According to Reuters, Cote d’Ivoire is poised to award its first 3G mobile licences by the end of the year. Communications minister Bruno Kone confirmed the development on Tuesday, without providing any further details regarding regulator L’Agence des Telecommunications de Cote d’Ivoire’s (ATCI) plans. However, Kone was willing to shed light on the government’s impending fibre-optic broadband deployment, commenting: ‘We also plan to invest nearly XOF9 billion (USD18.4 million) to create some 2,000km of fibre-optic cable, extending the network into rural areas. We hope that this fibre does not come into competition with private projects. Therefore, we have sent letters to business leaders so that they can act in [a] complementary [manner]’. The rural fibre rollout is expected to be completed within three years.