Leonel Augusto, chairman of the Angolan Institute of Communications (Instituto Angolano das Comunicacoes, INACOM), has indicated that new mobile market entrant Africell should launch commercial services in the second half of 2021, Mobile World Live wrote, citing a report from Jornal de Angola. Augusto stated that Africell is following the procedures required to exercise its right to operate, including completing negotiations and establishing final terms with the state authorities, with ‘the majority’ of the stages now complete and INACOM currently in the process of finalising details of the concession contract.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in July Africell said it hoped to conclude final negotiations with Angola’s government on licensing terms by end-September, and aimed to launch services ‘in mid-2021’. Earlier in July, Africell received official confirmation of its selection as Angola’s fourth Unified Global operating licensee, enabling infrastructure-based mobile, internet, fixed line and pay-TV services. Angola’s mobile market is currently a duopoly of Unitel and Movicel, while state-backed fixed line operator Angola Telecom holds the third Unified Global licence and is planning to share infrastructure with Africell, having scrapped a proposed mobile partnership with Egyptian-backed Angorascom, TeleGeography notes. The Lebanese-backed, UK-headquartered Africell group operates mobile networks in Gambia, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.