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Top 10 Biggest Telecom Companies in Africa

by Felix Omondi

Best Telecom Companies if AfriceTop 10 Biggest Telecom Companies in Africa

Innov8tiv Magazine has brought you several articles on how the continent of Africa is employing the use of mobile apps. Today we take a look at “who is who” in the African telecom industry. Today we have compiled for you the best of the best that made it to top 10 ranking in Africa’s telecom companies in 2013:

  1. MTN South Africa: Hardly a surprise to many, in a recently published revenue presentation. This company had more than 176 million subscribers spanning 16 countries is Africa and 6 countries in Middle East. It recorded revenue of R66.4 billion for the Q1 of 2012 out of which R38 billion were made in just Nigeria and South Africa. Currently the subscriber base for MTN South Africa stands at 23.5 million subscribers. The company also recorded revenue of $9.4 billion back in 2011.
  2. Vodacom Group (South Africa): This telecom parent company is the UK-based Vodafone. It is also the 2nd biggest trading company in Africa, recording revenue of more than R9 billion in 2010. In Africa’s wide scale ranking across all the industries, it ranks at 9th place in terms of revenue while Vodacom South Africa ranking at 14th place. In 2010 the company recorded a revenue of R6 billion. Currently it enjoys a market share of 58% of South Africa mobile market with a subscriber base of 23 million.
  3. Telkon (South Africa): This is South Africa’s biggest wireless service and fixed-line providers, and also operates in other 38 countries across Africa. South Africa government has a share capital of 39% in this company. In 2011, the group recorded an operating revenue of R16 billion (3.2% decrease) from which R15 billion came from fixed-line services.
  4. Orascom Telecom (Egypt): The parent company of this telecom is the Orascom Telecom Holding, one of the biggest operating GSM networks across Africa, Middle East, Asia and Canada. Russia’s Vimplecom has a 51% stake in this company. It is also the 6th biggest mobile telecom company globally. At the end of 2009, it recorded revenue of $5.065 billion but over the next 2 years declines. Its track record shows a huge surge of subscribers back in the late 90’s from about 200,000 in 1998 to more than 101 million subscribers shortly after Wind Telecom bought a big stake in the company.
  5. Maroc Telecom (Morocco): This is the main telecom company in operation in Morocco, and is partly owned by Vivendi technology company. On the Q1 of 2012, it posted consolidated revenue of $890 million. Internationally the company grew its business revenue at rate of 21% year after year. On March, 2012 the company revealed it has a subscriber base of 17.1 million, out of which 1.2 million were 3G customers and about 1.08 million contract subscribers. It also has several subsidiaries in Mali, Gabon and Burkina Faso.
  6. MTN Nigeria (Nigeria): It has been described as the golden boy since it has large subscribers base and recording high revenue for the South Africa-based MTN Group. Outside South Africa, this Nigeria base telecom is considered the group’s highest earner having recorded a revenue or over R13 billion in the Q1 of 2012. Currently it has a subscriber base of more than 43 million.
  7. Orascom Telecom Algerie (Algeria): Also part of Orascom Telecom Holding company, and the second most profitable territory for the group. It trades under the name Djezzy in Algeria with a subscriber base of 16.5 million and a market share of 55.5%. Orascom Telecom Algerie was ranked 79th in terms of Top 500 African Companies.
  8. Mobinil (Egypt): France Telecom (Orange) has a 94% stake in this company and 5% stake being owned by Orascom Telecom founder Naguib Sawiris. By 2010, it had more than 30 million subscribers with network coverage of 99% of the population of Egypt. It has also been a source of several disputes between Sawiris and France Telecom which was only resolved after the later buying a bigger stake at the company thus leaving Sawiris with just 5%.
  9. Safaricom (Kenya): It is the biggest telecom company in Kenya formed back in 1997. By then it was a fully owned subsidiary company of Telkom Kenya. Later on, Vodafone, UK-based mobile provider bought up 40% stake in the company. By 2010, Safaricom had a little over 12 million subscribers. In 2012 it boosted its subscriber base by being the first telecom in East Africa to provide 3G technology.
  10. Telecom Egypt (Egypt): Last but not least we have the largest fixed-line provider in Egypt and the Middle East. Started back in 1854, it is one of the oldest telecom companies in Africa. Currently it is estimated to have a subscriber base of 12 million, but it also holds a 44% stake in Vodafone Egypt.

All these telecom companies ride on the fact that Africa’s telecommunication market is one of the fastest growing telecom markets in the world. In 2011 numbers of mobile subscribers grew to about 65 million, having a penetration of 130%. This number is expected to exceed 83 million by the year 2016.

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