19 Mar 2014
Indian-backed cellco Airtel Gabon has launched the West African country’s first commercial UMTS-based 3G mobile data services, over a W-CDMA/HSPA+ network, using the ‘3.75G’ marketing banner. According to Airtel Gabon’s website, three categories of high speed mobile internet/data packages are offered over the new 3G network: ‘Internet Packages’, ‘CPT Internet’ and device-specific ‘BlackBerry’ tariffs.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Airtel Gabon (formerly Zain Gabon, and originally Celtel Gabon), launched commercial mobile internet services over a 2.5G GPRS/EDGE data platform in December 2006, and subsequently developed its internet/data service range for handsets (including BlackBerry-specific 2.5G services) and USB modems for PCs/laptops, while also focusing on mobile financial services under the ‘Airtel Money’ banner. In October 2011 Airtel Gabon was awarded its 3G UMTS concession, while its access to internet bandwidth was improved in December that year when it signed an agreement allowing access to the SAT-3/WASC/SAFE international high speed cable with incumbent fixed line telco Gabon Telecom; the launch of a second undersea cable connected to Gabon, the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) system, in December 2012, improved bandwidth resources further.