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Chad to auction new telecoms operating license

Chad to auction new telecoms operating license

The government of Chad is planning to auction a new telecommunications license for the provision of 2G, 3G and 4G mobile telephony services.

According to the International Invitation to Tender notice, the requirements for expression of interest in the license include experience in the operation of telecommunication networks, appropriate technical and financial capacities and demonstration of 'mastery of the system'.

Authorities said the new license falls in line with the objectives of the Digital Chad Plan 2017-2021.

In addition to the 1,000,000 CFA francs (about US$2,000) fee for the purchase of tender documents, bidders are also required to pay a bid bond of one hundred million CFA francs, approximately US$180,000.

Ndolenodji Alixe Naimbaye, President of Chad's Interdepartmental Commission for the Granting of a Second, Third and Fourth Generation License to a Cellular Mobile Operator, said the bidding process will open on 13 September.

While the country's telecommunications industry features a lower starting base and experts believe it offers a significant opportunity for investors to develop services, the challenge for operators remains government interference in the provision of these services.

In January the government of Chad restored internet access following a shutdown reportedly in response to a national protest, backed by trade unions and civil society organisations, using social media.

In addition to the service disruptions, the industry is also struggling with high tariffs. In 2017, the government introduced a new 18% tax on telecom services which reportedly affected customer spend and operator revenue.

Airtel and Millicom had considered exiting Chad's market.

According to the latest Telecoms Maturity Index published by research firm BuddeComm, the telecoms market in Chad is classified as 'developing'. Chad's index score was 7 while the highest ranked country, Mauritania scored 43 on a scale of 1 to 100.

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