Gulfsat Madagascar awarded backbone operator licence

12 Jun 2020

Gulfsat Madagascar has been designated the country’s second backbone operator, ending Telma’s monopoly on fibre-optic transmission infrastructure, reports local news outlet Speaking to journalists following a meeting at the National Assembly, telecoms minister Andriamanohisoa Ramaherison confirmed the Agency for Regulation of Technology and Telecommunications (Autorite de Regulation des Technologies de Communications, ARTEC) awarded Gulfsat a ten-year licence on 17 April, authorising the company to build, install and deploy new fibre-optic transmission capacity. Gulfsat, which markets commercial services under the ‘Blueline’ banner , was previously awarded licences in August 2018 to provide ‘fixed and mobile data transfer services’ and ‘resell additional national transmission capacity’. A key part of the government’s plans to liberalise the sector, a decree adopted in December 2019 authorised a second backbone operator to construct its own national network, potentially duplicating Telma’s existing infrastructure.