CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

17 April 2014

Chad: Airtel to Deploy Chad's First 3G/4G Network

Airtel has been awarded a 3G/4G license by the Tchadian Government. The granting of the Tchad's first license is an important milestone towards the development of the country's telecoms infrastructure, and will facilitate better Internet access for the social and business community.

This will be the latest HSPSA+ technology being launched in several European countries. Reaching speeds of up to 21 mbps, Airtel's 3G network across Africa is amongst the fastest available globally and is benefitting multinationals, SMEs and the youth.

"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," explains Christian de Faria, CEO, Airtel Africa.

According to Faria, mobile services are already available to a larger portion of Africa's population than many other basic services, including electricity, sanitation and financial services. As a result, mobile services can play a unique role in addressing social, economic and environmental issues.

Mr Daoussa Deby Itno, the Minister of Posts and New Information Technologies said during the signing ceremony. "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."

Salia Gbane, MD, Airtel Tchad, said: "We are very grateful to the political and administrative authorities of Tchad for granting the license through the Ministry of Posts and New Information Technologies. 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."

He added: "The 3G platform will allow customers to combine the enormous potential of the Internet with the convenience of cellular phones and other mobile devices. It will open up the potential of our youth by providing quick access to the Internet for social networks and access to educational content. For Small and Medium Enterprises, it will allow the entrepreneur to adopt a highly mobile way of working with faster access to emails and the Internet. For larger organizations, the infrastructure increases productivity through high-speed Internet."

Airtel is already the widest provider of internet services across Africa with its footprint across 17 African countries. The region is on the cusp of an explosion of mobile data as 3G and 4G deployments gain scale, alongside handsets with advanced capabilities that are getting increasingly affordable.

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