Vodafone Group partnered with Afrimax Group, a company currently deploying TD-LTE-based networks in several sub-Saharan markets, to cooperate around the launch of voice and data services.
The non-equity framework agreement includes a Partner Market agreement in Uganda, where the companies will launch services under the Vodafone Uganda moniker.
Afrimax raised $56 million in equity funding a year ago to help it build what it describes as “sub-Saharan Africa’s largest 4G wireless data network with the greatest spectrum allocation”.
The funding round was believed to be the largest ever for a greenfield network in Africa. Investors include IFC, which is part of the World Bank Group.
The 4G spectrum licences held by Afrimax cover 12 African markets and 222 million people. Network planning and deployment has already started and is due to be completed during the course of the next two years.
Vodafone and Afrimax will also explore the possibility of other Partner Market agreements in the sub-Saharan region. Vodafone’s Partner Market community already covers more than 50 countries.
Vodafone touted the benefits of the addition of Uganda for multinational corporate customers with existing contracts for international managed services.
Stefano Gastaut, Vodafone Partner Markets chief executive, said the operator group is looking forward “to exploring the potential for further Partner Market agreements in sub-Saharan Africa with Afrimax, under our framework cooperation agreement”.
“The partnership with Vodafone solidifies our ongoing plans to be a leading provider of high speed network services in sub-Saharan Africa,” Afrimax CEO Peter Langkilde and CFO Rob Philpott were quoted as commenting in a statement.
Vodafone has operations in South Africa, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho and Mozambique through Vodacom, which it jointly owns with South Africa’s Telkom.
The company also holds a stake in Kenyan operator Safaricom and has its own operations in Ghana and Egypt.