Algeria’s telecoms minister Houda Imane Faraoun has confirmed that Mobilis, the cellular division of state-backed Algerie Telecom, has lodged an application to compete for the fourth mobile operator licence in Mali. As reported by Agence Ecofin, the minister said in an interview that Mobilis’ international expansion plans were initiated after approval by the State Participation Council, adding that the company’s ambitions are supported by the Algerian government as it possesses the necessary technical and managerial capabilities as well as the financial resources to invest abroad. She stated: ‘We made an offer, the best we could do, to get the licence. We have the means … and we are very optimistic.’ Algerie Telecom has an existing foothold in Mali via its satellite communications subsidiary, ATS.
In March 2018 Mali’s government announced plans to proceed with the award of its fourth mobile network operator licence; a provisional date of 22 May 2018 was set as a deadline for the submission of bids, while the finalising of the licence sale procedure was expected ‘by end-June 2018’, CommsUpdate reported at the time of the announcement.