Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) has formally issued out a 10 year licence to mobile telecommunication service provider Lacell Private Limited.
Speaking during the presentation ceremony in Blantyre, Macra boss Godfrey Itaye the country has high expectations from Lacell to provide “quality service.”
He said the coming in of another player in the telecommunication industry will “increase competition”.
Said Itaye: “Competition is good, it benefits the consumer on prices and quality of service so that consumers get what they pay for.”
There has been disappointment from Malawians at times with the quality of services being offered by existing companies that are characterised by high rates of prices and dropped calls.
Lacell chairperson Farook Satar said the company is ready to roll out its services and promised “ high quality service.”
Satar said his company is expected to provide hundreds of jobs to Malawians, in addition to reaching the rural masses by providing facilities which will “facilitate easy access to telecommunications services.”
The other cellular network operators in the Southern African country are Airtel Malawi, a subsidiary of Pan-African mobile operator Balti, and TNM, which is owned by Malawian conglomerate Press Corporation.
The two established mobile phone network service providers share a market of over 1, 5-million subscribers, and the Malawi government intends granting further mobile phone network licences in order to increase the number of phone users in the country, which has a 13-million-strong population.
Two other telecommunication operators, G-Mobile and Celcom have failed to roll out.
Celcom has a licence awarded under the terms of dual fixed and mobile telephony provision, which when it was awarded in May 2011 it was required to launch services within 18 months.
The rollout deadline was subsequently postponed three times and is fighting in court against the revocation of its operating licence.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :