It’s been over a year since Mobilis, the cellular division of state-backed Algerie Telecom, lodged an application to compete for the fourth mobile operator licence in Mali. Now it’s finally joining the three established players in that country.
The application came soon after Mali’s government announced plans to proceed with the award of its fourth mobile network operator licence and a provisional date of 22 May 2018 was set as a deadline for the submission of bids.
Mobilis has been awarded an operating licence to deploy services nationwide. The award – which includes rights to offer 2G, 3G and 4G services – was confirmed by Mali’s minister of the digital economy and communication, under a provisional agreement with the government.
While the terms regarding the setting up of a new subsidiary for Algerie Telecom have yet to be agreed, we are told that company officials are expected in Mali soon to sign documents and start construction of the network.
Mobilis will be the fourth mobile operator in Mali’s domestic mobile market. It joins established players Orange Mali, Alpha Telecom and Malitel, the mobile arm of fixed line incumbent SOTELMA, a private telecommunications company based in Bamako that provides local telephony, international telephony, internet service and mobile services.
Algerie Telecom already has a presence in Mali via its satellite communications subsidiary, ATS.