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Lusa - Business News - Cabo Verde: Telecom covers 80% of population with 4G

Praia, Aug. 5, 2022 (Lusa) - Cabo Verde Telecom (CVTelecom), the largest telecommunications company in the archipelago, said on Friday that the 4G mobile network already covers more than 80% of the population, but there are still no official forecasts on the implementation of 5G.
According to information compiled today by Lusa from CVTelecom's 2021 report and accounts, the group has invested 11 billion escudos (€100 million) over the past five years in its telecommunications network and services, putting Cabo Verde "in an enviable position compared to the countries in the region where it is located.
"In 2021, we highlight the continuity of the technological transformation programme underway in the company, which includes continuing the effort to improve 4G coverage and FTTH [fibre optic network], but also structuring projects that aim to strengthen the levels of resilience and availability in the network," the report said.
It added that in the mobile network, "after an expansion cycle of the fourth generation network", which "culminated with a 4G population coverage of more than 80%", 2021 was "marked by the targeting of investment to improve capacities and licensing upgrades to support capacity growth and the simultaneous increase in the number of sessions resulting from changes in consumption patterns".
CVTelecom is merging its three telecommunications companies, fixed, mobile (CVMobile), Internet and pay-TV (CV Multimedia), and plans to operate with a single company for these four areas.
"It is worth highlighting the decisive way the CVTelecom Group, from the very first hour, embraced the challenge of investing in 4G, going well beyond the requirements resulting from the licence that was awarded to CVMóvel," it adds.
The 2021 report and accounts, approved a few weeks ago by shareholders, does not refer to the implementation of 5G in Cabo Verde, but the chairman of the group's board of directors, João Domingos Correia, told Lusa in January about the possibility of advancing pilot projects on the tourist islands if the international suppliers that will provide the equipment is clarified.
"The state will have to make some concession, will have to clarify what it wants in terms of 5G technologies so that we can make the best decision," said João Domingos Correia.
At stake, he explained, is the need to define the choice, between China and the United States or Europe, of who will supply equipment and 5G technology to Cabo Verde: "All are partners of Cabo Verde. We will have to decide jointly with the government which technology will be installed in Cabo Verde, and then we will mobilise the resources. We will negotiate with the government a concession on behalf of the spectrum, in terms of taxes, as a facility for us to make investments.
The chairman of the board of CVTelecom admitted that if the decision is taken in the meantime, the company could move forward this year with the first 5G coverage in Cabo Verde.
"We are equating the possibility of having pilot projects later this year on the tourist islands. Because 5G brings a lot to tourism, in universities and port areas, because it helps a lot in the organisation and operation of ports," said João Domingos Correia.
"We are negotiating with the government, clarifying things with the government. The government would have to make a fundamental decision because these are not profitable businesses for the operators, but they are profitable for the economy as a whole. And we will have to associate ourselves with the government, particularly as a concession operator - although the mobile network is not under concession -, so that together with the government, we can take the best decision, even to circumvent the current trade war between China and the United States," he added.
The profits of CVTelecom, which is also the concession holder of the public telecommunications service in Cabo Verde, rose 36.5& in 2021, to over €2.6 million, and for the third consecutive year, sales grew again, the report and accounts said.
Regarding the EllaLink project, in which Cabo Verde is participating in the undersea fibre optic cable linking Portugal to Brazil and which represented an investment of three billion escudos (€26.9 million), the board said that it would "definitively solve one of the major problems facing the country."
"The absence of a true redundancy in its international connection. Due to the impact the EllaLink project will have on the country's economy, it is certainly one of the most important and strategic investments made in recent years in Cabo Verde," it said.
The majority of the capital of CVTelecom group is held by the National Social Security Institute (a public institute that manages Cabo Verde's pensions), with 57.9%, state company Aeroportos e Segurança Aérea (20%), Sonangol Cabo Verde (5%) and the state of Cabo Verde (3.4%) and private national shareholders (13.7%).

Agency : LUSA

Date : 2022-08-06 10:05:51


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