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The holder of the third mobile licence in Mali has officially inaugurated its 3G network with the launch of its first commercial services in the country’s capital Bamako, reports Agence Ecofin. Atel will operate under the Telecel brand, as its sister company in Burkina Faso, and will expand its footprint to other areas of the country during the first quarter of the year.

The holder of the licence, Alpha Telecom, is part of Planor Group, a holding company founded by businessman Appollinaire Compaore. Planor Group and Monaco Telecom joined forces in 2012 to secure the licence for XOF 55 billion.

Headed by Souleimane Diallo, the operator completed the first test calls over its network in October, and partnered with Huawei to develop an infrastructure with an initial capacity of three million mobile customers.

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