London — Mozambique's mobile phone operator Movitel has won a “Best Mobile Innovation Award” at a ceremony in London.
The company received the “Judges Award” for its social inclusion and responsibility. According to the award organisers, “Movitel's strategy in Mozambique involves deploying mobile network infrastructure in rural and remote areas. It provides free internet to 2,500 schools and has created nearly 20,000 jobs in rural areas in the course of uplifting the telecommunication status of the country and creating the field for e-commerce in Mozambique”.
According to the judges, “this is a unique strategy of investing in large, greenfield networks to cover the entire country, including rural and remote areas which will lead to sustainable social development that not only benefits the community but also widens Movitel's customer base”.
Movitel states that it has built a network infrastructure of 2,800 towers, 25,000 kilometres of fibre optic cable and a supply chain to every village through 153 shops, 12,600 agents and points of sales and nearly 4,000 direct sales staff to cover services to 85 per cent of the rural population and more than 70 per cent of all the population.
The majority shareholder in Movitel, with 70 per cent, is the Vietnamese company Viettel which is owned by the Vietnamese Defence Ministry.
Viettel is the largest provider of mobile phone services in Vietnam, claiming 44 per cent of the market. Its partner, with the other 30 per cent stake in Movitel, is SPI, a holding company for Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party.
There are two other mobile phone operators in Mozambique - MCel and Vodacom.