Africell has launched commercial mobile services in Angola after months of delays, with ambitions to shake up the telecoms sector with more significant investments.
In a statement, the operator group said its launch in Angola is a “major step” to accelerate the country’s digital transformation. It has invested over US$150 million so far into building a 5G ready network that can handle up to six million customers.
The company partnered with international vendors Nokia, Oracle and Digis Squared, as well as local suppliers Angola Cables and MSTelecom to build its network. Thousands of jobs have been created from the operator’s entry into Angola, with 95% of positions filled by Angolans.
Angola has a population of 30 million and is noted as one of the largest economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Africell said there is opportunity in the country due to the telecommunication sector being historically limited in competition and investment.
The launch comes 14 months after Africell gained the fourth telecommunications license. Africell had seen delays related to a network sharing agreement with market incumbent Unitel.
Africell Group chairman and CEO Ziad Dalloul said: “Africell has developed the experience and capabilities needed to embrace this opportunity: bringing competition to a big new market and using our network to stimulate economic growth and social development.”
Africell Angola CEO Chris Lundh added: “Angolan mobile users will have more choice and better prices. They will have access to a mobile operator they can trust and which puts their interests first. Africell’s strategy is to give all Angolans the digital tools they need to realise their potential. Using all our energy and expertise, Africell is building a mobile network in Angola that will soon be recognised as the best in the country”.
The US government is counted as one of Africell’s biggest external investors. It connects over 12 million subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.