Luanda – The consultancy BMI Research believes that the opening of the Angolan telecommunications market to a new operator is positive because it brings more competition, but warns that the entry will require a large initial investment, limiting the interest.
“Entering the Angolan market will require an extensive investment, so we believe that only established and already robust operators with a brand already exist, such as Viettel, Orange or Vodafone, can succeed, but the Government’s insistence on maintaining part of Angola Telecom will limit the interest of more commercial operators, “write the analysts.
In a comment to the government announcement, which Lusa had access to, the Fitch consultant writes that “this initiative is positive for the telecommunications market, since mobile and fixed subscriptions have grown little in recent years.”
The Angolan market is divided between Unitel, with 73% of the market share, and Movicel with 27%, “which has had negative consequences for innovation and consumer choice”, but the mobile penetration rate slightly below 50% “brings considerable potential growth for Angola Telecom and the fourth operator.”
The Angolan government launched the international public tender for a fourth telecommunication operator, including the fixed, mobile and pay-TV network, at the end of November, with the submission of proposals until February 27, 2018.
According to the invitation to tender issued by the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technologies of Angola, this procedure will be conducted by the Angolan Institute of Communications (INACOM) and aims at the concession of another public electronic communications service nationwide.
The announcement made through this notice refers to an international public tender limited by prior qualification and that the specifications can be lifted from December 27, 2017, at Inacom.
The only award criterion, according to the notice, concerns the “most economically advantageous tender, taking into account the criteria set out in the tender specifications or in the invitation to tender”.
“We are going to increase the competition. It will improve the service and we will act on the prices and quality of the service,” said Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technologies, José Carvalho da Rocha, at the launch of the initiative.
He added that the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology has already received “several” expressions of interest from domestic and foreign investors, but that the process, until the final choice of the operator, “will not be completed in less than three months.”
At the same time, added José Carvalho da Rocha, the state will privatize 45% of the capital stock of the public company Angola Telecom, which is currently dedicated only to the fixed network.
These measures are part of the restructuring of the telecommunications sector in Angola and to “boost the market”. There are only two titles for operators, multiservice and global, which is designated as a unified title and allows all types of communications, mobile and fixed.
The partial privatization of Angola Telecom, undergoing a restructuring process, will ensure, said the minister, the investment necessary for its entry, also, into mobile communications.
According to figures revealed by Minister José Carvalho da Rocha, Angola currently has more than 11 million registered mobile network cards.