Africell, Unitel bury the hatchet

Africell, Unitel bury the hatchet

Debuting Angolan operator Africell has ended network sharing negotiations with market leader Unitel, enabling it to finally launch full commercial services after months of delay.

The incoming fourth market operator is aiming to launch next month (April). According to sources speaking to Jornal de Angola, negotiations that took six months were mediated by telecoms regulatory body Inacom (Instituto Angolano de Comunicações) while an agreement was truck earlier with Movicel the second largest player.

Angola mandated infrastructure sharing to ramp up the market’s telecoms sector but Unitel reportedly raised compatibility issues with Africell's equipment stating weight and energy issues.  

During talks, Africell requested 100 sites from Unitel but sources said the latter was delaying procedures, resulting in the former to boost CAPEX for its own infrastructure to make its April deadline.

Africell has around 600 sites (leased and built) as a result of the impasse in the past few months, which will cover the Luanda region. But if further negotiations are successful then Africell will be able to rollout to the rest of Angola.

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