Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario on Monday urged the publicly owned cell phone company m-Cel (Mocambique Celular) to improve its investment and marketing strategies, in order to face the highly competitive environment in the mobile telephony market.Rosario issued this warning while making what he described as a “routine visit” to the m-Cel headquarters in Maputo, through which the government hoped to understand the operations of the company that was the pioneer in this field.The Prime Minister also urged m-Cel to invest in technological modernisation. “In competition, those who innovate the most win and those who don’t innovate lose”, he said. “Those who have the most highly motivated staff win, and those who don’t have them lose. Those who promote investment win, and those who do not, lose”.After meeting with the top m-Cel management, the Minister of Transport and Communications, Carlos Mesquita, who was accompanying Rosario, declared “this operator has enormous challenges ahead of it. These are challenges which must be faced seriously in order for the company to follow developments and compete”. Mesquita noted there had been “a slight delay in the investment programme in the last three years. Things must be speeded up. The company must also take into account human development from the career structures to technological conditions”.

Resultado de imagem para mcelHe added that the government, in partnership with m-Cel, is assessing measures to regulate the operational methods of the competing companies, so as to ensure that there is no form of unfair competition in the Mozambican mobile telephony market.Mesquita admitted that m-Cel is in financial difficulties which require “careful treatment”. He called for “a courageous look at the operational costs, at the structures and at the whole chain of commercial marketing”.He rejected the idea of selling off m-Cel shares. Instead the state should find some other form of financial participation to recapitalize the company. The sale of shares would be “a last resort”.At the meeting with the m-Cel management, “we were given to understand that the shareholder, in this case the state, should participate or arrange forms of financing, through the various models that exist, to capitalize the company so that it can continue to invest”, said Mesquita.The public telecommunications company TDM owns 74 per cent of the shares in m-Cel, and the remaining 26 per cent are in the hands of the government’s Institute for the Management of State Holdings (IGEPE). Last week the IGEPE chairperson, Apolinario Panguene, categorically denied that IGEPE was considering selling any of its shares. In the early days of mobile telephony in Mozambique, m-Cel held a monopoly, but it now faces strong competition and a tariff war from two other companies – the South African Vodacom, and Movitel, which is a subsidiary of the Vietnamese company Viettel.

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