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MTN Côte d’Ivoire buys network-as-a-service mobile deal from NuRAN Wireless

Francis Létourneau NuRAN.jpg

MTN has added west Africa’s Côte d’Ivoire to the list of countries where it is working with Canadian infrastructure supplier NuRAN Wireless

The supplier, based in Québec, has signed a US$75 million renewable five-year agreement to build 1,000 sites under the network-as-a-service (NaaS) model.

Francis Létourneau (pictured), president and CEO of NuRAN Wireless, said: “We are extremely pleased to add Côte d’Ivoire to our growing portfolio of African countries and bring essential mobile connectivity to potentially over 3 million people.”

MTN already has similar deals with NuRAN Wireless covering its operations in Namibia, Sudan and South Sudan.

In the Sudan deal, signed in July 2022, NuRAN Wireless will build 500 sites for MTN and earn revenue over the 10-year period of the deal, providing 2G and 3G services. NuRAN said then it “expects to retain the ownership of the infrastructure after completion of the contract which increases the value of the agreement”.

NuRAN confirmed this week that it expects to retain the ownership of the Côte d’Ivoire infrastructure after the completion of the contract, “which potentially increases the value of the agreement substantively”, it said. “Ownership of the infrastructure by NuRAN extends the potential for recurring revenue generation to over 25 years.” There is a similar deal in place for MTN Namibia.

Létourneau said Côte d’Ivoire “is a stable country both politically and financially. The country has well maintained roads and excellent infrastructure which helps to expedite the installation of new sites as compared to other countries.”

He added: “With the addition of these 1,000 sites [in Côte d’Ivoire], we have now reached 4,142 sites under contract and are quickly approaching our goal of 10,000 sites under contract within five years.”

According to the Ecofin news agency, Côte d’Ivoire had nearly 46.5 million mobile phone subscribers, citing data from the regulator. MTN had a 34% market share, against 44% for Orange, the market leader.

NuRAN also lists Airtel, Orange and Vodafone as customers.