(Ecofin Agency) - The end of the civil war, amid the coronavirus crisis, has created many business opportunities in the South Sudanese telecom market. The country is welcoming a new telecom operator.
The President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, presided over the official launching ceremony of Digitel Telecommunications, the country's third telecom operator, on Monday 12 July. The new competitor to South Africa's MTN and Kuwait's Zain is fully owned by local investors. Its mission is to bring telecoms services to areas not covered and to accelerate people's access to digital services.
To support the new telecom operator in its ambition, Salva Kiir said, "the government will explore options, including a tax exemption that will benefit the import of network equipment and telecom tools. This equipment will help to increase the digital literacy program for our next generation ICT economy.
Athiei De Chan Awuol, executive vice president of Digitel Telecommunications, said the launch of a telecom company by local investors is a testament to the ability of South Sudanese to "contribute to a bright future for ourselves, our children, and the next generation.”
According to the 2021 Digital Report data from Hootsuite and We Are Social, the penetration rate is only 23.1% for mobile and 8.0% for the internet; a situation directly resulting from the civil war that the country went through from December 2013 to February 2020. The conflict has seriously affected the investments of telecom operators. The return to peace in the context of the coronavirus, which has created a need for high-speed telecom services around the world, particularly in South Sudan, has created many opportunities in the country's telecom sector.
The entry of a new player in the national market will increase competition, which should be manifested in increased investment in telecom infrastructure, improved service quality, lower prices, and service innovation.