Number of mobile phones in Angola rises by a third in 2005

2 February 2006

Luanda, Angola, 02 Feb – The number of mobile phone users in Angola increased by 33 percent in 2005 to 1.6 million, said the director of the country’s National Communications Institute (INACOM), João Beirão.

“The growth rate of mobile phone services in Angola has been one of the biggest in Africa, going from 20,000 in 1995 to 1.6 million in December 2005,” Beirão said at a seminar on service trading held in Luanda, quoted by Portugal’s Lusa news agaency.

According to the director of INACOM, around 70 percent of users are located in Luanda, where a quarter of the Angolan population lives. Angola’s population is currently estimated at 15 million people.

The mobile phone market in Angola is led by private operator UNITEL, in which Portugal Telecom owns a 25 percent stake.

This operator, which competes with state operator Movicel, owned by Angola Telecom, in December had over 1 million mobile phone customers.

The Angolan government recently announced that it planned to start discussion to launch a public tender to set up a third mobile phone operator.

Among the parties interested in bidding for the new license are South Africa’s Vodacom, part-owned by Britain’s Vodafone, which already operates in several other African countries. (macauhub)