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Type Public
Traded as OMXMIC_SDB
Industry Telecommunications, Media
Founded 1990 in Stockholm
Headquarters 2 Rue du Fort Bourbon, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Area served Africa, Latin America
Key people Cristina Stenbeck, (Chairman)
Hans-Holger Albrecht, (CEO)
Products Mobile, cable, satellite, pay-TV, broadband and e-commerce services
Revenue $5.16 billion in 2013
Employees 11,500
Website Millicom

Millicom offers a range of digital services to over 50 million customers primarily under the Tigo brand in 15 markets in Africa and Latin America. Its online partnerships are active in 33 markets. The Millicom of today was founded in 1990 and has been instrumental in bringing mobile telephony to millions of people across the globe. Since the 1990s, the firm's revenue has been driven mainly by mobile phone services but also offers cable, satellite, broadband, e-commerce and other media.

In March 2013 the company announced a new strategy to double annual revenue to $9 billion in 2017.[1] The company employs 11,500 people, has corporate offices in Stockholm, London, Miami and Luxembourg, and is listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm under the symbol MIC_SDB. The company's chief executive is Hans-Holger Albrecht, who took up the role in October 2012.


Millicom originated as a company set up by Jan Stenbeck (1942-2002) to operate voice and data distribution networks via cellular radio. In Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.[2] it received one of three of the first cellular development licenses awarded by the FCC.

After two years of planning, the company began operations when the founders completed a $131,000 share purchase in May 1982. The firm took over paging company, Meta Systems in October 1982 and then closed $9 million first round of financing, managed by Chief Executive Officer, Orhan Sadik-Khan and Kevin Kimberlin.[3][4]

Since 92% of the world population had no phone service at the time, Millicom promoted mobile technology on a global basis.[5] To do this, Millicom created joint-ventures with local and strategic partners,

On December 13, 1982, Millicom Inc.’s joint-venture with Racal Electronics was awarded a cellular license for Great Britain. To enable Millicom to earn its 10% royalty from Racal-Millicom, another company controlled by John Stenbeck. Stenbeck commissioned a start up with two employees, Technophone, to develop the world’s first pocket-sized mobile phone.[6] Highlighting its plans to offer the Voice and Data phone (predecessor to the smart phone). This Racal-Millicom joint-venture was renamed Vodafone.[7]

On October 12, 1983, Millicom Inc. created China Telecom Systems (HK), a joint-venture with partners China Resources Ltd. and Comvik, a Swedish mobile firm also controlled by John Stenbeck.[8] China Telecom held the first cellular telephone contract in China making its service available to the public on May 20, 1985.[9]

In December 1989, Millicom set up Microtel Communications Ltd. by teaming up with Pacific Telesis and British Aerospace (later bought out by Hutchinson Telecom.)[10] Microtel was awarded a personal communication network (PCN) license to compete with Vodafone in Great Britain, a service launched in April 28, 1994 under its brand name, Orange.[11] This venture was acquired in October 1999, at which time, Orange and its new parent, Mannesmann, were in turn both taken over by Vodafone. At a value of $202 billion,[12] the takeover of Mannesmann by Vodafone was the largest transaction in corporate history.[13][14] Orange (formerly Microtel) was then sold to France Telecom, which subsequently changed its name to Orange.[15][16]

To better manage their respective mobile interests, Millicom Inc. combined Comvik’s international cellular operations into Millicom International Cellular SA, now operating under the laws of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.[17]

Latin America[edit]


Tigo launched in 2004, replacing former national brands COMCEL and Amigo de COMCEL to become the country's largest mobile operator with more than eight million users and market share of 54.1 per cent (2013). Mobile penetration is high at 137 per cent with internet penetration at 16 per cent (World Bank 2012). Tigo also provides mobile financial services through Tigo Money, broadband & cable and business solutions. Millicom equity holding 55 per cent. (Q1 2014)

El Salvador[edit]

Tigo launched in 2004 to replace the former national brand Telemovil and is now the country’s largest mobile operator with more than three million users and a market share of more than 40 per cent. Tigo is also El Salvador’s largest broadband and cable service provider and offers newly launched satellite DTH services, mobile financial services under the brand Tigo Money, as well as corporate and business solutions. Millicom equity holding is 100 per cent. (Q1 2014)


Tigo launched in 2004 to replace the former national brand CELTEL. It is now the leading mobile service provider in a country of eight million, offering also broadband, cable, business, mobile health insurance and financial services. Satellite DTH services are soon to launch (May 2014). Millicom equity holding is 66.7 per cent.


Tigo launched in 2004 and is now the largest mobile operator with more than 3.8 million subscribers (Paraguay population 6.7 million - World Bank 2012). Tigo, under the brand name Tigo TV, is also market leader for payTV and fixed broadband services. Tigo TV launched Millicom’s first satellite DTH services in 2014. Other key services and products fall under the Tigo Money and Tigo Business brands. Millicom equity holding is 100 per cent.


