Millicom Wins Third Telecoms Licence in Rwanda

Telecoms

Millicom International Cellular S.A has emerged the preferred bidder for Rwanda's third national telecoms licence against Telecel Globe Ltd (Orasom’s new Sub-Saharan vehicle), Zain and Larrycom-Expresso. The deal has been approved by Rwanda's cabinet after evaluating the technical and financial results of the bids.

The cabinet announced that Millicom was preferred because of its highest technical score (83.49%) and best financial offer (US$60,007,000) against Telecel Globe which is the first reserved bidder with 75.87% third technical score and second highest US$55.5million financial offer.

Zain (formerly Celtel) emerged the second reserved bidder with the second technical score (80.7%) and the lowest financial offer (US$45million). Larrycom-Expresso's financial offer was not opened due to its lowest technical score which was below the required 70%.

Millicom International Cellular S.A is a global telecommunications group with mobile telephony operations in 16 countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa. The group's mobile operations have a combined population under licence of approximately 291 million people. It is currently in dispute with the Senegalese Government over its licence in Senegal.

It announced that it will hold 87.5% of equity in a newly created joint venture company in partnership with Marathon Corporation, an established local company with numerous business interests in Rwanda. The joint venture will pay US$60million for the 15 year licence.

However, for Millicom to finally sign the 15 year licence, it will have to fulfill terms and conditions of the licence as applied to the existing two licences in the country, namely MTN Rwanda and Rwandatel.

Col. Diogène Mundenge, director general of Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency told media in Kigali the government was now going to commence negotiations on the licence with Millicom.

As winner should be ready to sign a 15-year duopoly licence by the end of this year (December 2008).

Rwanda has 10million people but only between 1million and 1.2 million people use mobile communications services provided by MTN Rwanda and Rwandatel. On estimate, this is about 11% of the entire population in which MTN Rwanda leads the market with 1million mobile phone users.

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