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Millicom International Cellular SA
Traded as Nasdaq StockholmMIC_SDB
Industry Telecommunications, Media
Founded 1990 in Stockholm
Headquarters 2 Rue du Fort Bourbon, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Area served
Africa, Hispanic America
Key people
Cristina Stenbeck, (Chairman)
Mauricio Ramos, (CEO)
Products Mobile, cable, satellite, pay-TV, broadband, Mobile Financial Services, B2B and online services
Revenue $7.2 billion in 2015
Total assets $10.36 billion (2016)[1]
Number of employees
Website Millicom

Millicom International Cellular SA is an international telecommunications and media company, founded by Shelby Bryan, Jan Stenbeck, Telma Sosa, and Olvin Galdamez. It offers a wide range of digital services to more than 63 million customers primarily under the Tigo brand in fourteen markets in Africa and Latin America. Its online partnerships are active in more than 40 markets.

Millicom was one of the earliest pioneers of mass consumer mobile telephony and was formed in 1990 when Millicom Incorporated merged with the Swedish investment company Industriforvaltnings AP Kinnevik. Since then, the firm has seen annual revenue grow to $7.2billion, driven mainly by mobile phone services and, increasingly, by data, with an expanding portfolio of cable, satellite, broadband, e-commerce, Mobile Financial Services, B2B and other media.

In March 2015 it was announced that Mauricio Ramos, formerly of Liberty Global, would become the company's new Chief Executive starting April 1, 2015.

The same year, Millicom announced a new business strategy around monetizing data and building cable,[2] with the stated ambition to become the 2nd largest Pay-TV operator in Spanish-speaking Latin America. Millicom's cable footprint grew in 2015 to 7.6 million homes passed and is expected to exceed 8 million by the end of 2016.

The company's Mobile Financial Services account for more than 40 percent of the total number of active mobile money subscribers in Latin America. In Africa, Millicom set up the continent's first ever universal interoperable mobile money network through its Tigo Pesa brand in Tanzania that includes Airtel, Zantel and Vodacom. Tanzania is considered to be a world leader in terms of mobile money customization.

Millicom employs 15,800 people, has corporate offices in London, Miami and Luxembourg, and is listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm under the symbol MIC_SDB.


Millicom originated as a company set up by Jan Stenbeck to operate voice and data distribution networks via cellular radio.[3][4] In Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.[5] 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 raised $9 million in its first round of financing, managed by Chief Executive Officer, Orhan Sadik-Khan and Kevin Kimberlin.[6][7]

Since 92% of the world population had no phone service at the time, Millicom promoted mobile technology on a global basis.[8] To do this, Millicom created joint-ventures with local and strategic partners.

On December 13, 1982, a joint-venture with Racal Electronics was awarded a cellular license for Great Britain. To enable Millicom to earn its 10% royalty from Racal-Millicom, a controlling shareholder, Stenbeck commissioned a start up with two employees, Technophone, to develop the world’s first pocket-sized mobile phone.[9] Highlighting its plans to offer the Voice and Data phone (predecessor to the smart phone), his Racal-Millicom joint-venture was renamed Vodafone.[10]

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 Jan Stenbeck.[11] China Telecom held the first cellular telephone contract in China, making its service available to the public on May 20, 1985.[12]

In December 1989, Millicom set up Microtel Communications Ltd. by teaming up with Pacific Telesis and British Aerospace (later bought out by Hutchinson Telecom.)[13] 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.[14] 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,[15] the takeover of Mannesmann by Vodafone was the largest transaction in corporate history.[16][17] Orange (formerly Microtel) was then sold to France Telecom, which subsequently changed its corporate name to Orange.[18][19]

To better manage their respective mobile interests, Millicom Inc. combined with Comvik’s international cellular operations to become Millicom International Cellular SA in 1990, which now operates under the laws of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.[20]

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 52.3 percent (2014). Mobile penetration is estimated at 95.8 percent (Millicom data) with internet penetration at 16 percent (World Bank 2012). Tigo also provides mobile financial services through Tigo Money, broadband & cable and business solutions. Millicom equity holding 55 percent. (Q1 2014)[21]

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 2.6 million users and a market share of 36.4 percent. 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 percent. (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, with an estimated 4.6 million customers. Its mobile market share is placed at more than 66 percent. Tigo also offers broadband, cable, business, mobile health insurance and financial services. Satellite DTH services are soon to launch (May 2014). Millicom equity holding is 66.7 percent.


