Applications for pre-qualification in Angola’s public tender for the assignment of a fourth Unified Global licence – permitting mobile and fixed voice/data plus TV services – are due by 22 January 2020 after the deadline was extended for a second time. The telecoms regulator, Angolan Institute of Communications (Instituto Angolano das Comunicacoes, INACOM), said in its announcement published in state newspaper Jornal de Angola on Monday that the extension was made to ‘provide greater flexibility for the presentation of applications’.
TeleGeography notes that the government launched the tender on 30 September 2019, initially giving interested parties until 8 November to submit applications, before extending the deadline to 8 December, with a Ministry of Finance source claiming the initial extension was requested by prospective international bidders. In a second phase, qualified candidates will submit their full technical and financial proposals within 60 days for consideration by an evaluation committee. The government is looking to introduce further competition to existing mobile operators Unitel and Movicel, and fixed operator Angola Telecom (AT) which holds the third Unified Global licence and is in the process of deploying its own cellular network, whilst Angorascom (associated with Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris) was last month handed permission to partner AT in developing mobile services, with a launch expected by February 2021. A previous licence award – to local start-up Telstar – was annulled by Angola’s President Joao Lourenco in April 2019 citing ‘non-compliance with the terms of the procedure’.