Three out of 22 interested parties have been shortlisted to become Mozambique’s third mobile phone operator, the National Institute of Communications (INCM) has announced. The three in question are TMN (the cellular unit of Portugal Telecom), UNI-Telecom (a joint venture between Angolan cellco Unitel and Mozambique’s Energy Capital) and a Vietnam-backed bidder named Movitel. Though the ownership of the Vietnamese company was not reported, TeleGeography notes that Vietnamese military-run GSM operator Viettel previously announced plans to seek investment opportunities in other developing countries including Mozambique, following its recent takeover of the Haitian operator Teleco.
INCM director Americo Muchanga commented: ‘The three have presented required documents. Technical and financial proposals will be evaluated over the next two months after which we will announce the winning bid’. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Mozambique is currently home to Mcel with an estimated 3.7 million customers in March 2010 and Vodacom with 1.49 million at the same date. Wireless penetration stands at 23.8%, leaving plenty of room for growth.