Vodacom denies interest in beMOBILE

South African operator Vodacom has reportedly denied it is looking to acquire a stake in Botswana’s beMOBILE.

Earlier this week, Vodacom was said to be negotiating a deal for a stake in beMOBILE, but, according to local reports, the company has dismissed these claims.

Unnamed sources had told reporters that a transaction could be officially announced in two months.

“beMOBILE is said to be struggling to roll-out 3G cellphone technology, trailing behind the likes of Mascom, which is supported by Portugal Telecom, and Orange, which is powered by Orange International,” the source said.

“[A successful deal with Vodacom] would enable beMOBILE to smoothly offer 3G technologies and also prepare it to launch 4G technology.”

This year, Surfline Communications, MTN and Orange, amongst others, have rolled out 4G LTE networks in Africa and a successful acquisition would put beMOBILE in better competition with these operators.

Nonofo Molefhi, minister of infrastructure, was earlier reported to have said that beMOBILE may look for a technical partner but said that no conclusions had yet been made.

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