Malawi awards third licence

07 September 2022

The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has awarded the country’s third telecom licence to Malcel, with the new operator planning to enter the national telecom market next year.

It will battle against Airtel Malawi and Telecom Network Malawi (TNM) and in addition to mobile telephony, the new company plans to provide mobile financial services with its MCASH platform.

Bonface Ndawala, Malcel’s chief executive officer, said the company plans to invest US$280m in Malawi over the next five years. “We plan to start rolling out our network in Malawi from the fourth quarter of 2022 and we will start formal operations with the first call made on our network in the fourth quarter of 2023,” he added.

Malcel is a partnership between two companies. One is Malawian company Bedrock Holdings, made up of local telecom executives and which holds a 30% stake. The other is Danish company Eferio Communications, which holds 60%. The remaining 10% has been reserved for other local and foreign shareholders.

“We want to offer Malawians a real third alternative, so we will fight on the service to subscribers,” said Ndawala. “Whoever has the best service, which leads to the best customer experience, will have the advantage in this fight.”