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Guinea Bissau revives defunct local telecoms operator

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Guinea , 29 Sep 2021

The government of Guinea Bissau says it is reviving the country’s defunct telecommunication service provider Guinea Telecom (Companhia de Telecommunicoes da Guinea Bissau) and its mobile unit Guinetel.

The company was forced to close doors in 2013 after being declared bankrupt and was officially dissolved in September 2017 following a presidential decree issued to establish a new legal entity and assume control of the company’s assets and debts.

Guinea Telecom’s closure opened the door of opportunity to foreign operators, including MTN Guinea Bissau and Orange Guinea Bissau.

However, most recently, the country’s industry regulator the Guinea Bissau National Regulatory Authority for ICT (ARN) confirmed it had issued Guinetel with an operating licence to enable it to revive service delivery.

The country’s Minister of Communications Augusto Gomes said he also granted a licence allowing Guinea Telecom to start providing fixed-line and infrastructure services countrywide.

Gomes said the Guinea Bissau’s government deemed it timely to revive the incumbent operator to establish sovereignty within the country’s telecommunications, particularly with regards to the security of communications and national data.

The Minister said: “The government is preparing for an international tender for operating partners to ensure the businesses were achieved profitably.”

At a forum in Guinea this year, the government said it plans to execute 67 transformative projects countrywide - including reviving Guinea Telecom - using the US$3-billion investment agreed with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.

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