South African mobile operator Cell C has confirmed that it has held discussions with smaller rival Telkom Mobile (formerly 8ta) regarding potential consolidation opportunities. According to TechCentral, CEO Alan Knott-Craig let the cat out of the bag when fielding questions in a radio interview with Talk Radio 702, admitting: ‘I have addressed it with them, yes’. Although the chief executive steered clear of revealing specific details, he said: ‘Whether it will happen or not, I don’t know. In my personal capacity, I think consolidation is one way to solve a lot of the problems’.
Although struggling Telkom Mobile has been dogged with takeover speculation since its October 2010 launch, TeleGeography notes that France’s Orange Group and India’s Bharti Airtel have also long coveted a spot in the ultra-competitive South African wireless market, suggesting a potential tie-up with Cell C is far from a formality.