African 4G provider Smile Communications plans to introduce LTE services in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in January next year, RCR Wireless reports, citing the company’s COO Tom Allen. At launch, the 4G network will be available in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, but services will gradually be expanded to six other cities in a second deployment phase. ‘The DRC is not well served by the current mobile operators and we will launch there as a full mobile network operator (MNO). We anticipate a very good acceptance of the Smile services,’ Allen was quoted as saying.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that Smile was founded in 2007 and launched East Africa’s first 4G LTE network in Tanzania in March 2012, while services were introduced in Nigeria and Uganda in 2013. The company expects to launch voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) in those three markets by the end of the year.