Angolan company Telstar has won the international public tender for the fourth telecom operator in Angola, announced today the Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technologies.
José Carvalho da Rocha indicated that the new operator will have to start operating within a maximum of one year and that it will have 45 days to fulfil the requirements that precede the granting of the license (Unified Global Title, TGU).
According to the minister, Telstar, a recent company in the Angolan market, will have to pay 15% of the 120 million dollars (106 million euros) of the license value within a month and a half, after having paid the 120 thousand dollars ( 106 thousand euros) related to the terms of reference.
Of the 27 entities that expressed an interest in the tender opened on November 27, 2017, only six passed the first phase and only two met all the requirements set forth in the specifications.
Currently, Angola has three operators, with Unitel leading the market, with around 80% of the market, ahead of Movicel, with a weight of around 20% and Angola Telecom (a state-owned company under privatization) with a residual position.
On March 29, Movicel signed a partnership with the British company Vodafone, with the regional director for Africa of that operator, Vic Pavel, guaranteed that the company does not intend to buy shares of any Angolan operator, not even for the fourth license.
Telstar – Telecomunicações, Lda was created on January 26, 2018, and has 200 thousand kwanzas (550 euros) of share capital, with shareholders as general Manuel João Carneiro (90%) and businessman António Cardoso Mateus (10%).
The Angolan economic weekly Expansão said today, however, that the majority shareholder has links to the company Mundo Telecomunicações, “which funded part of the expenses used by Telstar in the tender for the fourth operator.”
According to the weekly, Mundo Telecomunicações is owned by the former Transport Ministers, Augusto Tomás, and Finance, José Pedro de Morais, by the former Secretary for Economic Affairs of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, André Luís Brandão, and by General Higino Carneiro, deputy and former governor of the Province of Luanda.
Following the announcement, José Carvalho da Rocha said that it was a “transparent” competition, saying that he did not know the reasons why the South African telecommunications multinational MTN withdrew from the process after, in November 2018, the company stated, in the Angolan media, that the contest was, “at first, addicted“.
“I would like it to be the MTN itself to give the explanations because we do not know ourselves.” All the candidates had the opportunity to question the case, and at no point did they tell us that the process was flawed. “said the Angolan official.
José Carvalho da Rocha, questioned by journalists about what will happen if Telstar does not meet the requirements until the end of the process, which has a maximum period of 12 months, has only responded that “appropriate measures” will be taken, not explaining whether there will be a new competition or whether the license will be in the hands of the other “finalist” company, whose name did not help.
On the other hand, the Angolan minister indicated that among the requirements is the obligation, in a period not specified, the company to open part of the shares so that they can be sold on the stock exchange.
The new operator, he added, will take advantage of the public and private infrastructure already existing in Angola, within the framework of a logic advocated by the Government to make communications “increasingly accessible, with better quality and with coverage throughout the country.“