The planned launch of GreenNet Sierra Leone, a subsidiary of LAP Green Network, itself 100% owned by Libyan government-owned investment vehicle Libyan Africa Portfolio (LAP), has been stalled by the ongoing crisis in the North African country, Computerworld West Africa reports. According to Sierra Leone’s minister of information and communication, Ibrahim Kargbo, GreenNet has temporarily suspended its operations due to the unrest in Libya. The company had planned to launch GSM services in Sierra Leone by 27 April 2011, having made the first official call over its GSM network in February 2011. As well as Sierra Leone, LAP holds telecoms licences in six other African countries, including Rwanda, Uganda, Niger, Cote D’Ivoire and Togo.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Sierra Leone was home to an estimated 2.47 million wireless subscribers at the end of 2010, and was served by four operational cellcos: Lebanese-owned companies Lintel SL (operating under the Africell brand) and Comium SL; Airtel Sierra Leone (formerly known as Zain), a subsidiary of Indian telecoms company Bharti Airtel, and fixed line incumbent Sierratel. A fifth company, Intergroup Telecom, which intends to operate under the Smart Mobile banner, holds a concession to operate GSM-900/1800, 3G and WiMAX networks and made the first video call over its infrastructure last month.