Mozambique: Government to launch international tender for 3rd mobile operator and privatise fixed line network

20 February 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 20 Feb – The government of Mozambique this year plans to launch an international tender to introduce a third mobile phone operator, the Deputy Transport and Communications Minister, Ernesto Augusto said.

The minister, who was speaking to Portuguese news agency Lusa, on the sidelines of a meeting of the Regulatory Authorities of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), held in Maputo also said that the Government would privatise the public telecommunications company.

“We are preparing ourselves to launch the international tender to select a (mobile telephony) operator. We think that this year all efforts are being made so that we can have a third operator in the country,” he said.

The Mozambican National Communications Institute (INCM), the telecommunications regulator, will soon present the government with the results of a study of the impact of introducing a third mobile operator to the country.

Two mobile telecommunications companies currently operate in Mozambique: Mcel, which is state owned and which has over 2 million national customers, and Vodacom, a South African and Mozambican consortium, with around 2 million customers.

The former began operating 10 years ago, while the latter has been operating since 2003.

Public company Telecomunicações de Moçambique has had the monopoly on fixed line telephony since the country’s independence in 1975, but, according to the deputy minister its liberalisation will be carried out soon.

“This area (fixed line) will also be liberalised. I believe that a set of documents is being prepared for that purpose and we hope, as soon as possible, to have that as a programme to be announced for private operators to enter the fixed line market,” said Augusto. (macauhub)