Africell outlines deployment plans, criticises rivals’ tactics

10 Sep 2013

Africell, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) fourth largest mobile mobile operator by subscribers, has indicated that it intends to extend its network to the Katanga province in the south of the country before the end of the year, before continuing its deployments in the L’Equateur, Kasai-Occidental and Kasai-Oriental provinces next year. At present, the company’s networks are concentrated in the Kinshasa, Bandundu and Bas-Congo provinces.

In other news, Agence Ecofin reports that the firm’s managing director Mbayo Lufunga Pelesa has laid into Africell’s rivals at a company press conference in Kinshasa, accusing them of ‘acting in bad faith, penalising consumers and challenging the state’ with their alleged ‘illegal’ practices. Pelesa continues to harbour a grudge with its rivals Vodacom, Oasis and Airtel, all of which terminated their respective interconnection agreements with the newcomer on 8 November 2012 over a pricing-related dispute; the trio complained that the newcomer was enticing subscribers away from them with the promise of free on-net calls.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the issue did not impede Africell’s momentum, and the company passed the one million subscriber mark in February 2013, a mere two months after its official launch. By 30 June 2013 the relative newcomer had 2.45 million customers on its books.

Congo, Dem. Rep., Africell DRC