Angola to attribute third mobile operator license

5 December 2005

Luanda, Angola, 05 Dec – The proposal to launch a tender for a third mobile telecommunications license in Angola is due to be approved in a Cabinet Meeting this month, the minister for postal services and telecommunications, Licínio Tavares said Friday.

At the same time the government plans to move ahead with a plan to develop the country’s basic telecommunications network in order to keep up with the “dynamism” of the mobile and fixed telecom operators, he said.

“The efforts of the private sector,” in terms of increasing availability, “have to be supported by a basic network designed so that they can work in the best possible way, which is not currently the case,”, said Tavares.

The mobile phone market in Angola currently has 1.4 million subscribers.

The largest private operator is Unitel, 25% owned by Portuguese operator Portugal Telecom. Unitel competes with state operator Movicel, 99% controlled by Angola Telecom.

In 2004 Unitel posted turnover of US$245 million, more than double the figure posted in the previous year due to a 136% increase in its customer base.

The Angolan government recently drew up a national numbering plan due to the rapid growth of the telecommunications market. The plan has made it possible for operators to widen their networks and make use of more numbers, as well as laying the groundwork for more operators to enter the market.

The current expansion of the telecommunications network also includes the fixed-line network, which ahs around 100,000 subscribers divided between state carrier Angola Telecom and private operator Nexus.

Angolan authorities have issued fixed-line licenses to a further three companies. (macauhub)