Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


Tmcel: The New Name in Mozambique's Comms Market

Article Image
After more than two-and-a-half years of effort and no small smattering of procrastination, the plan to merge two state-owned network operators, Telecomunicações de Moçambique (TdM) and Moçambique Celular (Mcel), has finally come to fruition with the formation of a single, integrated national operator, Moçambique Telecom SA (Tmcel).

The new company's online presence is currently hosted on the TdM website, while the new operator's logo bears a striking resemblance to that of the now defunct Mcel.

Not much information has been added to the website, but service offerings including broadband, fixed line voice, mobile, bundled packages of those options, and some value-added services.

According to research house Ovum, the new company will face stiff but not insurmountable competition in the mobile market. Vodacom is the clear market leader with 44% market share. Mcel, the first mobile operator in the country, has ceded its second position to Movitel, but both were at around 28% market share by the third quarter of 2018.

The state-owned fixed-line operator TdM and the mobile branch Mcel (in which TdM held a majority stake) were close to insolvency in 2016. The decision to merge them was made by Mozambique's Council of Ministers in July that year. At that point, TdM was running a debt of more than $500 million, while Mcel's debt stood at over $200 million. The then Council of Ministers spokesman Mouzinho Saide commented the decision to merge the operations was made in line with the government's austerity plan. On the positive side, the new company "will have technological, financial and human resources able to meet the market's need and will reach the convergence of voice, data, fixed and mobile Internet services," said Saide at that time.

Since then, a board of 13 directors appointed by an independent panel was set up, and Mohamed Rafique Jusob, the former government minister and lawyer, was appointed the chairman of the board to lead the merger, which was due to be completed by December 2018. In May 2018, the Instituto de Gestão das Participações do Estado (Institute for the Management of State Holdings, IGEPE), affiliated to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, pledged there would be no job cuts. "We shall restructure the companies and move staff to new positions. We do not foresee any redundancies," Ana Coanai, IGEPE's chairperson, told the media.

The conclusion of the TdM and Mcel merger may not be the end of trouble in Mozambique's state-owned business sector. Ana Coanai of IGEPE disclosed at the same briefing last May that 20 companies in which the state holds shares (excluding public listed companies) are facing financial crisis. "We are negotiating with the banks to alleviate the debts of these companies," Conai said. She did not name the companies.

— Wei Shi, Site Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Connecting Africa Podcast: Ep. 8 – Edtech for the future of work

This week we are joined by Eyitayo Ogunmola, CEO of Utiva, which is a startup offering technology skills training to prepare young people for the the future of work.


Hot startup of the month: Malawi's Converged Technology Networks

Startup Converged Technology Networks is focused on addressing the unmet demand for residential broadband Internet access in Malawi.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: October 2021

By Omdia Analysts

Across the Middle East and Africa, regulators are beginning to facilitate spectrum allocation to operators in the region for the deployment of new and innovative technology.


Research Bites: Why Africans stop using mobile apps

By Chinedu Wilfred Okonkwo, Magda Huisman and Estelle Taylor

This article – in collaboration with the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development – explores the reasons behind why Africans stop using certain mobile apps.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

AfricaCom perspectives


Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.


Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.


How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Flash poll

All polls

Archived webinars

Meeting SME’s where they are - Building inclusive ecosystems for Africa’s small business owners

Micro and small businesses have been, and still are, the spine and lifeblood of the African economy, making up 90% of businesses on the continent.

Many of these businesses have still been operating in traditional ways and serving non-digital customers. With Covid-19 expediting the digital transformation process, businesses - big and small - have been forced to adapt to operate successfully in a more digital-first environment.

To ensure that the digitalization of Africa’s market doesn’t leave micro and small businesses behind, digital solutions must be inclusive and create business-ready environments. But how can we ensure that African SMEs become digitally enabled?

In this webinar we will share from our own experience on how to create such an environment, and the actions we took in vcita to get there, including:

  • Closing the digital literacy gap through tech inclusion 
  • Making a positive impact on local communities
  • Building the foundations for digital inclusion and small business growth in a technology-accelerated world
  • Building the foundations for digital inclusion and small business growth in a technology-accelerated world

Register Here >>

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up