Three local companies have joined two foreign companies in the race for a license to roll out mobile phone services. Malawi Communication and Regulatory Authority (Macra) said last Monday, local companies Malcom Limited, Megatel Communications Ltd and Globally Integrated Networks had submitted bids.

The foreign contingent include Econet Wireless from South Africa, which was, until late last year, engaged in a pre-emptive rights legal battle with Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL). Others firms in the foreign category are Millennium Globe Telecom Ltd from United States of America (USA).

Macra publicist Clara Mulonya said the regulator was evaluating the bids to check if they were in line with specified guidelines. “We check compliance to instructions as contained in the invitation to apply document, which include the need to indicate the financial capability and technical capacity among others,” Mulonya said. She said in selecting the winning bidder Macra looks at many things including the company’s financial capacity.

“This is a capital-intensive investment and it is expected that bidders should have enough financial resources,” Mulonya said. There were 11 companies that obtained bid documents, but according to Macra, only five applied and the winner would join Celtel and TNM Limited who are already established on the market.

(SOURCE: Daily Times)