Operators race to roll out 4G in DRC

Operators race to roll out 4G in DRC

Govt looks to technology to 'balance out' local telecoms.

A decision by the government of the DRC to issue 4G licenses has triggered an immediate response from mobile operators who are moving quickly to roll out 4G services.

Operators want to leverage 4G to strengthen their subscriber base, as well as attract more subscribers from rivals that have not yet made the investment.

This, despite no confirmation of license details including price, allocated frequencies, rollout obligations and other terms.

Orange was the first to announce its position on 4G, followed less than 24 hours later by Vodacom.

Orange DR Congo's general manager, Gérard Lokossou, said, "With 4G Orange, our subscribers will experience a revolution in their Internet use. It responds to the ever-growing needs of our subscribers and the public in multimedia content, high definition streaming, video on demand, social networks."

Vodacom said its 4G services are already available, beginning with Kinshasa, and subscribers have started to acquire 4G SIM cards at the company's retail outlets.

It further claimed that its network is delivering speed up to 20Mb/s.

Diego Gutierrez, Vodacom's Chief Operating Officer International Markets said "It is part of our ambition to deliver world-class digital services across all our markets within which we operate," he said.

The 4G licenses were first announced in late February 2017 by Minister of Posts, Telephones, New Information and Communication Technologies (PT-NTIC) Amy Ambatobe.

Ambatobe said the licenses would be issued in March 2017, but the process was delayed until May 2018.