The Swaziland Post and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC) has declined to grant MTN Swaziland, the country’s sole mobile network operator, a 3G licence, according to local newspaper reports. MTN was hoping to have received the concession at the end of last year, with CEO Ambrose Dlamini announcing that negotiations were at an ‘advanced’ stage. No explanation has yet been forthcoming from the regulator.
MTN Swaziland is believed to have carried out a month long pilot of four UMTS base stations last year. It was then granted a temporary 3G licence to cover several events including the Common Market for Eastern & Southern Africa (COMESA) summit, held last August. The permit was valid from 16 August to 30 September, with 3G services allowed to be offered to post-paid customers only. At the end of September 2010 MTN Swaziland had 679,000 subscribers.