(Ecofin Agency) - Khalil Al Americani, CEO of Vodacom DRC, announced the company is currently conducting 5G tests in the country. In a recent interview with ITWeb Africa, the manager said the trial is being carried out under the supervision of the DRC telecom regulatory authority, ARPTC.
These tests aim to ensure the telecom operator's readiness for deploying ultra-high-speed internet in the DRC. Khalil Al Americani, however, recalled that Vodacom's primary operational goal is to continue expanding its 4G coverage across the country and 3G in specific areas. The company has also acquired additional telecom spectrum in the first quarter of FY2023-2024 (April-June).
"Before we start deploying 5G, there is still a lot of ground to cover. It will require a much denser network of sites due to the use of higher frequencies. Substantial deployments and corresponding investments will be necessary," The CEO said.
Expanding 3G/4G networks and the upcoming launch of commercial 5G services are expected to improve Vodacom's service quality and coverage, catering to the ever-growing demand for high-speed connectivity. This move is also anticipated to boost revenue and further solidify Vodacom's position as a leader in the national telecom market.
During the first quarter of 2023 (January-March), Vodacom DRC had 21.09 million mobile phone subscribers, with a market share of 39.31%. In comparison, its rivals Africell, Orange, and Airtel controlled market shares of 6.64%, 26.54%, and 27.51% respectively. The overall mobile phone penetration rate was 56.4%.
For mobile internet services, Vodacom had 10.36 million subscribers, holding a market share of 36.75% in the same quarter. Africell, Orange, and Airtel accounted for market shares of 2.10%, 29.34%, and 31.8%, respectively. The overall penetration rate for mobile internet was 29.6%.