Outremer Telecom’s quest to enter the telecoms market in Mauritius by end-2009 has been dealt a blow after the country’s regulator, the Information & Communication Technology Authority (ICTA), declined its application for a mobile licence. Outremer Telecom says it plans to appeal the decision to the ICT Appeal Tribunal. ‘We don’t agree with this decision. We didn’t expect the ICTA would reject our demand,’ Outremer Telecom’s CEO for Mauritius, Michel Rigot, is quoted as saying. The newcomer had intended to invest in the rollout of a 3G network and said it was on train to hire 200 staff to support the new service. However, in June this year the ICTA told the company it had decided not to issue a fourth mobile operating licence, citing the global economic downturn and the need to protect the investment plans of incumbent operators as the reason. ICTA is understood to have received official complaints from Orange and Emtel. A tribunal is now expected to make a decision regarding Outremer’s appeal by the end of the year.