Tigo launched in 2004 and is now the largest mobile operator with 3.8 million subscribers from a population of 6.7 million (World Bank 2012). Tigo's sub-brand Tigo Star is also market leader for payTV and fixed broadband services. Tigo Star was first launched in Paraguay along with Millicom’s first satellite DTH service, both in 2014. Tigo's mobile market share is 56.4 percent. Other key services and products fall under the Tigo Money and Tigo Business brands. Millicom equity holding is 100 percent.


Tigo operates in Nicaragua - formed from the merger of Navega & Amnet in 2013 and compete with three other corporate network operators that combine mobile voice, 3G, 4G Networks and cable broadband.

Costa Rica[edit]

Tigostar operates in Costa RIca- more than 30 years in operation under different brand names: the latest prior to Tigostar was Tigo, and before Amnet.

Exclusive Channels of TigoStar Paraguay[edit]


Genre: News, Entertainment, Realities, Health, Magazines,

Broadcasting: 24 Hours

Description: Launched of December 15, 1989 at 05:45 am (local time as TV Cinema)

Programs: Noticieros Unicanal (Monday to Friday at 05:30 am, 01:00 pm, 08:00 pm and 12:30 pm), Mina en Domingo (Sunday at 09:00 pm), El Ritmo de la Mañana (Monday to Friday at 08:30

Tigo Sports[edit]

Genre: Sports Broadcast: 24 Hours

Sportive Events of Tigo Sports

  • Paraguayan Primera División (Four games per matchday)
  • División Intermedia (Two games per matchday)
  • Primera B (One game per matchday)
  • Tigo Sports Cup
  • Brazilian League (Two games per week)
  • CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers (All matches are broadcast on Tigo Sports, Tigo Sports 2, Tigo Sports 3, Tigo Sports 4 or Events Channel)
  • South American Under 20
  • South American Under 17
  • Davis Cup (Only matches of Paraguayan Davis Cup National Team in Home)
  • Fed Cup (Only matches of Paraguayan Fed Cup National Team in House)
  • Paraguayan Basketball League (One game per week)
  • NBA (Shared with ESPN, DIRECTV Sports and NBA TV)
  • Olympic Qualifiers FIBA Américas
  • Paraguayan Volleyball League
  • FIVB Volleyball World League
  • Grand Prix of Volleyball
  • South American Volleyball Championship
  • South American Volleyball Clubs Championship
  • Paraguayan Rugby League (Until Two games per week are broadcast live on Tigo Sports 2)
  • Free Touring
  • Formula One
  • GP2 Series
  • GP3 Series

Tigo Max[edit]

Is a Pay Per View or PPV channel. Are broadcast live main games of Paraguayan Soccer in exclusive. Matches of Paraguayan Basketball League are broadcast live Monday at 8:15 pm (K.O 8:30 pm) on Tigo Max and Thursday at 8:00 pm (K.O 8:15 pm) with broadcast live on Tigo Sports, Tigo Sports 2 or Tigo Sports 3


LET TV[edit]

Is a Paraguayan pay televisión channel launched in February 22, 2016 at 05:00 am (local time)


Tigo launched in 2005 by a merger with TELECEL (a native Bolivian brand) 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 percent.


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

Exclusive Channels of TigoStar Colombia:

  • Tigo Sports

Genre: Sports

Broadcasting: 24 Hours

Launched: April 7, 2014 at 05:00 Description: The Colombian Second Sports Channel with sports broadcasting rights including: Categoria Primera C (seven games per match day), Copa Colombia (three matches per round), Premier League (up to six games per match day), Greek Super League (four games per match day)



Tigo launched in 2005 and is now the country’s leading mobile service provider with 2.65 million customers from a population of 12.4 million (World Bank 2014). While mobile penetration is estimated at 40.2 percent (Millicom 2014), Mobile Financial Services have launched strongly. Tigo's mobile market share of the market is estimated at 53.8 percent. Millicom equity holding is 100 percent.

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.[22] 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. Mobile penetration DRC is estimated at 49.1 percent.[23] Tigo DRC holds 30.4 percent of market share. Millicom equity holding is 100 percent.

On 8 February 2016 it was announced that Orange were acquiring Tigo DRC subject to regulatory approval.


