South Africa Opens Up Lucrative State Phone Contract to MTN

South Africa opened up a telecommunications contract to supply 1.2 million government employees, allowing arch rivals MTN Group Ltd. and Vodacom Group Ltd. to share in the state business.

MTN was added to the agreement previously awarded exclusively to Vodacom in 2016, according to a statement on Tuesday. The deal was worth 5 billion rand ($335 million) when first agreed upon, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

The move helps to level the playing field in South Africa by sharing around one of the largest contracts available in Africa’s most industrialized economy. Vodacom is the country’s market leader with about 44 million customers, compared with MTN’s 29 million.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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