We have just added this country to our section on Africa. Here is a brief introduction.
Madagascar is an independent island republic lying off the East Coast of continental Africa. Telecommunications in the country is undergoing a major revolution in the way services are delivered with the privatisation of the monopoly fixed-line operator, Telecom Malagasy (Telma) – expected during 1999. The Madagascar PTT Ministry holds 66% of Telma, while strategic partner FCR holds 34%.
Under difficult economic and environmental circumstances, Telma faces a constant challenge with network deployment. Although Telma is underdeveloped, the prospect of privatisation has attracted the interest of major international operators.
With rural telephony a critical issue, the government has overseen the creation of a Telecom Development Fund (TDF), a universal service fund which will be available to any operator willing to deploy networks in specified and underserved remote regions. New operators will be obliged to aim for 95% coverage of services around the country and a teledensity of 1%.
FCR and Telma formed Data Telecom Services (DTS), a joint venture providing Internet access and data transmission services using the national VSAT data network. FCR holds 49% of DTS. FCR also has a stake in mobile operator Société Malgache de Mobiles (SMM).
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