Airtel Congo aims to become the main telecommunications operator in the DRC. To this end, the company wants to invest in broadband to attract new customers, in a context marked by strong demand from the population.
The telecommunications operator Airtel Africa PLC announced on Monday June 6 that it had purchased, for 42 million USD, 58 megahertz of additional frequencies on the 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2600 MHz bands in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to the company, the license for paired spectrum in the 2100 MHz band will be renewed in September 2032, while all other licenses will be valid until July 2036.
The new capacity will notably enable the company’s Congolese subsidiary to continue expanding its fourth-generation (4G) mobile network. “ This additional spectrum will support our 4G expansion into the market for both mobile data and fixed wireless home broadband capacity, providing significant capacity to meet our continued strong data growth in the country ,” Airtel said. Africa in a press release.
This investment comes as the company has been negotiating for a few months a $194 million loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to support its investment needs in seven markets: Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya , Madagascar, Niger, the Republic of Congo and Zambia. “ This investment reflects our continued belief in the enormous opportunity inherent in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to support local communities and economies by fostering digital inclusion and connectivity ,” said the African arm of Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel. .
The new capacity should enable Airtel Congo to strengthen its position in the Congolese telecom market. According to the latest figures from the Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ARPTC), the company controlled 27.91% of the market share in the second quarter of 2021, just behind the leader Vodacom which controls 34.64%. This investment should also enable the company to improve the quality of telecom services provided to populations and improve its returns.