(Ecofin Agency) - Six years after being declared bankrupt by the government, the incumbent operator and its mobile branch are back to business. They return to a market where MTN and Orange have had enough time to establish themselves.
The incumbent telecom operator Guinea Telecom S.A. will soon make its return to the Guinea-Bissau telecom market. On September 21, the company received from the Communication Minister, Augusto Gomes, a new license to operate as a network, fixed-line telecom service provider, and infrastructure operator throughout the country.
On September 14, the operator’s mobile branch Guinetel was awarded a unique license by the Board of Directors of the National Regulatory Authority for Information Technology and Communication (ARN-TIC).
The communication Minister explained that the return of state-owned companies to the national telecom market reflects the state's desire for sovereignty in telecommunications, particularly concerning the security of communications and national data.
In 2014, Guinea Telecom and Guinetel were declared bankrupt by the government following several years of poor financial health. In a market open to competition since 2003, the two companies were struggling to stand the competition from MTN and Orange.
In 2015, an interministerial commission dedicated to the revival of the two public companies was set up. It was funded by the West African Development Bank (BOAD) and the World Bank to carry out the technical and financial studies related to the project.
Augusto Gomes has promised, for the next few days, the approval of the specifications. An international tender will thus be launched to select a partner that will help make the companies more profitable. Through this project, the government seeks to tap into the various opportunities in the sector.