Thursday, 17/05/2012 04:14 PM
Viettel launches its first mobile network in Africa
On May 15, 2012, Viettel, one of the world’s fastest growing telecom operators, launches its first African mobile Network in Mozambique and is seeking opportunities to expand investment in other African countries
In just over a year since being licensed on January 10, 2011, Viettel has built 12,600 kilometres of fiber optic cable and 1,800 mobile stations in Mozambique. This network represents 70% of the total Mozambique’s fiber optic cable network and 50% of the country’s mobile stations. The system has helped triple the density of Mozambique’s telecom infrastructure (increasing the length of fiber optic cable network and number of mobile stations per one million inhabitants in Mozambique by 2-3 times), making it one of the world’s fastest growing telecommunications networks and placing the country among the top three nations in Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of fiber optic cable systems.
With the country’s largest network right at the launch date, Viettel’s Movitel network is the first mobile network operator in Mozambique to have doubled the network coverage level committed in its proposal for the license. In addition to expanding the network, Viettel also recruits one to two local people to provide services door-to-door in their own localities.
At the launch ceremony, Viettel also officially announced its project of connecting and providing free internet for 4,200 schools as part of the group’s pledge to the Mozambican Government. At present, more than 500 schools have been connected thanks to this project.
“The Mozambican Government highly appreciates Viettel’s serious investment and commitment to social responsibility. This is the first time many areas will have had access to telecom services, so the company has made a major contribution to the implementation of Mozambique’s socio-economic development and poverty reduction strategy,” said Mozambican President Armano Emilio Guebuza.
Viettel has successfully developed and popularised telecom services in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Haiti, Mozambique and Peru.
“Mozambique is Viettel’s first market in Africa. Viettel is seeking for new opportunities to expand its investment in other African countries.” a Viettel representative stressed.
In markets where Viettel already started its operations, Viettel companies have consistently become the leading telecommunications player within just two years, contributing from 1-2% to a country’s national GDP; increasing national telecom network coverage by between 50% to 80% and jointly increasing telecom network density by 3 to 3.5 times more than the international average. Most local residents now have the opportunity to access telecom services, including 95% of people living in rural areas. Tens of thousands of jobs have been generated for rural people through the Viettel sales network. Free internet services are provided in all schools. These efforts have helped narrow the digital gap between rural and urban areas, and rich and poor.
According to the World Bank’s report on Africa’s ICT infrastructure research published in June, 2011, the average broadband penetration in Sub-Saharan Africa was just 2% in the urban areas and barely 1% in rural areas. Except for South Africa where fiber optic cable networks accounted for 80% of the region’s total, the average density of fiber optic cable in other Sub-Saharan African countries remained very low, at 140km per million people or one seventh the world average. The World Bank report also revealed that in the developing countries, one third of per capita GDP was generated from telecom investment. With a 10 percent increase in investment, telecom density will increase by 2%. While with a 10 percent increase in bandwidth, GDP per capita will be 1% to 1.5% higher, with hundreds of thousands of jobs created. Telecom services can contribute 6 to 7% to a country’s GDP.