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Mozambique: two major telecom companies to re-merge

(AGI) - Maputo, Jul 28 - The public company "Telecomunications of Mozambique - T...

Mozambique: two major telecom companies to re-merge
 Carlos Agostinho do Rosario (afp)

(AGI) - Maputo, Jul 28 - The public company "Telecomunications of Mozambique - TDM" and mobile communications provider "Mozambique Celular(Mcel)" are to be re-remerged as both are grappling with serious financial difficulties, the Government here has announced. TDM is a public company which owns the majority stake in Mcel. For over 15 years, Mcel was part of TDM before being separated. The separation took place at the time when the government wanted the providers of mobile telephony in the country to use TDM infrastructure and made massive investments in the company. However, the same government, later authorized the new operators, namely, the South African Vodacom, and Movitel, a joint venture of Vietnam Telecom and SPI, a holding owned by the Mozambique ruling party, FRELIMO, to build their own infrastructure, leaving the Mcel as the only user of the TDM infrastructure. This week, the government created a special committee to operationalize the re-merger of the two companies. According to Government papers TDM alone needed about USD500 million US to get out of the current financial crisis. Recently, the Prime Minister of Mozambique, Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, said TDM "stopped in time" and could not compete in the market. A technical team was tasked to ascertain the true financial health of Mcel. Government decision to re-merge these companies is in part a response to the recommendation by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for it to purge public companies making losses. Mcel is the leading mobile services provider in this Southern African nation with more than five million clients out of a population of 23 million. (AGI) .