Four operators – including Russia's Vimpelcom and India's BSNL – have submitted bids for a 75% stake in Zambia Telecommunications (Zamtel).
The companies, which also include Angola's Unitel and Libya's LAP Greencom – will be given the opportunity to submit revised bids from Monday, when the second round of bidding starts.
The Zambia Development Agency, which approved the shortlist, said that every company which had submitted a bid on December 23 had gone through to the second round.
“The bids submitted were compelling, and set the stage for an exciting next phase,” ZDA acting director general Muhabi Lungu said.
The ZDA declined to disclose the details of the bids, to avoid prejudicing the auction process.
Vimpelcom is bidding for the stake in conjunction with Altimo, the telecom investment arm of Russia's Alfa Group consortium.
Zamtel recorded revenue of around $100 million in 2009, and is Zambia's only official fixed-line voice and data carrier.