MTN Congo and Airtel Congo sign roaming agreement

06 March 2023

MTN Congo and Airtel Congo have signed a national roaming agreement under the sponsorship of the Post and Electronic Communications Regulatory Agency (ARPCE).

Each of the operators will now be able to provide its services by relying on the active infrastructure of its competitor in areas not covered by its own network.

As part of the first phase of this agreement, MTN will open its network to Airtel subscribers at eight sites, including Malélé, Kissila, Kintamou, and Liouesso. Airtel Congo will do so in 12 localities including Kayes, Tchicanou, Boulankio and Ketta.

National roaming is governed by Law No. 09-2009 of 25 November 2009 regulating the electronic communications sector, as well as by the related decision made public by the ARPCE. This enabled the regulator to set the pricing and technical conditions, as well as considerations relating to national roaming contracts, in consultation with market players.

The growth of the number of telecom subscribers in the Republic of Congo is declining despite a high penetration rate (102.8%). According to data from ARPCE, the country had more than 5.7 million telecom subscribers in the third quarter of 2022, a decrease of 0.6% compared to the previous quarter and a decrease of 2.6% compared in the third quarter of 2021.

This agreement should revive the growth of the sector, extend the reach of telecom services, reduce investments for telecom operators, introduce more competition on the market.

According to the ARPCE, the national roaming agreement is “an important leap in terms of, on the one hand, the promotion of consumer rights in the sense that it should allow everyone to benefit full electronic communications services and, on the other hand, the possibility for one operator to take advantage of the facilities of the other in order to serve its customers.”