Botswana Telecommunications Corporation has become the first telecommunications operator to do business under they newly introduced service neutral licensing regime.
Under the 15 year license BTC will in addition to its traditional fixed line business, operate a mobile phone business.
BTC joins Mascom and Orange Botswana to become the third mobile phone operator in Botswana.
The license was awarded by telecommunications industry regulator, Botswana Telecommunications Authority on Wednesday morning.
BTA Chief Executive Thari Pheko said henceforth BTC will operate mobile telephony, fixed telephony and internet services under one license.
Pheko said it is hoped the service neutral license will address problems associated with blurring distinction between services and technologies otherwise not catered for under the old licensing structure.
?I expect that BTC has made all the necessary preparations to roll-out new services especially mobile and data for the benefit of communications consumers.?
He further said he hoped with the offering of additional services, real competition would emerge in the telecommunications sector.
Such competition is likely to result in the lowering of tariffs for consumers.
To show their eagerness to enter the mobile phone sector, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation submitted their application lat year immediately after an announcement by Minister of Communications Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi that Botswana government had fully liberalized the telecoms industry.
For a long time BTC had wanted to enter the mobile phone industry.
The state owned operator which is on the verge of privatization had so badly wanted to go mobile that it had been negotiating with Mascom to buy a stake in the Portuguese controlled company that has dominated the mobile sector in Botswana since the late 1990s.
BTC Chief Executive Officer V.T Seretse said he and his staff are very excited with the new license.
?We have waited patiently for a long time,? said a visibly elated Seretse.
BTC has for sometime been struggling to cope with increased competition.
Since the arrival of mobile phone companies, BTC has seen its profits, fortunes and importance decline.
This is despite the fact that the corporation runs a large network that covers the entire country through which even its competitors survive.
Seretse said with the new license, BTC will for the first time compete ?head to head? with mobile companies.
?We are prepared to give those ahead of us a good run for their money,? said Seretse.
He promised the users that BTC will continue to drive down the tariffs. A trend he said has been going for a number of years now.