MTML Mauritius to launch 3G this year; government mulling Mauritius Telecom listing

19 Mar 2012

Mahanagar Telephone (Mauritius) Ltd (MTML), the Mauritian mobile unit of India’s Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) says it will launch 3G mobile services this year, after securing the necessary frequencies from the government. The Economic Times says final plans for the launch will be confirmed after the cellco’s board meeting next month. China’s ZTE has been selected to supply the hardware and software upgrades. MTML will be the third operator to offer 3G in Mauritius: Orange and Emtel have already deployed UMTS networks and between them have signed up an estimated 230,000 users. MTML has garnered approximately 20,000 GSM customers within its first three months of operation, the Indian parent said. Moreover, MTNL says it plans to roll out 3G services in other African markets if it is successful in efforts to secure UMTS concessions where it operates.

In other Mauritius news, Bloomberg reports that the government of Mauritius may consider listing shares of national PTO Mauritius Telecom (MT), although no concrete plans have yet been finalised. The African nation’s prime minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam is quoted as saying the he has ‘no problem’ with listing MT shares on the country’s local bourse, provided the state keeps a majority stake in the venture. He added that the country also has to ‘live with’ its earlier decision to sell a 40% stake in the telco to France Telecom-Orange.