Lycamobile offloads Spanish arm and targets Africa

Lycamobile has sold its Spanish arm, which launched in 2010 to offer low-cost mobile services, to Spanish mobile operator Masmovil for EUR372 million.  Lycamobile Spain attracted 1.5 million customers and Masmovil will continue using the brand in the foreseeable future.

Allirajan Subaskaran chairman of Lyca Group commented that Lyca had achieved its aims in the Spanish market – introducing a high-quality, low-cost mobile service. He said the company would use the money from the sale to enter new “and exciting” markets, which are likely to be in Africa, given that the company launched a new offering in Uganda in January.

Uganda offers great growth potential, having a mobile penetration rate of just 71% (25 million customers), but this is largely concentrated in urban areas – with Kampala accounting for 50%+ of mobile subscribers. Data charges are also relatively high – offering the potential for disruption.

Lycamobile has established a country-wide offering and is introducing low-cost voice and data services to rival the offerings of existing players. The government welcomed the new entrant – urging it to introduce lower data costs and hailing the advent of “healthy” competition in the market.