Chinese vendor ZTE has announced that it has installed an integrated value added platform solution (iVAS) in Kinshasa for Vodacom DRC. The iVAS system encompasses SMS services, and ZTE claims that the installation has increased Vodacom’s SMS management tenfold, improving service on the South African-owned telco’s network by reducing congestion. Unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) services are also under development and expected to launch before the end of 2012.
ZTE’s press release states: ‘The previous SMS service in the [Democratic Republic of] Congo was costly to develop and had capacity and delivery speed problems. It was therefore unable to satisfy the growing demand for SMS among subscribers.’
This is the first development completed by the Chinese vendor in the DRC since it was announced that it had agreed to sell its stake in local cellco, and rival to Vodacom, Congo Chine Telecom (CCT) to France Telecom (FT). According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Vodacom DRC served 4.78 million customers at the end of September 2011.