NAIROBI, March 17 French mobile operator Orange
may consider bringing in new partners to revitalise
its Ugandan and Kenyan businesses, the company said.
The firm, formerly known as France Telecom, has been
reviewing operations in both countries, where its units have
struggled against more established competitors. It entered Kenya
in 2008 and launched its Ugandan operations in 2009.
"One option would be to find new partners in these countries
to ensure that the necessary financial and operating resources
are available to maintain investment and support the continued
development of operations," Orange said in a statement.
Orange is the fourth biggest operator in Kenya, with 2.21
million subscribers or a 7.1 percent market share. Its
subscriber and market share data in Uganda was not immediately
available. The Kenyan government owns a 30 percent stake in the
The biggest Kenyan operators in Kenya are Safaricom
, which is 40 percent owned by Britain's Vodafone
, and Airtel, a unit of India's Bharti Airtel.
Orange Kenya declined to comment on the review. Both
Safaricom and Airtel Kenya have agreed to acquire the assets of
the third operator, Essar Telecom's Yu, which is exiting the
sector, illustrating the tough market conditions.
In Uganda, Orange competes with five other operators in a
market where the leading providers are MTN Uganda, owned by
South Africa's MTN, and another Airtel unit.
Orange said in the statement it remained committed to Africa
and the Middle East.
(Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Edmund Blair and David