09 Oct Cote d’Ivoire revokes fourth mobile licence
Cote d’Ivoire’s fourth mobile licensee, the Libyan Post Telecommunications and Information Technology Company (LPTIC), has had its concession revoked. The firm, which is controlled by the Libyan government, had previously operated in the Cote d’Ivoire mobile sector via its subsidiary LAP Green Network, which offered services under the name GreenN. GreenN Cote d’Ivoire lost its operating licence in March 2016, along with two other firms – Comium and Aircom – leaving the market with three players, Orange, MTN and Moov. In September 2016 LPTIC emerged as the winner of a new fourth mobile concession, with plans to deploy a 4G LTE network.
The Libyan firm failed to make any headway with its network rollout, however, and has attempted to have the terms of its new licence altered, but it now appears that the government has lost patience with LPTIC and revoked its permit. Agence Ecofin quotes Bruno Nabagne Kone, Minister of Digital Economy, as saying: ‘The State has given its consent to an undertaking which unfortunately has not been able to start its activities on the basis of the conditions offered to it … This company has requested a number of additional conditions the government did not want to give.’ LPTIC had agreed to a number of terms to acquire the fourth licence, including the payment of a XOF100 billion (USD179 million) fee and the re-hiring of staff made redundant following the closure of GreenN.