Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

4G/5G

Court Rules Against Vodacom in DRC 2G License Battle

Article Image
A court in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has upheld a recent government suspension of South African-based telecoms operator Vodacomís 2G telecoms licence in the country.

The telecommunications ministry suspended the licence in April. Bloomberg reported that DRC telecommunications minister Emery Okundji wanted Vodacom Congo to reapply for a 20-year 2G license, originally granted in 1998, claiming its 2015 extension was obtained illegally.

However, Vodacom spokesperson Byron Kennedy told Connecting Africa that "Vodacom Congo followed a legally prescribed process when its 2G licence was extended in 2015 and duly complied with all applicable laws and regulations."

According to Reuters, the cost of renewing the licence is US$65 million, however Vodacom paid $16 million to renew it in 2015, a process the ministry claims did not follow proper procedures.

The company was given until May 29, 2019, to pay for the renewal of the permit, and the telecoms operator then petitioned the nation's top administrative court to reverse the government order to withdraw the 2G license.

Following this week's court ruling, John Aluku, chief of staff to the telecommunications minister, told Reuters that Vodacom Congo now had three months to renegotiate its 2G licence with the government before it goes up for auction.

"Vodacom Congo is in ongoing discussions with all the relevant authorities to resolve this unfortunate situation," Kennedy added.

Vodacom still has a battle on its hands in DRC to retain its 2G licence. (Picture courtesy of Vodacom.)
Vodacom still has a battle on its hands in DRC to retain its 2G licence. (Picture courtesy of Vodacom.)

The Vodacom Group holds a 51% stake in Vodacom DRC.

According to Vodacom's integrated report for the year ended March 31, 2019, the group has 12.2 million customers in the DRC. It is the market leader, with more than a third of the country's mobile accounts, according to research house Ovum: The other mobile operators in DRC are Orange, Airtel and Africell.

It appears that Vodacom Congo will be able to continue operating its 3G and 4G services even if it loses its 2G licence. The group launched 4G services in the DRC last year. It is, however, unclear how many of Vodacom DRC's customers rely solely on 2G for mobile services.

ó The Staff, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Five mobility startups to watch in 2024

Connecting Africa has compiled a list of five mobility startups that are making a difference in the communities they serve.

Story

Orange Ventures, Digital Africa promise more funding for startups

Orange Ventures and Digital Africa are teaming up to invest more in tech startups in Africa and the Middle East through Digital Africa's Fuzť program and the Orange Digital Center network.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Follow us on X

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.

Story

The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Guest Perspectives

Story

How e-mobility could transform Africa's transport sector

By Francis Hook

ICT analyst Francis Hook delves into Africa's e-mobility sector and unpacks the challenges faced locally and the benefits the move to electric vehicles could bring to urban transport systems.

Story

Omdia View: April 2024

By Omdia Analysts

April 2024's telecoms highlights in the Middle East and Africa included a license for Starlink in Ghana, new mobile termination rates in Ethiopia, and 6G trials in Bahrain – that and more in the latest Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up
Tag id test-002