Guinea-Bissau’s telecoms industry watchdog Autoridade Reguladora Nacional das Tecnologias de Informacao e Comunicacao (ARN) has given domestic mobile operators MTN Guinea-Bissau and Orange Bissau until 15 August to resolve the technical problems currently blighting their services. ARN called high ranking officials from the two cellcos to a meeting to set out its position that it will not accept the high levels of dropped calls users are facing, or the fact that at times consumers find it impossible to place a call on either network. The chairman of the regulatory authority, Djibril Mane, confirmed that the meeting was called in the wake of a review earlier this year into mobile service quality and the need for the two companies to provide nationwide coverage. Both MTN and Orange have been advised on the improvements they could make, Mane said, noting a positive response from both firms. ‘As you know, ARN has the power granted to it by the law. It is not only a regulatory and supervisory authority, but also promotes activities to develop the sector in Guinea-Bissau,’ the chairman said.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the mobile market in the tiny African nation of Guinea-Bissau is home to three operators – MTN Guinea-Bissau (Areeba), formerly Spacetel Guinea-Bissau, a wholly owned subsidiary of South Africa’s MTN Group; Orange Bissau, which is 90%-owned by Sonatel of Senegal, itself a 42.33% subsidiary of Orange Group; and Guinetel, the 100% owned mobile arm of national fixed line operator Companhia de Telecomunicacoes da Guine-Bissau (Guine Telecom) – which between them counted a total of 1.171 million subscribers at end-March 2015, a cellular penetration of 67.0%.