Feature Article

January 13, 2016

Wheelings & Dealings: Orange Acquires Cellcom Liberia

Orange has announced that it will acquire the entirety of the assets of Cellcom Liberia.

“Orange will provide its marketing expertise and world-class technical capability to further strengthen the network operator, enhance services to consumers and contribute to the economic growth of Liberia,” a company statement said.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Cellcom’s staff will stay on as the company transitions to Orange’s ownership.

The move is part of the company’s overall strategy of entering markets that have a lot of potential for new growth. With the Western market saturated, many carriers are looking to expand into areas like Liberia.

While mobile is growing in Africa, the country of 4.3 million people only has a mobile penetration rate of 66 percent, which is lower than most of its neighbors. Orange acquired Cellcom because of its large customer base in the Liberia. Cellcom was the largest provider in the country as of October of last year.

African countries have seen wide growth of mobile deployment. The lack of “NIMBYism” has allowed carriers to locate cell towers in prime locations, offering wide coverage. The region has also seen wide adoption of mobile Internet as the price of smartphones continues to drop, especially Android phone.

According to StatCounter, the most widely used operating system is Android, far outpacing Windows 7, which is still the most popular OS worldwide.

The most popular browser is Opera, which indicates that a lot of people there have been using feature phones to access the Internet in the past, as Opera has been running on these devices for a long time. That number has been dropping sharply in favor of Chrome and the older Android browser, which means that Orange is right in seeing a large potential market as people upgrade to smartphones.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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