Vietnamese military-backed telco Viettel Group has been awarded a mobile licence in Burundi, paving the way for the launch of the nation’s sixth commercial cellular network. The firm has reportedly set up a local subsidiary called Viettel Burundi in which it holds a 95% interest. No details have been released on when the new licensee is likely to begin offering services or which technology its network will employ.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Viettel’s overseas expansion strategy is firmly focused on Africa, and the company owns a number of operators and licences across the continent, including: Movitel of Mozambique, Viettel Cameroon and a 65% stake in Tanzanian mobile start-up Epocha & Golden Ocean Tanzania (trading as EGOTEL). Last month Viettel was the only applicant for Burkina Faso’s fourth mobile licence. Meanwhile, Viettel has also expressed an interest in acquiring licences in countries such as Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire and Swaziland.