Angorascom mobile launch set for February 2021 in partnership with Angola Telecom

10 Dec 2019

Angolan mobile start-up Angorascom Telecomunicacoes – a partner of state-backed fixed operator Angola Telecom (AT) – will launch services in February 2021, according to the schedule handed to it under a decision of the Angolan presidency last month, reports.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that Angorascom – associated with Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris, executive chairman of Orascom Investment Holding (OIH, formerly Orascom Telecom Media & Technology Holding) – was issued permission to partner AT in providing mobile services via the telco’s Unified Global licence. Presidential Order No. 193/19 of 4 November 2019 authorised the ‘sub-concession’ of AT’s licence ‘to ensure the promotion of competition in the provision of electronic communications networks and services throughout the national territory’. AT’s CEO Adilson Miguel dos Santos disclosed that Angorascom would be a ‘partner’ of the telco, with some commentators interpreting this as an MVNO-based arrangement, although full details remain pending.

Mr Sawiris’ OIH owns a 75% stake in North Korean mobile operator Koryolink and manages Lebanon’s Alfa under a contract with the Lebanese government, alongside fibre cable investments in Pakistan.

Separately, Angola’s public tender for the assignment of a fourth Unified Global licence is ongoing, as the government looks to introduce further competition to existing cellcos Unitel and Movicel, and AT (itself in the process of deploying a cellular network). The deadline for submitting pre-qualification applications was 8 December 2019, with qualified candidates subsequently to be asked to submit technical and financial proposals within 60 days for consideration by an Evaluation Committee.