Celcom, a wholly Malawian telecommunication company, has applied to Macra to extend its rollout grace period by six months, a request which the telecommunication regulatory has granted.
Celcom was awarded a dual licence on May 13 2011 amid complaints from other telephone operators on why the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) granted a new entrant on the market a technology neutral licence.
Under this licence, Celcomâ€”which recently made headlines when its top brass ditched it, throwing its future into uncertaintyâ€”is expected to provide fixed voice and mobile voice telephone services.
The company was supposed to roll out with a 3G network this month.
In its application for extension, Celcom cited lack of foreign exchange one of the reasons for its failure to meet the stipulated rollout period of 18 months.
In a press release sourced on Macraâ€™s website, the authority has agreed to extend the networkâ€™s rollout by six months.
â€œMalawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) would like to inform the general public that it intends to amend clause 30.1 of the Public Telecommunications Services Licence that it awarded to Celcom Limited.
â€œThe proposed amendment is being made following Celcomâ€™s application for a six monthâ€™s extension of network roll out from October 30 2012 to April 28 2013 where they cited lack of foreign exchange that hit the country in recent times as among the reasons for failure to meet the rollout period of 18 months from the effective date. The authority has, therefore, agreed to extend the network roll out period for six months,â€ reads the press release in part.
Efforts to talk to Leston Mulli, owner of the company, proved futile as we went to press on Thursday.