Angola’s government added a third mobile operator to the mix with the award of an operating licence to Africell, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
The move comes after President Joao Lourenco revoked a decision from April 2019 giving operating rights to domestic company Telstar Telecomunicacoes, due to concerns around its ability to meet bidding conditions.
In March, the country’s Ministry of Finance said MTN Group, Africell and Banco Angolano de Investimentos (BAI) had acquired tender documents, but only Africell submitted its application.
Africell’s head Ziad Dalloul in 2019 revealed the company had $300 million at its disposal to fund an entry into Angola,
The newly awarded licence brings the number of Africell markets to five, adding to its current operations in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Uganda.
Angola’s mobile market is currently dominated by Unitel and Movicel, which GSMA Intelligence figures show had 10.9 million and 3.7 million connections respectively at end-Q1.