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Malcel wins Malawi telecoms license

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The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) will introduce Malcel as the third operator in the country.

Malcel will enter the market next year and will provide some much-needed competition to the telecoms sector in the country.

The company is a partnership between Bedrock Holdings, which will hold a 30% stake and Danish company Eferio Communications which will hold 60%. The remaining 10% is up for sale to another local or international company.

Boniface Ndawala, president and CEO of Malcel says the company has plans to invest US$280 million in the country over the next five years.

"We plan to start rolling out our network in Malawi from the fourth quarter of 2022 and we will start formal operations with the first call made on our network in the fourth quarter of 2023," he said.

"We want to give Malawians a real third alternative. So, we will fight on service to subscribers. Whoever has the best services, which leads to the best customer experience, will have an edge in the fight," said Ndawala.

The country which has long been a duopoly, spearheaded by Airtel and TNM has failed to bring in a third operator.

In August 2020, Lazarus Chakwera, the Malawian president approved the awarding of a third telecoms license to promote competition.

Past attempts have, however, failed to meet the government’s obligations on each occasion.

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