Africell, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) newest mobile operator, has reportedly signed up more than one million subscribers since its official launch in November 2012. According to a report by online portal Afriquenligne.fr, chairman Mbayo Lufungula Pelisa announced the milestone at a media briefing earlier this week, claiming that his company ‘is hell-bent on improving the quality of services, which are execrable. This will have a positive impact on the rate of penetration, quality of service (QoS) and the cost of services [within the DRC mobile market]’. The subscriber figure is more impressive considering the fact that, shortly after its launch, Africell found itself frozen out by its rivals Vodacom, Oasis (Tigo) and Airtel, all of whom terminated their respective interconnection agreements with the newcomer over a promotion promising free on-net calls. Pelisa clarifies that the company has terminated the controversial promotion, but its attempts to persuade the watchdog to reinstate the original interconnection agreements have so far fallen on deaf ears.
Meanwhile, in related news, Mr Pelisa ruled out press speculation that Africell was considering acquiring a mobile licence in neighbouring Rwanda. He dismissed such suggestions as ‘crazy’. TeleGeography notes that Africell, which is owned by Lebanon’s Lintel Holding, currently counts subsidiaries in Gambia and Sierra Leone, as well as the DRC.