Africell DRC to launch 3G services end-2014
By Issa Sikiti da Silva, in Kinshasa, DR Congo
Africell in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is set to launch its 3G services at the end of the year to help its 5.5 million users access cheap internet, a source close to the company told Biztechafrica this week.
“I can confirm that Africell is about to offer the cheapest internet in the DRC, and therefore revolutionise internet pricing in this country,” the source said on condition of anonymity.
Internet products in this vast mineral-rich nation cost an arm and a leg, and the news that Africell is about to offer 3G services will probably send both consumers and industry watchers to seventh heaven.
In June 2012, Africell, alongside mobile operators Vodacom Congo, Oasis and Airtel, bought their 3G licences for a whopping amount of US$60 million – US$15 million each.
The mobile operator, which continues to gain celebrity status despite its lack of interconnection, has fought both the regulator (ARPTC) and rivals Vodacom, Tigo and Airtel to stay alive and kicking in this cut-throat environment.
Africell has recently extended its coverage to Lubumbashi (DRC’s second-largest city), Kolwezi, Likasi and Kasumbalesa (near the Zambian border) in the mineral-rich Katanga Province.