The delegation captured at Ndirande Market on Monday
* A team of executives from Vodafone is in the country seeking to cement and finalize the partnership
* They visited some selected mobile service providers hotspots in Limbe, Bangwe and Ndirande
* For the delegation to have a complete analysis of the mobile service vending business in Malawi
By Duncan Mlanjira
Nyasa Mobile Limited is set to be part of global Vodafone Group after securing a partnership deal in its strive to deliver world-class mobile telephony at competitive prices.
A team of executives from Vodafone Group, the leading telecommunications company and one of the world’s largest mobile network operators, is in the country seeking to cement and finalize the partnership.
A group of journalists stumbled upon the delegation on Monday when they visited some selected mobile service providers hotspots in Bangwe and upon following them they proceeded to Ndirande Market — where they attracted so much attention.
They were being taken to appreciate the very available vending kiosks, that included Limbe Market, Limbe Tarven, Blue Bird road — asking questions to appreciate how the mobile phone business is thriving in the country.
The delegation’s leader refused to divulge more of their visit, saying there are still some processes yet to be finalised but a press briefing will be arranged soon to unveil what is in the offing for Malawi’s telecommunication.
The delegation, comprising seven officials, attracted so much attention because because of the regalia of Nyasa Mobile officials as this company is a subsidiary of Nyasa Manufacturing Company (NMC) — sponsors of the country’s most followed team, Nyasa Big Bullets.
The logo for Nyasa Mobile goes along with the hashtag, ‘The People’s Network’, while that of Nyasa Big Bullets is ‘The People’s Team’ — thus the attraction on the visitors.
When engaged, Nyasa Mobile chairman, Konrad Buckle confirmed that for them to deliver world-class mobile service at competitive prices, they thought of engaging Vodafone, which has more than 300 million mobile customers and 27 million fixed broadband customers across 21 operating countries and 52 partner markets.
Buckle said they are already registered ready to roll out their mobile services taking cognizance that it is the government’s vision for Malawians to access competitive and affordable information and communication technology (ICT) services.
“Our partnership with Vodafone is a significant investment that will make it possible for us to roll out in a huge way by the end of this year,” he said.
“We promise Malawians a pleasant surprise in as far as mobile service provision is concerned, thus our initiative to engage Vodafone as a direct foreign investor and a strategic partner to add value and also learn from it.”
He said the visit to the selected mobile kiosks hotspots was for the delegation to have a complete analysis of the vending business in Malawi as they expect that five years from now Nyasa Mobile should create over 400 jobs directly and over 1,000 indirectly — selling airtime and other services.
He disclosed that the delegation is expected to engage with government officials and other stakeholders, saying “this is a large investment that will grow the brand of Nyasa Group and contribute towards the economic development of this country”.
According to a statement provided, Vodacom Group is among top five mobile and internet providers globally, serving 168 countries with 4G roaming and twice as many destinations as the next best local competitor in most of its partner markets.
The statement says “as the biggest and fast-growing 5G network, the company provides commercial services in 10 European markets and has also been part of Africa’s digital transformation for nearly 30 years”.
It operates through locally managed brands including Vodafone and Safaricom, consequently becoming a technology leader across sub-Saharan Africa with more than 188 million customers across 8 countries and more that 80 million data customers.
Thus Buckle saying Nyasa Mobile this is a long-term working partnership since Vodafone is a leading provider of digital products and services across two geographic regions — Europe and the rest of the world.
Nyasa Mobile is expected “to have access to the best practice guidelines which will provide it with solid foundation to become a disruptive third mobile network operator in Malawians”.
According to the statement, Nyasa Mobile “intends to utilise this strategic alliance to consolidate suppliers, reduce costs, customize resources and simplify communications management”.
“Nyasa Mobile — backed by Malawi’s leading FMCG and distributions group, powered by Vodafone’s input and support — will enhance internet penetration in an overpriced duopoly market making mobile telephony and data affordable to every Malawian.”