Vodacom Group reportedly held talks with Orange about a potential infrastructure-sharing deal in Africa, a partnership aimed at cutting costs for network rollouts and expanding connectivity coverage.

Sources told Bloomberg the companies are looking at potential agreements in countries where they both operate, including Egypt and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A partnership could involve sharing infrastructure and the joint rollout of connectivity to rural areas. In a statement seen by the outlet, Vodacom claims its aim is to “potentially alleviate costs” for the incentives and therefore “narrow the digital divide”.

No deal has been finalised and Vodacom said it will comment on specific agreements once they have been made. It is exploring similar arrangements with other operators in overlapping markets.

In March, Vodacom reportedly readied plans to let go of 80 staff in its South African operation, in a drive to lower costs and transition to a more technology-oriented business.

Meanwhile in its Q1 2024 earnings report, Orange CEO Christel Heydemann highlighted double-digit revenue growth for its Middle East and Africa unit, which booked a €1.8 billion revenue, up 11 per cent from Q1 2023.

The executive credited increased earnings from data and mobile money services in the region.