Mozambique’s fast developing telecoms sector

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Movitel, a joint initiative started two years ago by Vietnamese telecoms company Viettel and Mozambique’s direct investment company, SPI, in order to improve telecom services in the Southern African country.

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“This initiative regards telecom provision as a commodity, which should be accessible regardless of geographical location or financial capacity,” said Nguyen Thai Khang, chairman of the Vietnam ICT Press Club, in a statement.

To date, Movitel has built 2,800 2G/3G base stations and 25,000 kilometres of fiber optical cables, covering 100 per cent of districts and highways, reaching nearly 80 per cent of Mozambique’s population.

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By the end of 2013, the company had increased its coverage in rural areas from 60 per cent to 85 per cent, reaching around 600,000 people in five rural districts.

The venture also developed a diversified distribution channel comprising of 153 shops, 12,600 agents and points of sale as well as 4,000 direct sales staff for door to door delivery in all villages.

Affordable tariff plans been tailored for different groups.

“For instance, farmers were offered zero entrant fee with top up denomination of any value in addition to subsidizing handsets while the youth could enjoy services such as i-Muzik, Missed call alerts, Call me back, daily news, horoscopes, etc. Never before is it easier for Mozambican to use telecommunications services than it is now with Movitel,” continued the statement.

Movitel currently accounts for 70 per cent of Mozambique’s fiber optical cable infrastructure and 50 per cent of its mobile phone networks, making the country among the top three nations in sub-Saharan Africa for its fibre optical cabling after South Africa and Nigeria. 

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“The infrastructure enables Mozambique’s telecommunication industry to implement the e-government and develop ICT applications in the education and healthcare sectors for socio-economic.”

Movitel launched free broadband internet to 4,200 schools nationwide. By the end of 2013, 2,500 schools were connected to the internet.