In a two way deal, France Telecom-Orange (FTO) is buying 100 percent of Congo Chine Telecom (CCT), a mobile operator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
FTO is paying $10 million for ZTE’s 51 percent share of CCT’s equity and $7 million to the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the government 49 percent share of CCT’s equity, according to the FTO press release. In addition, ZTE will provide network equipment and services to CCT as its preferred supplier and with strategic financing support from China development Bank.
In addition, CCT will pay $71 million to the Congo government for improved RF licensing terms, including a 10 year extension, access to an additional 2 MHz in the 1.8 GHz range for 2G, and access to 10 MHz in the 2.1 GHz range for 3G.
CCT operations will be financed from internally generated funds, restructured external loans and a total of $185 million as a capital increase provided by FTO in several installments.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the fourth most populated African country with over 70 million people but has a mobile penetration rate of only 17 percent. FTO sees the development of CCT, which holds a national mobile license and “significant market share” in certain regions of the country, to hold “real potential for growth” over the next few years.
Orange is already present in over 20 countries in AMEA (Africa and Middle East Area) and wants to double its revenues out of the region by 2015.
FTO is already offering HD voice service in Egypt/Cairo, Kenya, Mauritius, reunion, and Uganda. HD voice would presumably be supported once a 3G network is deployed.