Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Malawi: GAIN Fails to Meet Roll-Out Deadline, To Request Extension

Malawi's third licensed mobile operator, Global Advanced Integrated Networks (GAIN), which intends to provide services under the G-Mobile banner, has admitted it will not be able to meet the 31 December 2009 deadline for the rollout of its network as stipulated by its licence, local daily The Business Times reports citing the firm's director, Limbani Kalilani.

Instead the company plans to request an extension to the deadline from the regulator, the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA), and will make up for the delay by combining rollout phases outlined by the concession. GAIN has also announced a new deal with Chinese equipment vendor ZTE for the construction of its wireless network. In a statement, G-Mobile said its project partners Beryl Telecoms South Africa and Beryl Telecoms UK are financing the building of a 'modern hybrid cellular mobile network' under a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) funding arrangement.

According to TeleGeography's GlobalComms Database, GAIN won the tender for Malawi's third wireless concession in July 2008 beating rival bids from two other firms, Global Telecom and Zimbabwe's Econet. A year later the cellco signed a USD90 million partnership deal with Beryl Capital and Telecoms for the supply, installation and commissioning of G-Mobile's mobile network in the country.

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