Africa lures telecoms with promises of untapped bounty

With Europe becoming hypercompetitive (and saturated) and Asia quickly following, more telecom firms are looking to Africa to brighten bottom lines and as an opportunity to broaden networks.

A relative storm of deal-making has swirled across the continent—from top to bottom—as mobile and fixed-line operators look to get into a rapidly emerging market that promises plenty of new consumer demand as once-somnolent economies awaken because of the global commodities market boom. Add to that a period of relative political stability and—viola!—a telecom market is born.

"A lot of people are looking to Africa as the bastion for growth," said Irnest Kaplan, managing director of independent South African equity-research house Kaplan Equity Analysts. "It just took them until fairly recently to see that it was possible to move into some of these markets and make money."

For more:
- Check out the Wall Street Journal story