Airtel has become the second operator in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to lease capacity on the nationwide fibre-optic network deployed by the Societe Congolaise des Postes et Telecommunications (SCPT), Agence Ecofin has reported. The contract was signed on 29 August, and follows a deal struck between Vodacom Congo and the state-backed telco in July.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the China International Telecommunication Construction Corporation (CITCC) commenced work on the rollout of the government’s USD221 million fibre backbone in late-2012, with the first 1,500km phase of the project encompassing Muanda, Bas-Congo and Kinshasa. Phase two of the initiative got underway in April 2013 with 3,500km of new infrastructure expected to be extended from Kinshasa to Katanga, through the provinces of Bandundu and Kasai. On 14 June 2013 the DRC was belatedly connected to the West Africa Cable System (WACS) submarine link after a catalogue of errors by the government.