Malawi to dial Celcom before year’s end

Malawi’s fourth telecom company Celcom Limited which was awarded a dual fixed and mobile telephony licence by the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) in May 2011, has said it expects to start providing services before the October 2012 launch deadline set by the regulator.

Macra said under its licence, Celcom must provide fixed-line and mobile services by October 2012. This was after the company won a bid against Smart Telecom Limited of Malawi, Zambezi Africa Telecoms and C-Mobile Group Holdings.

But the company’s managing director Ted Sauti Phiri says Celcom is currently deploying network infrastructure through an initial investment of USD270 million, according to Daily Times.

Sauti-Phiri: Confident to meet the launch deadline

“‘The project is going on well. However, the progress which is being made is technical in nature and we know the public is interested in the commercial aspect of it, so we will update them accordingly soon,” said Sauti Phiri, adding: “Everyone should be assured that we will definitely roll out our services come this October.”

Celcom which is 100%-owned by one of Malawi’s business conglomerates, the Mulli Brothers,  aims to bring affordable wireless services to consumers, particularly in rural areas of the country.

Celcom became the country’s fourth telecoms provider after Airtel, Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL), TNM and G-Mobile which has not yet made an initial a call and has cases in court with Macra.

MTLand newcomer Access Communications Limited (ACL), which launched fixed telephony services in January 2010, are currently the only two players in the wireline arena.

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