From Left: The Managing Director for Airtel, Beston Tshinsele; The Honorable Minister of Posts and Telecommunications for the Republic of Congo Mr. Thierry

Airtel has launched the first 3G network in Central Africa. The network launched in the Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville) runs on a 3,75G ( HSPSA ) platform in the country.

Today’s launch follows the successful application and issuance of a 3G license by the Republic of Congo.  This is the first 3G license issued in Central Africa and the second amongst the French-speaking African nations, after Senegal.

The launch of the 3G platform promises changes to how subscribers in the region experience the web on internet-enabled devices. 3G technology comes with improved technology enhancing multimedia functionality, high-speed mobile broadband and internet access.

The technology also allows  users to make video calls, watch live TV, send and receive emails and download music from the devices. This is the latest global HSPSA plus technology with 21 mbps, also being rolled out in Europe and the USA. It is the fastest 3G available and will be enormously beneficial for a variety of users, which include large Corporates, Small or Medium Businesses and the Youth.

Airtel is expected to rollout its HSPSA network in Kenya before the end of the year. The network is undergoing tests in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

There are currently about 400 million mobile subscribers in Africa, according to data from McKinsey & Co. Telecommunications is one of the continent’s fastest growing industries with a rapidly expanding cellular phone market that now includes internet access, mobile banking and mobile commerce.