Maputo - Mozambique picked a unit of Vietnam's unlisted Viettel as its third mobile-phone operator, the head of telecoms regulation said on Monday.
Movitel, a unit of Viettel that includes a consortium of Mozambican investors, beat two other firms with its $29m bid, Isidore Pedro da Silva, the chairman of the National Institute of Communications told state television.
The two other bidders were TMM, a unit of Portugal Telecom, and UNI-Telecom, a joint venture between Angola's Unitel SA and Mozambique's Energy Capital SA.
Da Silva said the winning bid was awarded on technical capacity, not only price. Unitel had proposed $33m, while Portugal Telecom had bid $25m, he said.
A total of 22 firms originally bid for the license.
Movitel will enter a market dominated by Mozambique Cellular and Vodacom Mozambique, a unit of South Africa's Vodacom Group [JSE:VOD].