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New telco to invest $280 million

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New entrant in the telecommunications industry, Malcel, has said it will invest over $280 million in the next five years in putting up infrastructure for its services.

This came out on Friday when the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) issued an operating licence to the firm.

Malcel founder and Chief Executive Officer Bonface Ndawala said the firm plans to establish 1,300 sites for its infrastructure including rural areas to match the reach of the two key players already in the industry.

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Ndawala further said the company will launch its services on the market on October 1 2023.

“We want to challenge the two operators that have been dominating the industry for over 20 years and to do that, we need to match their network and compete on the services.

“Among other things we have seen that data prices are high. We should be able to bring in innovations that are going to help reduce the prices. Ultimately, this will be a customer-centric company,” Ndawala said.

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During the event, Macra also awarded ccTLD management authorisation to SDNP, to legitimise its role under the Electronic Transactions and Cybersecurity Act, 2016 which mandates the authority to appoint the ccTLD manager in Malawi.

Macra Board Chairperson Stanly Khaila said the move is a commendable milestone in the telecommunication industry.

“Macra has done its part of awarding the licence. It is our expectation that Malcel will also do its part by rolling out its services within its timelines and is able to compete with the other players.

“We are optimistic that SDNP and Malcel will do their part. We shall also continue to create an enabling environment for our ICT players while ensuring the rule of law.”

Minister of Information and Digitalisation Gospel Kazako said the coming in of Malcel will enhance competition on the quality of services and bring down cost of the services.

“Let me once again urge the two firms to ensure that they meet consumer needs in all their dealings.

“We need to bear in mind that the essence of our operations is not just to satisfy ourselves but to meet the needs of the consumers by providing high-quality and affordable services. The ICT Industry needs more players to contribute effectively to the country,” Kazako said.

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