MTN Cote d’Ivoire has confirmed that it has paid 75% of the licence fee for its new unified operating licence, ahead of the 1 April 2016 expiration of its existing concession. The South African-owned cellco paid XOF75 billion (USD124.2 million) – more than the 50% advance requested by the Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications in Cote d’Ivoire (Autorite de Regulation des Telecommunications de CI, ARTCI) – on 15 December. Last month it was revealed that the regulator had increased the licence fee by XOF60 billion to XOF100 billion, while also opting to cut the duration of the concessions, by five years to 15.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database confirms that the respective concessions held by MTN and Orange are both due to expire in 2016. Orange launched in October 1996 under the name Societe Ivoirienne de Mobiles (SIM), which traded as Ivoiris, while MTN Cote d’Ivoire was established in 1996 as Loteny Telecom – a partnership between Access Telecom and Atlantique Telecom – and launched GSM services in October that year under the brand name ‘Telecel’. Moov, meanwhile, has a full ten years left on its existing licence, having entered the market in July 2006.