Five months after stripping the Libyan Post, Telecommunications and Information Technology Company (LPTIC) of its mobile licence in Cote d’Ivoire, the Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications in Cote d’Ivoire (Autorite de Regulation des Telecommunications de CI, ARTCI) has reportedly re-awarded the company its operating concession. LPTIC-backed GreenN – along with market mainstay Comium – saw their licences revoked in April this year, after concerns about poor quality of service (QoS) and unpaid taxes. Speaking after a Council of Ministers meeting in Abidjan yesterday (14 September), telecoms minister Bruno Kone announced: ‘The council approved the choice of this fourth operator and authorised the government to finalise the attribution process of a fourth mobile telephone licence’.
The ARTCI is looking to reconfigure the mobile sector as a four-player market, via the introduction of a new operator ‘capable of taking an active part in the development of the Ivorian telecoms market’, alongside main players Orange, MTN and Moov. As such, in September 2015 the watchdog invited Expressions of Interest (EoI) for a new telecoms concession, which it said would ‘revitalise the market’. The ARTCI has promised an ‘optimal redistribution of spectrum resources’, while the successful bidder will be expected to deploy networks capable of supporting mobile and fixed telephony, data transmission and internet access. The regulator noted that the pre-selection of operators would be primarily ‘based on reputation’.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database GreenN accounted for just 360,784 mobile subscribers at 31 December 2015, seven years after its initial launch.