Orange sets up in Democratic Republic of Congo

Spotting the opportunity in the African emerging market, France Telecom has launched the Orange brand in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The operator group acquired domestic operator CCT in October 2011 and has invested CDF87.4bn ($95m) since to expand and upgrade its network. The operator said it will bring its technical and commercial know-how to the country, as well as its research and development expertise.

According to Orange DRC, the operator will be able to offer extensive coverage across the country from the first day of its launch.  It has also deployed the country’s first HSPA+ network in the capital Kinshasa, and will switch the technology on in Lubumbashi and Matadi in the coming days. In early 2013, residents of Goma, Bukavu and Mbuji-Mayi will also be covered.

From the outset, Orange DRC will have a chain of 22 own-branded retail outlets in the country and its products and services will also be widely available through 22,000 indirect points of sale.

The operator said it has rolled out an extensive program of 18,000 hours of training to maintain the group’s technical and commercial standards. It has also recruited extra employees to achieve its goals, bringing its total staff to more than 600 people.

“Our objective is to harness the power of a large group in order to benefit the Congolese population,” said Jean-Léon Bonnechère, CEO of Orange DRC.

“We think that there is a strong desire for simple, dynamic and innovative services in the DRC, a country with incredible development potential; it is the group’s ability to meet these requirements that makes Orange one of the most renowned brands in the world.”

Orange DRC customers will now join a global community of 183 million Orange customers. The group is now present in 33 countries globally.

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