Following the launch in June of the bidding process for Rwanda’s third mobile licence, AllAfrica.com reports that only seven companies have entered the race: Vitel Holdings, Larrycom For Investment, Essar Telecom, Comium Group, Celtel, Millicom, and Easymobile Communications. Despite claims by the Rwanda Utilities Regulations Agency (RURA) that everything is going smoothly, one government source, speaking anonymously, said the relatively low interest may be to do with flaws in the tender process. There has been criticism of the government’s policy of extending invitations to bid to preferred companies, and not instead having a widely advertised public tender with bidding documents made available to everyone. RURA officials maintain that a ‘legitimate, transparent and consistent’ bidding process is underway wherein companies receive ‘equal support’. The closing date for bids is 30 September, at which date RURA will select the top three bidders and send the list to the State Ministry of ICT, which will make the final decision before the end of the year.
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