Mali set to open bidding for third telecoms licence?

16 Sep 2011

The Malian government is reportedly inviting bids for a third telecoms licence, with a decision on the winner expected within two months, according to Bloomberg, citing local newspaper L’Essor. The claims echo those of two months ago, when it was reported that the state was hoping to award a third mobile concession by the end of the year; at that date Modibo Ibrahim Toure, minister of new technologies was cited as saying: ‘We want to maximise two things: the interests of the consumer, and secondly receipts for the public treasury.’

In this latest development it is claimed that submissions for the new concession will be permitted between 19 September 2011 and 11 October 2011, while the handing over of bid documents is set for 14 November. The payment of licence fees would then be due by the end of November.

As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, at present there are just two telecoms operators in Mali, those being state-owned Societe des Telecommunications du Mali (SOTELMA), which also controls the country’s largest cellco by subscribers Malitel, and Orange Mali. Both operators currently offer fixed line and mobile voice services, in addition to broadband via either ADSL and wireless in the local loop (SOTELMA) or WiMAX (Orange).