Tigo is one of six leading mobile service providers competing in Ghana (population 25.4 million). It numbers 3.7 million customers (Q2 2014) – more than 17 percent of market share. Mobile penetration is estimated at 81.2 percent (Millicom 2014). Tigo Ghana’s mobile financial services team has won notable recognition and awards for products and deployment. Millicom equity holding is 100 percent.

In March 2017 it was announced that Millicom and Airtel had signed an agreement to combine operations in Ghana subject to regulatory approval.


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. Q2 2014 reported more 2.2 million customers (population 11.5 million - World Bank 2014) and a mobile market share of 40.5 percent. Mobile penetration is estimated at 49.7 percent. Millicom equity holding is 87.5 percent.

In December 2017 it was announced that Millicom and Airtel had signed an agreement to combine operations in Rwanda subject to regulatory approval.


Tigo Senegal launched in 2006 and is the second largest mobile service provider, with 3.2 million customers (population 13.7 million – WB 2014). Mobile penetration is estimated at 73.1 percent with Tigo's mobile market share placed at 31.3 percent (Q2 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 percent.

In February 2017 it was announced that Wari Group were acquiring Tigo Senegal subject to regulatory approval.


Tigo Tanzania is Tanzania’s second largest mobile services provider, with more than 7 million customers. More than 46 percent of tigo Tanzania customers use MFS. Tigo Tanzania was also the first service provider in East Africa to offer free Facebook data downloading. Its mobile market share is placed at 29.8 percent (Q2 2014). Mobile penetration in Tanzania is estimated to be 47.3 percent. In 2015, Millicom completed the acquisition of an 85% stake in Zanzibar Telecom (Zantel) [24]

Tigo Cash[edit]

Tigo Cash is a mobile phone–based money transfer service offered with Tigo phones in eleven countries including Tanzania, Rwanda, and Ghana.[25][26]


  1. ^ "Millicom International on the Forbes Global 2000 List". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-05-28. 
  2. ^ "Millicom's Q4 and FY 2015 Results" (PDF). 10 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Millicom 25th Anniversary". Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  4. ^ "Stenbeck transforms Swedish family firm into major online investor". Reuters. 2017-06-22. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  5. ^ Forester, Tom, "The Information Technology Revolution," MIT Press, page 142.
  6. ^ Cuff, Daniel F. (1982-11-04). "BUSINESS PEOPLE; Millicom Continues Management Growth". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-05-28. 
  7. ^ Orhan Sadik-Khan interview, August 1995
  8. ^ Millicom Incorporated, Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, September 20, 1982
  9. ^ 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. NMT PCS | Privateline Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Merriden, Trevor, "Rollercoaster, the Turbulent Life and Times of Vodafone and Chris Gent," Capstone Publishing, 2003. page 21.
  11. ^ Baran, Paul, "China Telecom Joint Venture with the PRC Put On Hold," Hong Kong Standard, October 30, 1985, page 1.
  12. ^ Robinson, Peter; "Mobile Cellular Radio Phones to be Introduced," New China Morning Post, May 20, 1985, page 2.
  13. ^ "History of Cellular Services".
  14. ^ "The Facts : 2004". p. 107.
  15. ^ "Vodafone seals Mannesmann merger". BBC. February 11, 2000.
  16. ^ Monaghan, Angela; "The 10 biggest deals: how Vodafone's sale of its Verizon stake would compare." The Guardian, September 2, 2013.
  17. ^ Holliday, Katie: "The 10 largest M&A deals of all time" Investment Week, February 8, 2012
  18. ^ "France Telecom buys Orange for $37 bn". The Financial Express. 30 May 2000. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  19. ^ "France Telecom clinches Orange deal". BBC. 30 May 2000. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  20. ^ "Millicom International Cellular S.A., Securities and Exchange Commsission, Form 20-F/A". p. 21. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. 
  21. ^ "UPDATE 1-Millicom flags "potential improper payments", shares dive". Reuters. 22 October 2015. Retrieved 2017-09-12. 
  22. ^ (population 65.7 million – World Bank 2012)
  23. ^ (Millicom 2014)
  24. ^ "Millicom Completes Zantel Acquisition" (PDF). 26 October 2015. 
  25. ^ "Tigo introduces cross-border money transaction". The Standard Group. 3 March 2014. 
  26. ^ "Mobile Money - Payment Processing Partners". Government of Ghana Official Portal. Archived from the original on 2 July 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 

External links[edit]