Malawi's third licensed cellco Global Advanced Integrated Networks (GAIN), which intends to operate under the G-Mobile banner, has signed a USD90 million partnership deal with South Africa's Beryl Capital and Telecoms for the supply, installation and commissioning of G-Mobile's mobile network in the country, reports local newspaper The Daily Times.
According to the report, one of G-Mobile's directors, Harold Muyaba, said the partnership will enable G-Mobile to begin its rollout strategy, which includes the installation of a voice and high speed data network, and start providing wireless services by December of this year as planned. 'We know competition will be stiff but we are ready and we will take the challenge head on,' he added.
G-Mobile won the tender for Malawi's third wireless operators licence in July 2008. Upon receiving its licence, the company promised to provide 'first class' telecoms services and announced plans to invest USD40 million within the first five years of operations to expand its network to rural areas. However, the company has been slow to deploy a wireless network and in April 2009 the country's telecoms regulator, Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA), gave G-Mobile ten months to rollout operations, or face having its licence revoked.