Mali’s 3rd mobile operator to start operations soon

By Issa Sikiti da Silva

Alpha Telecom, the third mobile operator of Mali, is set to start operating in the near future to challenge leader Orange and SOTELMA in this West African nation.
The company management, which held talks with its partners on Monday and Tuesday this week, said the network is ready, the money for the licence owed to the government (84 million euros) is fully paid and the infrastructure is currently being deployed at different sites.

Alpha Telecom, which is led by Burkina Faso-born CEO Appolinaire Compaoré, will operate in Mali under the name Atol-SA.

Local industry watchers said the government of Mali is set to award another mobile licence – the fourth – next year.

A source told Biztechafrica on Thursday that an international tender will be launched before the end of this year.

Alpha Telecom management is said to be satisfied by the progress made so far, and admitted that this week’s meetings were a platform to shed the light on the company's entry in the Malian market.

However, no date has been set for the launch and the people of Mali are still waiting impatiently.

“We have not heard from them for a long time since they were awarded the licence. But we are waiting for them, and nothing will stop someone from joining them if their offers are sweet and their quality of services is excellent,” Alpha Maiga, a mechanic, said in the capital Bamako.

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