Ver Angola


Lebanese Africell selected for 4th telecom operator

The Lebanese company Africell was the candidate selected by the government to present a proposal to award a license to become the fourth telecommunications operator in Angola, was this Monday announced.

: Africell

According to the Interministerial Working Group - made up of the Ministers of Finance, Telecommunications and Information Technology and of Economy and Planning - three companies applied for parts of the tender (MTN of South Africa, Africell Holding SAL of Lebanon and BAI Investimentos of Angola), but only the Lebanese company formalized the application.

"The Evaluation Committee, after having proceeded to the formal examination of the Application Documents submitted by the candidate Africell Holding SAL, decided unanimously its qualification and that the entity was invited by the Contracting Public Entity to present its proposal", states the communiqué.

In the preparatory phase of the contest, an analysis and identification of telecommunication operators with potential to participate in the tender was carried out and 12 entities with operations established in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East were identified, with emphasis on Africell, Bharti Airtel, Maroc Telecom, MTN, Telkom South Africa, Orange and Vodafone.

These entities were invited to participate in the promotion and presentation sessions of the competition, which took place in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Johannesburg and Pretoria (South Africa) and in Luanda.

Africell is an international operator, with 18 years of activity in the telecommunications sector, providing mobile services, Internet, Pay-TV and "mobile money" (digital money) to over 12 million customers.

It is already present in four African countries: Gambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

With the start of the second phase of the tender, "the qualified candidate will have reasonable time" to submit its Technical and Financial Proposal, indicates the same communiqué, without mentioning deadlines.

The tender was launched under Presidential Order 61/19 of 30 April, which determined the opening of a new tender for the award of the 4th Global Unified Title for Public Service Provision of Electronic Communications, after the cancellation of the first.

The previous tender, in which Angolan Telstar won, was annulled because the company "did not present operational results for the last three years, as required by the terms of reference", according to a presidential decree published on 18 April.

The President of the Republic, João Lourenço, justified the decision by the competitor's failure to present the "balance sheet and profit and loss accounts and statement on overall turnover for the last three years".

Telstar - Telecomunicações, Lda was established on 26 January 2018, with General Manuel João Carneiro (90 per cent) and businessman António Cardoso Mateus (10 per cent) as shareholders.

Angola currently has three operators, with Unitel leading the market with around 80 percent of the share, ahead of Movicel with around 20 percent and Angola Telecom (a state company in the privatisation process) with a residual position.

Of the 27 entities that showed interest in the bidding process on 27 November 2017, only six passed the first phase and only two met all the requirements set out in the terms of reference.

In reaction to the Presidential decision, Telstar assured that it had "scrupulously" complied with the public tender for which it was declared the winner, stating that it was "with complete surprise" that it learned of the cancellation of the contest.

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