NIAMEY, Sept 29 Niger will merge its public
telephone and mobile communications companies into a single
entity in order to expand its market share in the West African
nation, the telecommunications minister said.
Niger currently has two state-owned companies - Sonitel,
which operates landlines, and Sahelcom, a mobile operator.
They will be brought into a single company called Niger
Telecom, with capital of 23.4 billion CFA francs ($40.04
million), Yahouza Sadissou said in a statement late on Wednesday
following a cabinet meeting.
He said the goal of the merger was to pool technical and
financial resources and make the public operator's services more
attractive to clients.
Niger has 7 million mobile subscribers and four mobile
operators, including Sahelcom, Bharti Airtel of India's
local unit, France's Orange, and Moov.
Sahelcom had around 347,000 subscribers in 2015.
($1 = 584.3700 CFA francs)
(Reporting by Boureima Balima; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing
by Alexandra Hudson)