakes as an entry point to a new market, where governments are keeping majority ownership for their own telcos.

Related Stories


  • email story Email
  • print story Print
  • digit digit
  • facebook facebook
  • Twitter Twitter
  • Linked-in Linked-In
  • Comments (0)


Add Comment
No comments yet. Be the first to add a comment!

    BYOD: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    An in-depth insight into the rise of BYOD policies within the enterprise and analysis of the impact the trend will have on IT departments,...

    Voice Command, Control and Search on Mobile Phones: Market Analysis & Forecasts

    This report provides a comprehensive insight into the growing importance of voice command, control and search on handsets, analysing...

    Data Centre Network Equipment: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    This report provides a global assessment of the data centre network equipment market. Besides assessing the key market trends, sub-markets...

    HetNet Market Summary & Forecasts: Macro Cells, Small Cells & Wi-Fi Offload

    Carriers are struggling to cope with the explosion of data traffic on their networks, and the additional deployment of LTE and legacy...

    Over-the-Top Communications: Threats & Opportunities for Mobile Operators

    This report examines the implications of widespread adoption of mobile over-the-top IP communications for mobile operators, handset...

    Portable Gaming Consoles: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    This report provides a global assessment of the PGC market. In addition to assessing the key market drivers, market barriers, vendor...

    Satellite Phones: Will Dual Mode Help the Phoenix Rise from the Ashes?

    Satellite phones have followed an arduous path since their much-hyped launch more than a decade ago. The hype was followed by an e...

    Mobile Widget Platform Market Analysis: Understanding the Business Case and ROI

    This white paper presents an analysis of the mobile widget platform market, as well as metrics supporting a mobile carrier?s busin...


You must be a registered user to post a comment. or
Username *
Email *
Comment *