Mobile phone operator Lumitel, a Burundian subsidiary of telecom group Viettel, has extended its 4G service to the entire country. The operation took place at the end of February 2018. Since 2016, Lumitel like Econet Wireless, marketed the 4G only in some big cities of the country. Now the technology covers a larger number of people.
The company’s strategy is the same as that conducted in Tanzania and Mozambique to increase its market share. Bringing the network into unserved rural communities, with strong populations and market niches that have been poorly exploited by competition. To meet the strong demand in rural areas previously ignored by competition, Lumitel has deployed 3,300 kilometers of fiber optics and installed 112 4G antennas. This equipment reinforces the operator’s telecom network, which already consists of 615 2G antennas and 278 3G antennas.
Beyond the 4G connectivity, Lumitel, which is aware of the impact of broadband on the improvement of people’s living conditions, is developing many value-added services to make its investment more profitable. Today, the last telecoms operator to enter Burundi in 2015, claims 55% market share ahead of Econet Wireless, Onamob, U-com, VTEL Holdings and Smart.