Egypt’s largest mobile network operator Orascom Telecom Holdings has sold its wireless operation in the Democratic (Republic of) Congo, Oasis Telecom, to Millicom International Cellular for USD35 million including debt. Orascom previously held 100% of the company indirectly through its wholly owned subsidiary Telecel, but has sold the asset as part of its wider strategy to offload stakes in slow-developing markets. The Egyptian operator has already divested its interests in the Cote d-Ivoire, Benin and several other African countries, preferring to focus instead on fast growing markets such as Pakistan, Iraq and Algeria.
Oasis launched GSM-1800 servcies in late 2000 having awarded Siemens a contract to install infrastructure in the capital Kinshasa. In April 2003 the company was sold to Orascom Telecom. At the end of March 2005 Oasis had an estimated 85,100 customers, more than 98% of whom were connected to pre-paid packages.