The chairman of the Angolan Institute of Communications (Instituto Angolano das Comunicacoes, INACOM), Leonel Augusto, has confirmed that from the first quarter of 2020 interested parties may apply for new ‘Multi-Service’ operating licences, which can cover various services potentially including fixed telephony, fixed internet, cable/satellite TV or mobile voice/data (dependent on availability of spectrum and other resources). As reported by Jornal de Angola, prospective licensees can apply via the government’s Public Electronic Services Portal. Multi-Service licensing is separate from Angola’s in-progress tender for a fourth ‘Unified Global’ licence permitting mobile and fixed voice/internet plus TV services – applications for which are due by 22 January 2020, as previously reported. Mr Augusto also stated this week that the Ministry of Telecommunications & Information Technologies will disclose the Unified Global applicants immediately after the deadline. The existing Unified Global licensees are cellcos Unitel and Movicel, alongside Angola Telecom which is in the process of deploying mobile infrastructure and developing mobile services with new partner company Angorascom.
The INACOM chairman also announced on Tuesday (17 December 2019) that Angola has reached 14 million mobile network users, seven million of which use mobile internet, Mercado reported. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the top-level mobile figure was estimated at 13.77 million at end-September 2019, up from 13.29 million reported by INACOM at end-2018, whilst the mobile internet (2.5G, 3G and 4G) total rose from 5.82 million at end-2018. With the current national mobile penetration rate not quite reaching 50%, however, Mr Augusto declared that the sector needed continual new investment to serve more of the population.