The Angolan government is strongly encouraging growth in the country’s telecom infrastructure, trying to diversify the economy. The oil production industry still holds the majority of exporting activity in the country and up to 80% of its tax revenue. The expansion and improvement of the telecom networks should bolster efficiency in business processes and make e-commerce a more relevant factor for economic growth.
The Internet penetration rate in Angola was slightly below 30% by mid-2016. EV-DO and WiMAX-based fixed-wireless as well as 3G and 4G (LTE) mobile broadband services are now also providing more internet access choices for consumers, competing with Angola Telecom’s DSL, cable modem and Fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) services.
The monopoly held by the incumbent Angola Telecom ended in 2005. Demand outstripped capacity, prices were high, and services poor. Telecom Namibia, through an Angolan company, became the first private licensed operator in Angola’s fixed-line telephone network. Angola Telephone’s mobile unit, Movicel, was sold to private investors and a migration from CDMA to GSM/UMTS/LTE technology delivered a boost to the mobile market in the past years. As for broadband services, access pricing has fallen after WACS, the second international fibre optic submarine cable in the country, started its business activities. The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MCT) oversees the telecommunications sector which is regulated by the Angolan National Institute of Telecommunication (INACOM).
Angola’s economy is overwhelmingly driven by its oil sector. Oil production and its supporting activities contribute about 50% of GDP, more than 70% of government revenue, and more than 90% of the country’s exports. Diamonds contribute an additional 5% to exports. Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for most of the people, but half of the country’s food is still imported. A postwar reconstruction boom and resettlement of displaced persons has led to high rates of growth in construction and agriculture as well. Some of the country’s infrastructure is still damaged or undeveloped from the 27-year-long civil war. However, the government since 2005 has used billions of dollars in credit lines from China, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the EU to help rebuild Angola’s public infrastructure. The global recession that started in 2008 stalled economic growth. In particular, lower prices for oil and diamonds during the global recession slowed GDP growth to 2.4% in 2009, and many construction projects stopped because Luanda accrued $9 billion in arrears to foreign construction companies when government revenue fell in 2008 and 2009. Falling oil prices and slower than expected growth in non-oil GDP have reduced growth prospects. Angola has responded by reducing government subsidies and by proposing import quotas and a more restrictive licensing regime. Corruption, especially in the extractive sectors, is a major long-term challenge.
Angola Telecom held a monopoly for fixed-line telephone service until 2005. The company established mobile-cellular service in Luanda in 1993 and the network has been extended to larger towns. In that same year, Angola Telecom began a program of restructuring led by a team of international consultants. In 2014, the company was on track to produce its first net profit in over 8 years.
Estrada de Viana KM 19
Avenida Pedro de Castro Van Dunen Loy
Talatona – Luanda