Africell

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Africell
Subsidiary of Africell Holding
Industry Telecommunications
Founded The Gambia 2001
Sierra Leone 2005
Democratic Republic of the Congo 2012
Uganda 2014
Headquarters Banjul, The Gambia
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Kampala, Uganda
Key people
- Ziad Dalloul
Chairman and CEO
- Elias Arwadi
COO
- Elie Khalife
CFO
- Younes Chaaban
CTO
- Alieu Badara Mbye
CEO (The Gambia)
- Shadi Al-Gerjawi
CEO (Sierra Leone)
- Houssam Jaber
CTO (Sierra Leone)
- Houssam Abdallah
CFO (DRC)
- Mohammad Ghaddar
COO (Uganda)
Website www.africell.com
http://www.africell.gm
The Gambia
http://www.africell.sl
Sierra Leone
http://www.africell.cd
Démocratic Republic of the Congo

Africell is a holding company with cellular communications companies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Gambia, Uganda and Sierra Leone.The $1.5 billion valued company, which was founded by Ziad Dalloul in 2000, setup its operations in Africa in 2001. It has gone on to become a market leader in Sierra Leone and The Gambia with over 60% share of active subscribers and over 5 million subscribers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The company recently acquired the under-performing operations of French telecom giant Orange in Uganda and thus taking on a subscriber base of more than 700,000. This led to a 700% increment in their active subscription to 11 million over a five year period and expects to end the year 2015 and 2016 with more than 12 million and 15 million subscribers respectively.[1][2]

Africell,a subsidiary of the Lebanon based Lintel Group of Companies,is considered to be one of the fastest-growing telecommunications companies on the continent by analysts.

Gambia[edit]

Africell launched its operation in The Gambia in 2001[3] with a mission of making telecommunication accessible to every Gambian at the most affordable rates.[4] By the end of 2014, it had acquired 1.3 million active subscribers.[5]

Africell Gambia has held the first positioning in terms of market share since 2006 and has consolidated this positioning since with a large spread. This positioning was done through an aggressive and consistent marketing effort that is well adapted to the country's social settings in a way that Africell has become the nation's trend setter. Africell Gambia has won for two consecutive years (2006 and 2007) the GCCI (Gambia Chamber Of Commerce) award for Best Service provider and is also nominated for 2008; that in addition to many other awards including Best Customer Service.[6]

Sierra Leone[edit]

Africell expanded its 2G and 3G operations to Sierra Leone in 2005.[7] In 2009, Africell completed the acquisition of Tigo following final regulatory approval. The acquisition and ensuing merger of the two entities further consolidated the company’s leading market share of 65% of the total GSM telephone mkt in Sierra Leone.[8][9]

Africell Sierra Leone has achieved the first position in terms of market share in a record time and facing multinational operators such as Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel.The secret recipe behind this success was a strategy of aggressive marketing and network roll-out. Aside from the growth in the subscriber base, Africell Sierra Leone major success was in winning the hearts and minds of the people in a record time and to become an inherent part of the Sierra Leonean society thought a very active social agenda.[10] Africell Sierra Leone has won the following awards:

  • 2008 and 2009: AWOL (All Works Of Life) [11]
  • 2011: "Telecom Company of the Year".[12]

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)[edit]

Africell which calls itself,"The People's Network",[13] started its 2G and 3G operations in the DRC in November 2012.[14][15] The network, believed to be the country's cheapest cellphone service,[16] acquired over 7 million active subscribers by the end of 2014.[17]

The prices for calls and SMSes charged by Africell were deemed too low and thus unacceptable for the market by the Autorité de Régulation des Postes et Télécoms (ARPTC) and the authority tried to force Africell to increase its prices but the network refused to budge. The low prices charged by the network further led to the termination of interconnection agreements with Vodacom,Airtel,Tigo DRC and Orange.This meant that the subcribers of Africell were limited to on-net calls. However, after intense negotiations in March 2015,Vodacom and Orange reached an agreement with Africell that effectively broke the long standing interconnection ban that had been enforced by the ARPTC and subscribers from Africell to be able to make calls to customers ofVodacom and Orange for the first time in more than two years.[18][19]

Uganda[edit]

Africell entered the Uganda telecommunications market in November 2014 after finalizing the acquisition of the Orange operations at $12 million.[20] This transaction led to the inheriting of over 700,000 subscribers as well as a 2G,3G and 4G network. With plans to obtain a 20% market share in the next four to five years, the Lebanon-based telecommunications company is lining up a $150 million investment over the next three years to improve the network operations of its newly acquired unit.By upgrading its network, the company plans to boost its data business, an area where it says it has an edge over its bigger competitors, such as MTN and Bharti Airtel . The new investment would also enable it to attract more voice subscribers so it can reach its target of at least 6 million by 2019.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zekaria, Simon. "In Africa, a Telco Disruptor Looks for Gaps Amongst Giants". Wall Stree Journal. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Bariyo, Nicholas. "Africell Plans to Invest $150 Million to Upgrade Uganda Operations". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "2G, 3G & 4G Subscriptions, Deployments and Infrastructure Contracts Database Q4’2013" (Press release). Africell. 
  4. ^ "Africell Gambia Co. Ltd". Access Gambia. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  5. ^ Zekaria, Simon. "In Africa, a Telco Disruptor Looks for Gaps Amongst Giants". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "Africell chooses Nokia Siemens Networks to modernize its core network in Sierra Leone and Gambia". Nokia Networks. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  7. ^ Africell Launches The First 3G Network In Sierra Leone TechMTAA (14 August 2011)
  8. ^ "Africell Sierra Leone crosses 2 million subscriber mark". ITWeb Africa. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "Africell completes acquisition of Millicom Sierra Leone". IT NEWS AFRICA. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Africell chooses Nokia Siemens Networks to modernize its core network in Sierra Leone and Gambia". Nokia Systems. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  11. ^ AWOL Showers Praise On Africell. awoko.org (8 January 2009)
  12. ^ AWOL Votes AFRICELL as the Best Telecommunications Company in Sierra Leone for 2011
  13. ^ "Africell DRC’s star performance makes headlines". BizTech Africa. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  14. ^ RD Congo : Vente de licences 3G, Afrique7.com (11 July 2012)
  15. ^ Africell DRC poised to launch 3G before end-2014. Telegeography (29 August 2014)
  16. ^ "Africell DRC waits ‘in vain’ for interconnection". BizTech Africa. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  17. ^ Africell DRC set to launch 3G services by end-2014. Telecom Paper.
  18. ^ "Africell DRC waits ‘in vain’ for interconnection". BizTechAfrica.com. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  19. ^ "Africell DRC inks interconnection agreements with Orange, Vodacom". Telecomist. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  20. ^ Zekaria, Simon. "In Africa, a Telco Disruptor Looks for Gaps Amongst Giants". WSJ-D. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  21. ^ Bariyo, Nicholas. "Africell Plans to Invest $150 Million to Upgrade Uganda Operations". WSJ-D. Retrieved 7 April 2015.