According to local media reports, Cote d’Ivoire mobile licensee Aircom is poised to launch commercial services this month – almost twelve years after receiving its original concession. Aircom, which was first awarded a licence on 2 August 2000, found its progress halted indefinitely by unspecified regulatory issues, and was widely dismissed as a telecoms footnote, alongside ill-fated operators such as Warid Telecom and Cora de Comstar, both of which endured a torrid time at the hands of the Ivorian government.
The press reports, which quote Aircom boss Niamoutie Kouao, indicate that the cellco has met ‘all administrative requirements’ and will become the sixth mobile operator active within the country, alongside MTN Cote d’Ivoire, Orange Cote d’Ivoire, Moov, Comium (Koz) and GreenN Cote d’Ivoire. Aircom’s network will initially go live in eight cities, including: Abidjan, Yamoussoukro, Abengourou, Daloa, Gagnoa and San Pedro, with connectivity gradually extended to the remainder of the country. Services will be offered under the ‘Mobile Cafe’ brand.