Africell marks mid-2021 for commercial launch in Angola

Africell marks mid-2021 for commercial launch in Angola

Angola’s new licensee Africell has set a goal of launching commercial services by mid-2021.

Local outlet VerAngola reports that the new market entrant is planning to invest “hundreds of millions of dollars” in building out its network, with the operator’s chief investment officer Ian Paterson telling news agency Lusa that it is in “advanced discussions with several financing partners”.

Earlier this month, Africell was officially confirmed as Angola’s fourth recipient of a Unified Global licence, allowing it to offer fixed, mobile, internet and pay-TV services. The operator is still negotiating the final terms of its licence with the Angolan government, but expects to conclude this process by the end of September 2020.

TeleGeography reports that Angola’s mobile market is effectively a duopoly between Unitel and Movicel, although state-owned fixed provider Angola Telecom is the third Unified Global licence holder and has outlined a roadmap to launch services in partnership with Angorascom.

Paterson noted that Angola was “very attractive because there is very little real competition… Unitel is a dominant player in the market and customers suffer as a result.” He noted that new players in the market would foster more competitive pricing and service quality, saying that Africell would offer “pricing plans that are much more creative and flexible” with “’more high speed solutions, more value-added services.” He added that the operator plans to offer mobile payments.

In its discussions with the regulator, Africell is pushing it to support the sharing of tower and fibre infrastructure so that operators can save money on duplicate build-outs.

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