Thursday, April 9, 2009

Malawi Licences Two More Phone Operators

Malawi has awarded two more mobile operating licences to consortia of local and international firms. The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) chairman Thengo Maloya said in a statement that La Cell Private and Expresso Telecom Group have been awarded the latest licences, Reuters reported.

The southern African country already has three operators with Zain leading the pack with over 1 million subscribers, followed by Telekom Networks Malawi, partly owned by the Malawian government.

Maloya said the additional operators were meant to help bring down the cost of doing business in Malawi and to improve the quality of telecommunications services. Maloya said the regulator was not happy with the quality of service from the current operators, so the regulator is looking to create a more competitive environment. The regulator also announced new penalties of USD 100,000 per annum for firms that fail to roll out services as promised, as well as a USD 50,000 fine for poor service.

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