22 interested in new 3G licence

1 Jul 2010

22 Mozambican and foreign companies have acquired contract documents for the tender of the country’s third mobile telephone licence, the director-general of Mozambique’s National Communications Institute (INCM) has announced. A year ago, the government approved the introduction of a third wireless operator to ‘meet demand’. The government now has 60 days to evaluate the proposals and select a winning bid. The successful applicant will be permitted to launch operations within 30 days of licensing, with an obligation to enter the market within a year.

Under the terms of the tender, the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications (MTT) has set a USD25 million minimum bid for the 15-year licence. The regulations also require bidders to operate one or more networks with at least two million customers and to have a local partner. The government has said it will place more value on a bidder’s technical proposal, than its financial one.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Mozambique is home to two wireless network operators: Mcel with an estimated 3.8 million customers at the end of 2009 and Vodacom with 1.63 million at the same date. Wireless penetration stood at 23.8% in March 2010, leaving plenty of room for growth.