India’s Bharti-Airtel, the second largest mobile operator in Congo-Brazzaville has launched the first 3G network in Congo ahead of the largest operator in the country, MTN Congo.
The launch swiftly follows the first 3G licence issued by the country’s regulator Agence de Régulation des Postes et des Communications Electroniques.
Interestingly, this is the first 3G license issued in Central Africa and the second amongst the French-speaking African nations, after Senegal.
Bharti-Airtel is using HSPA + infrastructure to support its 3G services, and Nokia Siemens Network has been contracted to build the network.
The improved technology will enhance multimedia functionality, high speed mobile broadband and internet access, thus allowing users to make video calls, watch live TV, send and receive emails and download music from the devices.
“Our 3G platform will allow subscribers to combine the enormous potential of the internet with the convenience of cellular phones and other devices. It will liberate the potential of our youth through enabling fast access to the Internet for learning, sharing, social networking, creating and accessing content like music,” said Beston Tshinsele, the Managing Director of Airtel Congo.
The launch adds to the company’s focus to operate the largest 3G network in Africa. At the end of Q3 2011, Bharti had 42% market share as opposed to MTN’s 46%.