Four operators have obtained 3G licences in the Democratic Republic of Congo following auctions that raised EUR60 million. The four licences were each sold for EUR15 million.
Among the winning four operators were major international players with an established presence in Africa – Airtel, Vodacom and Oasis, which is owned by Tigo – along with market newcomer Africell. The licences came into effect at the beginning of July.
Under the terms of issue, operators may have their licences revoked if they do not keep up with the payment schedule provided by the technology ministry.
The DRC still has plenty of room for growth, with 24% penetration at the end of Q2 2012. This equates to around 16.6 million GSM 2G connections. Of these, 6.6 million are Bharti Airtel’s – making it the market leader with a share of 40% - while Vodacom is a close second with 6.1 million. Tigo trails in third with 2.3 million and Congo Chine Telecom, a subsidiary of France Telecom, takes fourth place with 1.5 million connections.