TELECOMS

BOTSWANA’S BTC GETS LICENSING ALL CLEAR TO GO INTO MOBILE

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) would soon be competing with Mascom and Orange in the mobile phone sector. The licence is the Government’s way of “fattening the goose” before privatisation.

BTC was given a 15-year-service neutral license by the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) allowing it to operate both fixed and mobile telecommunications services.  Chief Executive Officer of BTA, Thari Pheko, said the move was a milestone in the liberalisation of telecommunications as Botswana becomes the 12th country in the world to issue a service neutral license.

Pheko said BTC was the first company to apply for a new license after the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, announced the liberalisation of the telecommunications industry. He said BTC would add value to the economy as competition would benefit consumers as more choices translate into better services and low communications costs.

Vincent Seretse, the chief executive officer of BTC, said though for a long time, his corporation enjoyed a monopoly, it knew that the industry would be liberalized. Thus, the BTC was prepared for the challenge.  He promised to give the BTC competitors a run for their money.  Seretse said the corporation had been engaged in tariff rebalancing and this has resulted in low tariffs.

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