Government to sell 45% of Angola Telecom and license new operator

Government to sell 45% of Angola Telecom and license new operator

Angola will hold a public tender for a fixed and mobile operator, with details due by the end of the month.

The country’s minister of telecommunications and information technologies, José da Rocha, said that by the end of this year the regulator will have the specifications available for interested investors.

“We are going to increase the competition. It will improve the service and we will work on prices and the quality of the services,” said da Rocha, according to state news agency Angop.

The Angolan state will hold on to 45% of the winning company, he added. At the same time it plans to sell 45% of state-owned fixed operator Angola Telecom.

The new operator will be able to offer fixed, mobile and pay-TV networks, said da Rocha. It will compete with Angola Telecom and two privately owned companies, Unitel and Movicel.

Unitel is controlled by Isabel dos Santos, daughter of former President José Eduardo dos Santos, who lost office after 38 years in September 2017 to João Lourenço. Since then Lourenço has been trying to dismantle the dos Santos family’s business empire. Isabel dos Santos is widely described as Africa’s richest woman.

According to the Angop agency, Angola’s 29 million people have only 11 million mobile subscriptions, a penetration of just 38%.

Meanwhile another Angolan company, AngoSat, is about to get its first satellite, due to be launched later this month from Baikonur in Kazakhstan by Energia, a Russian launch company. Built by Airbus in France, the satellite will mainly be used to transmit TV programmes to Angola and neighbouring countries.

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