TELECOMS

New Mozambique mobile operator starts test phase

Mozambique's third mobile phone operator Movitel has launched a test phase of its network one year after it was awarded an operating licence, the company said. “The Movitel network actually covers all the provinces and cities in the country with infrastructure implemented at a national level, comprising more than 1,000 stations with 2G and 3G technology and 5,500 kilometres (3,400 miles) of fibre-optic cable,” it said in a statement received Tuesday.

The company is a joint venture between Viettel Group, a unit of Vietnam Military Telecommunications Corp, and SPI Gestao e Investimentos, the investment arm of Mozambique’s ruling party and a group of investors known as Invespark.

Movitel is planning to invest $465 million over the next five years to build its own infrastructure, but will share equipment in some regions. The consortium was awarded a licence in November 2010, joining state-run mCel and South Africa's Vodacom, which is owned by Vodafone.

Mozambique had 7.2 million mobile phone subscribers in 2010, out of a population of 23 million. The arrival of Movitel is expected to increase competition, with mCel currently enjoying the biggest subscriber base, nearly four million users, against three million for Vodacom. - Sapa-AFP

Source: Independent online

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