Tigo launched in 2005 and is now the second largest mobile operator in Bolivia (population 10.5 million – World Bank 2012) with more than 3.4 million customers. Branded services include Tigo Money, Tigo Star and Tigo Sports, Tigo Business and Tigo Smart. In 2014, Bolivia launched Millicom’s first satellite DTH service. Millicom equity holding is 100 per cent.


Tigo launched in 2006 and is Colombia’s third largest mobile service provider with more than 6.9 million customers. Its services include Tigo Money and UNE Internet, internet and broadband, with significant further market penetration anticipated in 2014 following a Merger Framework Agreement signed in 2013 with Empresas Publicas de Medellin. Millicom also has a growing portfolio online in retail and services. Equity holding is 50 per cent plus one share.



Tigo launched in 2007 and is now the country’s leading mobile service provider with 2.5 million customers from a population of 12.4 million (World Bank 2014). While mobile penetration is estimated at 35.5 per cent (WB 2014), Mobile Financial Services have launched strongly. MIllicom equity holding is 100 per cent.

Congo DRC[edit]

Tigo DRC launched in 2007 and is the country’s second largest mobile service provider. In Q1 2014 it reported more than four million customers (population 65.7 million – World Bank 2012). In 2013 it returned to the troubled eastern Kivu region, and is expanding further into neighbouring Katanga province. Tigo Cash Mobile Financial Services were launched in 2012. Millicom equity holding is 100 per cent.


Tigo is one of six leading mobile service providers competing in Ghana (population 25.4 million). It numbers more than 3. 7 million customers (Q1 2014) – more than 14 per cent of the market share. Tigo Ghana’s mobile financial services team has won notable recognition and awards for products and deployment. Millicom equity holding is 100 per cent.


Operates under Emtel brand. It competes with Orange (previously known as Cellplus) and MTML with technologies GSM/GPRS and UMTS/HSDPA over 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz. Emtel also has a broadband Wimax network.


Tigo is Rwanda’s second largest mobile service provider and the first to offer 3G internet (in 2013). In 2014 Millicom opened a tech incubator in the capital Kigali to develop new digital solutions for Africa. Q1 2014 reported more than two million customers and a market share of 31 per cent. (Rwanda population is 11.5 million - WB 2014) Millicom equity holding is 87.5 per cent.


Tigo Senegal launched in 2006 and is the second largest mobile service provider, with more than 3.3 million customers (Senegal population is 13.7 million – WB 2014). Heavy investment through 2013/2014 has led to expanded and improved networks and the licence granted in 2014 to pilot 4G technology. Millicom has presence in online and mobile financial services. Millicom equity holding is 100 per cent.


Tigo is Tanzania’s second largest mobile services provider, with more than six million customers. It enjoys best in class status for Mobile Financial Services (MFS) market penetration through. More than 45 per cent of customers use Tigo Pesa MFS. Tigo Tanzania was also the first service provider in East Africa to offer free Facebook data downloading.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Forester, Tom, “The Information Technology Revolution,” MIT Press, page 142.
  3. ^ Cuff, Daniel F., ”Millicom Continues Management Growth,” The New York Times, November 4, 1982,
  4. ^ Orhan Sadik-Khan interview, August 1995
  5. ^ Millicom Incorporated, Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, September 20, 1982
  6. ^ Hultén, Stephan and Mölleryd, Bengt, “Entrepreneurs, Innovations and Market Processes in the Evolution of the Swedish Mobile Telecommunications Industry,” Paper presented at the Eighth International Joseph A. Schumpeter Society Conference, 28 June – 1 July 2000.
  7. ^ Merriden, Trevor, “Rollercoaster, the Turbulent Life and Times of Vodafone and Chris Gent,” Capstone Publishing, 2003. page 21.
  8. ^ Baran, Paul, “China Telecom Joint Venture with the PRC Put On Hold,” Hong Kong Standard, October 30, 1985, page 1.
  9. ^ Robinson, Peter; “Mobile Cellular Radio Phones to be Introduced,” New China Morning Post, May 20, 1985, page 2.
  10. ^ "History of Cellular Services".
  11. ^ "The Facts : 2004". p. 107.
  12. ^ “Vodafone seals Mannesmann merger". BBC. February 11, 2000.
  13. ^ Monaghan, Angela; “The 10 biggest deals: how Vodafone's sale of its Verizon stake would compare.” The Guardian, September 2, 2013.
  14. ^ Holliday, Katie: “The 10 largest M&A deals of all time” Investment Week, February 8, 2012
  15. ^ "France Telecom buys Orange for $37 bn". The Financial Express. 30 May 2000. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  16. ^ "France Telecom clinches Orange deal". BBC. 30 May 2000. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  17. ^ Millicom International Cellular S.A., Securities and Exchange Commsission, Form 20-F/A, page 21.

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