Millicom wins third Rwandan mobile licence

Millicom International Cellular SA has won the tender for Rwanda’s third mobile licence, beating rival bids from Zain, Larrycom for Investment, and Telecel Globe

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By  Roger Field Published  November 19, 2008

Millicom, which is based in Luxembourg and has mobile operations in Latin America, Asia and Africa, will hold 87.5% of the equity in a new joint venture company, in partnership with Rwandan business group Marathon Corporation. The joint venture will pay $60 million for the fifteen year licence.

Millicom will compete with Rwanda’s two existing mobile operators, MTN Rwandacel and Rwandatel in a market with an estimated mobile penetration of about 8%, and a population of some ten million people.

Millicom said it may also look to create synergies between its existing mobile operations in DRC and Tanzania, and the Rwandan operation.

Marc Beuls, president and CEO, Millicom, said: “[Rwanda] is a country with great potential for mobile telephony as it is a very densely populated country with an extremely low mobile penetration, which will enable us to build out a network quickly and economically, and its position between our operations in Tanzania and DRC offers potential operational synergies.

“Rwanda will become Millicom’s eighth country in Africa and will strengthen our overall position in the continent which, we believe, will be the fastest growing part of Millicom’s business in the coming years.”

Millicom has mobile operations in 16 countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa and also operates cable and broadband businesses in five countries in central America.

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