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.


Telstar Is the New Kid on Angola's Comms Services Block

Article Image
Local contender Telstar has been awarded a license to offer fixed, mobile and cable services by Angola's telecom ministry, making it the country's fourth multiservice license holder.

The Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology (Ministério das Telecomunicações e Tecnologias de Informação) announced that the Angolan private company won the new "unified global licence" (Título Global Unificado, TGU) following decisions by the evaluation committee.

This concludes a year-long process that attracted interest from 18 local and nine overseas companies, the announcement said. At the end of 2017, Bloomberg reported that the new government was prepared to partially privatize the state-owned Angola Telecom and to issue a fourth telecom license. At the end of last year, Manuel Homem, the Angolan Secretary of State for Telecommunications, told the press that the fourth telecom operator would be announced in the first quarter of 2019. (See Angola to Get New Operator, Part Privatize Incumbent.)

The license will cost the one-year-old company US$120 million, 15% of which should be paid within 45 days, and the rest will be settled within the next seven years. Service offerings should start within one year. In a YouTube promotional video, Telstar pledged to be the first to roll out 5G in Angola as well as to provide high-speed Internet and premium-quality VoLTE (voice-over-LTE) services. It also promised to create 5,000 direct and 160,000 indirect jobs. The government also expects to company to be listed on the local stock market at some point.

The license will give Telstar access to all telecom and television markets, including fixed, mobile, cable and Internet.

In the mobile market, which supports almost 14 million users, Unitel commands more than 74% of the market, with Movicel serving the rest, according to data collected by research house Ovum. Movicel recently struck a partnership with Vodafone. (See Vodafone Expands Its Partnership Programme to Angola.)

Angola Telecom, meanwhile, is focused on the fixed and Internet access markets and does not offer mobile services.

The bidding process for the fourth license was not without controversy. MTN had shown serious interest until it decided to pull out in November, days before the original date to announce the winner. According to a report by the local business weekly Expansão, citing industry sources, MTN regarded the process as rigged and conceded that Telstar would be the only possible winner: The government insisted the process was transparent.

Telstar was established in January 2018 with a registered capital of Kz 200,000 ($630), less than a month before the government made the public announcement to start the bidding process. Public records showed the company was jointly owned by Manuel João Carneiro (90%) and António Cardoso Mateus (10%). According to online news outlet Portugal i News, which referred to the updated report by Expansão, Manuel João Carneiro is also the Chairman of Mundo Telecomunicações SARL, which is owned by Augusto da Silva Tomás and José Pedro de Morais, former cabinet ministers for transport and finance respectively, and other former senior government officials that served under the former president José Eduardo dos Santos.

Incidentally, Isabel dos Santos, dubbed "the richest woman in Africa" and daughter of the former president, was recently re-elected to the board of the country's leading mobile operator, Unitel.

— Wei Shi, Site Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Interview: Juliet Ehimuan on Africa's next wave of innovation

Juliet Ehimuan, founder and CEO of Beyond Limits Africa and ex-MD of Google West Africa, spoke to Connecting Africa about the next wave of innovation in Africa and the continent's digital future.


InDrive enters Zimbabwe's Bulawayo

Ride-sharing platform InDrive is expanding its services to Zimbabwean city of Bulawayo after successfully introducing its services in the capital of Harare in May this year.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Sponsored video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Africa Tech Perspectives


The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.


Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

Nextv Series Africa
October 4-5, 2023
Hotel Sky Sandton, Johannesburg
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Flash poll

All polls

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: August 2023

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in August 2023 in the Middle East and Africa included a commercial 5G launch from Ethio Telecom and the signing of a virtual wheeling agreement between Vodacom South Africa and Eskom – that and more in this month's Omdia View.


Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up
Tag id I-0000192