Liberian GSM operators sign new 18-year licences with the LTA

19 Dec 2006

According to reports from the Monrovia-based newspaper The Inquirer, Liberia’s four GSM mobile network operators – Cellcom Lonestar Communications Corporation (Areeba), Cellcom Liberia, Comium Liberia and Atlantic Wireless Liberia (Libercell) – have each signed agreements with the regulator, the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA), granting them licences to offer services for the next 18 years. The new licences’ duration period is subject to review however, and each mobile operator will be required to pay a minimum USD300,000 per annum in fees for the concessions.

The Liberian telecoms market, and in particular the mobile sector, is experiencing strong growth. According to the LTA’s chairman, Dr Saah Abdulai Vandi, the total mobile subscriber base stands at around 500,000 users, while tariffs for such services are the lowest in the region. Dr Vandi added that cellular coverage nationwide has expanded to nearly 75%, while one of the four service providers has reached almost 80% coverage, another 65%, and ‘the others are moving fast to catch up’, he said.