Sudan: Zain earmarks USD200m for network investment; 4G licence still pending

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Zain Sudan, the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, plans to invest around USD200 million to expand and develop its wireless infrastructure in 2015 and 2016, Reuters cites the firm’s chief executive Elfatih Erwa as saying. He added that Zain has completed the rollout of a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in the capital Khartoum, but is still waiting for government permission to launch the technology on a commercial basis.

Without providing further details, Erwa also said that Zain was still interested in purchasing a stake in Sudanese fixed line operator Canar Telecommunication Company (Canar), in which UAE-based Etisalat owns a 90% stake. Zain Sudan reported a total of 11.60 million mobile customers at the end of March 2015, giving it a market share of 42.0%, compared to South African-owned MTN Sudan with more than 8.59 million users (31.1%) and Sudatel with 7.40 million (26.8%).

Guinea Telecom to manage nation’s telecoms network infrastructure

Guinea-Bissau’s national PTO Companhia de Telecomunicacoes da Guine-Bissau (Guine Telecom) will manage the tiny African nation’s telecommunications infrastructure via a new plan that will see it transformed into a holding company, the secretary of state for transport and communications Joao Bernardo Vieira said last week. Responding to parliamentary questions in the National Assembly, Vieira said the government was committed to making the telco more profitable, and as such will organise the firm to make it better able to manage all telecommunications infrastructure in Guinea-Bissau, including fibre-optic networks and the future connection to a submarine cable.

Guinea-Bissau is the only country in the sub-region not connected to a submarine telecommunications cable, although in September a project will be launched to change that, Vieira said. The matter is due to be brought before the cabinet for discussion, he noted, adding that the government is still looking for a foreign investor to buy the PTO’s mobile arm Guinetel – allowing it to better compete with the country’s two other incumbent cellcos. Both Guinea Telecom and Guinetel are technically ‘bankrupt’, having fallen into the red several years ago, with workers accusing its top brass of mismanagement and pointing a finger at the government for a lack of input in resolving the situation.
Source: Telegeography 3rd August 2015