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Telecel Mali completes first phase of network deployment

Telecel Mali completes first phase of network deployment

Alpha Telecommunications Mali (Atel-SA), operating under the trademark 'Telecel' and holder of Mali's third mobile telecoms license, has announced the completion of the first phase of its network deployment.

According to the operator, its service is now available throughout the southern region - eight months after officially rolling out operations in the country

Souleymane Diallo, Managing Director of Telecel Mali said: "The completion of the first phase of network deployment demonstrates our ambition and reflects our commitment to anticipate the obligations of our specifications in order to register as a reliable partner of the national authorities who have trusted us."

Telecel Mali said it would begin with the next phase to extend network services to the country's central and northern regions, but did not confirm a date for completion.

In November 2017, ITWeb Africa reported Atel-SA's intention to raise and invest over US$200m to service the telecoms market in Mali, according to CEO Dimitri Ouedraogo who added that the company's network can accommodate five million subscribers.

Atel-SA is a joint venture established by Monaco Telecom and local holding company Planor Afrique. The venture outbid Bharti Airtel and Viettel Corporation to secure the country's third telecom's license in 2012 for an amount of XOF55 billion.

It signed the concession for the acquisition of the operating license on 12 February 2013 and in November 2013, it announced it had paid the final balance of XOF7.6 billion (US$15.6 million) for the mobile telephony license. It initially planned to begin commercial services in 2014, but was delayed till 2018.

Following the official launch in Bamako in December 2017, the operator has expanded its presence to Kati, Sikasso, Segou, Kayes, Koutiala, and Koulikoro. It now has 20 sales offices and more than 20,000 outlets in southern Mali.

The country is planning to issue a fourth mobile license, as reported by ITWeb Africa in June 2018, and this is believed to have attracted the attention of Algeria's Mobilis.

Atel-SA said it needs five years for it to be ready to compete with Malitel and Orange.

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