The government of Mali has not let recent fighting within the country deter it from issuing a third mobile licence.
The operating licence was granted to Alpha Teleco, which has taken out a services agreement with Monaco Telecom International to facilitate its goal of providing “an international class network accessible to all in Mali” as soon as possible.
The operator is required to pay two thirds of the CFA55 billion ($110 million) price upfront, but has been excused from meeting the usual network rollout deadlines in areas where conflict is ongoing.
The network will carry Alpha Telecom’s branding, facing down competition from Orange Mali and Malitel, which are owned by France Telecom and Maroc Telecom respectively. The country currently has around 15 million mobile subscribers.