The bill that authorizes the President, as holder of the executive power, to legislate on tax and customs exemptions for the "Project 4th Global Unified Title (TGU)" was approved this Thursday with 175 votes in favour, no votes against and no abstentions.
This law, which grants tax and customs incentives to the company Africell, winner of the international public tender for the fourth universal mobile communications license in Angola, was approved during the 13th ordinary plenary meeting of parliament.
The group, with US capital but managed from London, promised to invest "several hundred million dollars" in infrastructure and services and start operating in 2021, estimating that in the next five years 6500 jobs will be created .
This Thursday, the minister of Telecommunications, Information Technologies and Social Communication, Manuel Homem, said in parliament that the operator invested "close to 800 million dollars" to guarantee its operation.
According to the official, who presented the law in the National Assembly (Angolan parliament), the implementation and operation of the fourth TGU aims to "increase the offer" of telecommunications services and products to citizens.
Fostering competition, reducing costs and improving the quality of services, increasing the rate of employability and penetration of telecommunications services throughout the country are other purposes for the operation of the new operator.
The proposed incentives, within the scope of the law now approved, "result from a study of the market and negotiation and do not affect competition for companies operating in this specific service", explained Manuel Homem.
The evaluation criteria of the competition that validated the fourth operator, the attribution of incentives in relation to other operators that already operate in the Angolan market were some of the issues raised by the deputies during the assessment of the legal diploma.
Manuel Homem noted that the fourth operator is having access to incentives due to "a scheme that has already been applied to other operators, with the other operators having much more benefits" than Africell.
"Naturally, we had to create conditions for this operator to withhold this investment of close to 800 million dollars to guarantee this operation", he explained to the deputies.
"In the terms of the contract, a program for the gradual implementation of coverage between urban centers and suburban areas is foreseen, that is, within eight years the operation must cover at least 60% of the percent urban areas, giving higher priority coverage of suburban areas," he assured.
Angola has more than 22,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable installed and also underwater fiber telecommunications services where the country "has three international outlets, whose connections include Brazil, Miami, South Africa and Sesimbra-Portugal," he said. the ruler.
Angola is also connected to the Single African Telecommunications Network "and this connection is already allowing the connection between Cabinda and the rest of the country by optical fibre, an activity recently made available to those populations", he noted.
"These investments that have been made have allowed telecommunications operators to have greater capacity to provide their services and, in a concrete way, one of the mechanisms we have been following to increasingly improve access to communications is the sharing of infrastructures", Manuel Homem also stated.