Africell Angola starts operations
Africell made the first call today on its new network in Angola. The great technical milestone marks the beginning of the network’s operations and paves the way for a phased implementation of the services.
Africell obtained Angola’s unified telecommunications title in February 2021. To achieve network readiness in just ten months, several unprecedented technical and logistical difficulties – including travel restrictions related to the pandemic and disruption of the supply chain – had to be surpassed.
The activation of the network within the fourth quarter of 2021 was made possible by the highly motivated team, hard work and entrepreneurial culture of Africell’s staff to solve the complex challenges posed by the current state of supply chains and the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The phased launch of services following the first call reflects best local and international practices. It is part of how Africell operates as a Group, deploying services in “layers” and investing the time and resources necessary to solve the technical challenges of a telecommunications network, so that customers can ultimately benefit from high-quality services in a sustainable way in the long term.
By implementing commercial services in phases, Africell will ensure the best experience for all current and future customers in Angola, with the market offering starting with the provision of data services from today to selected corporate customers in Luanda.
“We are delighted to kick-start our network by making the first call”, says Christopher Lundh, CEO of Africell Angola: “The first call to our new network in Angola is the most significant milestone to date, symbolizing the beginning a new chapter for our company, the country and the people of Angola.
“Times like this are why we do what we do. Africell’s mission in Angola is to connect people, bringing them together and using mobile technology to break down barriers. I want to thank all the members of the Africell Angola team whose skills and effort made this happen despite the great external challenges”.
Africell has been consistently building infrastructure in Angola since obtaining the exploration license in February, including the opening of a data center in Luanda in October. Partnerships with international and local technology providers such as Nokia, Oracle, and Angola Cables have helped create a high-quality 5G-ready network that will enable fast, reliable and affordable telecommunications products and services.
Africell has already invested more than US$100 million in Angola, including the construction of physical infrastructure, and this investment rate is expected to accelerate in the coming months.
The Africell Angola team has also expanded, with more than 70% of employees of Angolan nationality. The company plans to hire up to 2,000 direct and indirect employees by mid-2022, 95% of whom will be Angolan. Africell’s activities also supported approximately 1,000 local jobs among suppliers and other third parties.
“Africell Africa’s strategy is to give consumers a superior telecom experience by leveraging the positive forces of competition and disruption,” says Ziad Dalloul, President and CEO of Africell Group: “In Angola, we want our mobile network services be a stepping stone to digital transformation – including growth, jobs and innovation.
“Africell’s entry into Angola is in line with the executive’s reform ambitions and we share the management’s conviction that investments like ours can help Angola realize its potential as a pan-African economic leader.”
After the first call, Africell’s Engineering areas will monitor and optimize the performance of the network. Considering the provision of layered services to business and retail customers, coverage will initially focus on Luanda, the main social and commercial center of Angola, which has a population of 8 million people, and will later be extended to other regions, including Lubango, Benguela and Lobito.