Airtel launches mobile broadband in Madagascar

Airtel aims to build largest 3.75G network across Africa
Madagascar has three GSM operators and a CDMA operator.
Madagascar has three GSM operators and a CDMA operator.


Airtel has launched a mobile broadband service in Madagascar using 3.75G technology.

Airtel said the development is another step towards its aim of building the largest 3.75G network across Africa.

“3.75G technology will give our customers the opportunity to interact with data in a completely different way,” explained Heiko Schlittke, managing director, Airtel Madagascar. “This is why Airtel doesn’t see 3.75G as a product but a platform that enables customers to have access to data and the internet.

“We all know that access to basic telecommunications services is crucial for economic development. However, these services are not available to all in Madagascar. Communications should be a fundamental right and not a privilege. Access to telecommunications for populations that are not connected yet will enhance their social, cultural and commercial participation. Our platform will enable customers to take advantage of the potential of the internet as well as the mobile phone,” Schlittke added.

Airtel competes with Orange and incumbent operator Telma in Madagascar. A fourth mobile operator, Madamobil, launched a CDMA-based network in 2010, according to BuddeComm.

Madagascar, which has a population of about 21.5 million people, has some 2.5 million mobile subscribers according to data from McKinsey & Co.

There are currently about 400 million mobile subscribers in Africa, according to data from McKinsey & Co, and 2.5 million are with Airtel Madagascar.

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