Mobile operator Airtel has become the first company to be awarded a 3G and 4G licence in the African nation of Chad.
“Mobile devices, using either 3G or even 2.5G EDGE networks, are already the main platform for internet access in Africa, allowing people to bypass the limited reach of the fixed broadband network,” said Christian de Faria, chief executive officer (CEO) of Airtel Africa.
With the addition of Chad, Airtel now operates a 3G signal in 16 countries, which is one of the widest footprints for a mobile operator on the continent. The company will also be making use of the latest HSPSA+ technology currently available – which is the same technology being used by numerous European countries.
“Chadians in Ndjamena and elsewhere need good quality data services. Students expect broadband internet in universities, traders expect high speed internet for their operations and physicians, amongst others, expect to be connected to the various operations that they have with the outside world. Everyone needs reliable connectivity,” said Daoussa Deby Itno, minister of posts and new information technologies, during the signing ceremony.
Airtel expressed their gratitude to the Chadian government for granting them the licence. “We are very grateful to the political and administrative authorities of Chad for granting the licence through the Ministry of Posts and New Information Technologies,” Salia Gbane, managing director of Airtel Chad, said.
“We share the same vision on strengthening the country’s telecommunications platform. Airtel’s 3G network will enhance the social, cultural and commercial participation of the people and will bridge the digital divide with the regional and global community.”
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor