Airtel Becomes Latest Mobile Firm to Launch 3.5G In DRC

According to an unconfirmed report Airtel DRC – the Democratic Republic of Congo’s largest mobile operator by subscribers – has inaugurated a 3.5G HSPA+ network, bringing it in line with domestic rival Vodacom.

In July 2012 Airtel, alongside Oasis Telecom (Tigo), Vodacom Congo and Africell, acquired 3G licenses from the government, paying USD15 million apiece. Airtel’s chief rival Vodacom launched the country’s first 3G network late last year, in time for the 14th annual Francophonie Summit, which was held in the capital Kinshasa between 12 – 14 Octobers. The first phase of Vodacom’s rollout was concentrated in capital city Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, and saw around 350 3G base stations installed by 31 December 2012.

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