Introduction

After the protracted war, which stifled the growth of the telecommunications sector in the country, the government is finally taking measures to develop the communications infrastructure. Network digitalisation is part of the upgrade and expansion taking place. There are plans for further market liberalisation and a number of small operators, providing trunking services as well as radioelectrical systems, are in existence. However, with a fixed line teledensity of 0.74, Angola remains well below the African average of 2.5. The telecoms network is very limited and concentrated in the northern coastal region. Many private companies and humanitarian organisations rely on radio communications, particularly in the interior of the country.

Telecom performance indicators

Indicator 2000 2001
Fixed line network
Lines connected 69,700 96,350
Equipped capacity 83,000
Waiting list 5,000
Average waiting time for line installation 1-6 months
Teledensity 0.56 0.74
Digitalisation switching (%) 50%
Number of staff 2,111 2,110
Mobile network(s)
Number of mobile operators 1 2
Total mobile subscribers 25,806 34,000 (est.)
Teledensity 0.21 0.26
Number of digital leased lines
Number of public telephones 331 (est.) 347 (est.)
Number of internet accounts 4,000 4,500

Regulatory environment

The Angolan Institute of Communications (INACOM) was created in June 2000 on the basis of Decree No. 12/99. It is broadly responsible for regulation and monitoring of the telecommunications market in Angola. INACOM is a public institute, falling under the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.

Regulation

The Angolan Institute of Communications (Inacom) was created on 25th of June 2000, and is responsible for regulation and monitoring of the telecommunications market in Angola.

The radio-electrical spectrum within Angola ’s territory (its planning, management, and fiscal functions) also falls within the realm of the Institute’s competence. The Inacom is a public institute, falling under the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications. The Institute is headquartered in the capital city Luanda .

It is also sanctioned to open its subsidiary offices or agencies anywhere in the country.

The statute of the Angolan Institute of Communications assigns it the following functions:

  • To support the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications in the definition of strategy and politics for the development of national telecommunications.
  • To assist in definition of the legal scope of the telecommunications sector, its fiscal matters and regulations, and in promotion of sector development.
  • To assist in planning, co-ordination, and custodianship of the telecommunications sector for public usage.
  • To assist in the study and scientific development of technologies for the telecommunications sector.
  • To assist in the study, promotion, and administrative requirements linked to conditions and mechanisms associated with development of a national telecommunications industry.

Forthcoming licences

A licence may be granted to Portugal Telecom, which is planning on launching a new mobile service in partnership with Angola Telecom in Luanda in 2001.

In May 2001 Inacom was scheduled to hold an auction for a maximum of four carrier licences to cover national and international links. It is also in the process of formulating licences for suppliers of local services, in order to expand the base of licenced public operators for rural, agricultural, and suburban zones.

Telecommunications Act

The current Telecommunications Act provided for the conversion of Angola Telecommunications from a government department to a corporation on 11 February 1997.

A new law was approved by the Angolan government in January 2001, which will end the state telecom’s monopoly for national network operations.

Inacom, Angolano Institute of Communications, was created by Decree No. 12/99 to regulate the sector and take the necessary measures to ensure development including licensing of new operators and setting targets.

Government policy

The government is taking steps to at least partially deregulate the telecommunications sector.

Privatisation of the fixed line operator

The government of Angola is planning on privatising Angola Telecom in the near future. The privatisation process will take place in the following stages:

  • Transformation of Angola Telecom from a government institution into a commercialised (private limited) venture, still fully government owned, during the course of 2001
  • Sale of a 30%-40% stake to a strategic partner (an international telecommunications operator). This will be achieved through a public international auction in 2-3 years’ time
  • Sale of the remaining of Angola Telecom capital in the market to a number of operators (15%-20% stakes); one of these capital groups will be awarded to Angola Telecom employees

Services

Service Existing Brand names
Value-added services, e.g. call waiting, caller ID Existing
Data services Existing
Internet services Existing Ebonet, Sistec, Angola University
Source: BMI-TechKnowledge Group, 2001
Data transmission
X.25 Existing Analogue leased lines Available
ATM Not available Digital leased lines Available
Frame relay
ISDN Not available
Source: BMI-TechKnowledge Group, 2001

Operator’s network

DOMSTAT- There are earth stations in Namibe, Lubango, Menongue, Luena, Saurimo, Lukapa, Chitato, Uige, Mbanza (DR Congo border), Ongiva (Namibia border), Luanda and Cabinda.

There are also microwave links between: Luanda-Ndala-Malange, Luanda-Caxito, Luanda-Conda-Muambo-Kuito and Lubango-Namibie. Troposcatter microwave lies between: Malange-Saurimo-Iukapa, Malange–Saurimo-Luena, Muambo-Menongue, Conda-Lubango.

Angola telecom operates a cellular service branded as Telemovil, using AMPS technology with a capacity of 7 500 lines. The network serves the capital Luanda, Benguela and Cabinda and routes in between.

Expansion plans

Angola Telecom plans to invest US$18 million, with own financing, in upgrading various areas of the network, including increased capacity, digitisation of switches, transmission, a fibre optic network (in Luanda) and cellular coverage.

In 2001, Angola Telecom will install 20 000 new lines in Luanda , 5 000 new lines in Benguela, and 2 000 in Cabinda .

By 2002, the Angolan national network should be connected to the fibre optic submarine cable running off the west coast of Angola .

Recent tenders

For the upgrading of the network some project financing has been agreed with Japan

Organisations (4)

Unitel S.A., Angola Telecom, Angonet, Siemens Angola (Pty) Ltd