Celcom, a wholly-owned Malawian telecommunications company is expected to roll out this year, according to Mulli Brothers Limited managing director Leston Mulli.
Celcom was granted a licence on April 29 2011 to provide public telecommunication services in Malawi and was expected to roll out within 18 months from the day the licence was gazetted as per its licence terms and conditions.
However, the roll-out has been postponed several times due to financial challenges, but Mulli was upbeat the company will start its operations by year end.
He said this on Tuesday when his company organised New Year prayers which took place at his Bvumbwe offices in Blantyre.
The business magnet said the firm is in final stages of re-negotiating a $200 million credit line with African Export-Import (Afrixem) Bank.
Mulli said his company has turned a corner after passing through turbulent times that also affected the roll out of Celcom.
“I am optimistic that whatever problems we might encounter this year we will roll out before the year ends. Roll out of Celcom will be a big achievement and a milestone for the group,” he said.
He said the year 2017, will be a breakthrough year to his businesses and many other businesses because government is creating an enabling environment for businesses.
Celcom fought off competition from three companies; Zambezi Africa Telecom; C-Mobile Holdings Limited and Smart Telecom Limited—for Malawi’s first technology-neutral licence.
By then the firm said it aimed to bring affordable wireless services to consumers, particularly in rural areas of the country.
But on September 20 2010 Macra revoked the operation licence and gave it to Global Advanced Integrated Network (G-Mobile) after its failure to beat several deadlines set for the company to roll out.
The successful roll out of Celcom will bring the number of telecommunications operators in the country to five. n