Mozambique’s third mobile tender should be ready by December, according to a report by Reuters, citing Transport and Communications Minister Paulo Zucula. Following previous reports, citing Instituto Nacional das Comunicacoes (INCM) director general Americo Muchanga, which predicted that the tender would be held in the third quarter of 2010, Zucula said: ‘Within a month or two, the tender will come out, what I mean is the tender will be launched by December. First we had to do a market study in the whole country to find out if there is room or not, we had to sit and discuss with other stakeholders and operators, all this has been concluded and the market is there.’
The Mozambican cabinet has previously ordered INCM to speed up preparations for the international tender; in July 2009 Luis Covane, spokesman for the cabinet, said: ‘There is space for the entry of a third mobile network operator and after this authorisation, work related to its entry should begin immediately.’ The third operator was originally due to be licensed in Mozambique by June this year, but the auction was delayed amidst opposition from mCel, a state-owned company and SNO Vodacom Mozambique. The tender was put on hold in April, while the INCM renewed negotiations with the operators.