Guinea pledges to relaunch state-owned operator Sotelgui

Guinea pledges to relaunch state-owned operator Sotelgui

The Guinean government said it is a major priority for the state to relaunch operator Guinea Telecom, as a long-term move to reduce the cost of connectivity in the country and spur digital transformation.

Mosaique Guinee reported, the government visited Guinea Telecom (formerly Sotelgui) headquarters to take stock of the operator’s telecoms assets, in preparation for a relaunch.

The operator revealed it has 183 sites, 151 of which are LTE capable.

Ministry of post, telecommunications and digital economy delegate, and secretary-general Bamba Oliano, said there is “potential” in the operator and it is a “priority for the state” to revamp Guinea Telecom.

Oliano noted Guinea is one of very few sub-Sahara African countries without a state-owned operator to support connectivity. The operator will be launched with zero debt after it was absorbed by the government.

There are plans to make Guinea Telecom a “global operator” with a diverse product portfolio that not only includes 3G and 4G connectivity, but also TV, internet and fixed lines.

Currently, internet service providers rely on Guinea Telecom’s infrastructure which highlighted the potential the operator possesses, said Oliano.

“It will be the national operator that will support government communication, its launch will allow competition in the telephony sector to improve the quality of service. This will reduce the cost of communication and access to the Internet. This is the objective given to Guinea Telecoms. This is why we are considering finding an economic model to launch Guinea Telecom,” he said.

Sotelgui declared bankruptcy in 2013 after years of mismanagement and was dissolved in 2017 by the government which assumed all debts. Since 2019, the government has been trying to rally investments for a relaunch to compete against MTN and Orange.

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