The suspension of Vodacom Congo's 2G license has been upheld by a court in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This follows a dispute between Vodacom Group's subsidiary in the DRC and the country's telecommunications ministry around whether or not the $16 million paid by Vodacom in 2015 to renew the license was valid or not.
The DRC's telecommunications ministry has been arguing that there were irregularities and proper procedures were not followed by Vodacom in 2015 and that the company needs to pay $65 million to renew its 2G license for approximately 11,8 million customers who don't have 3G or 4G connectivity.
Vodacom Congo was licenced to operate in the DRC in 2002 and is majority owned (51%) by Vodacom Group. It is the leading mobile operator in the Democratic Republic of Congo in terms of market share and subscribers.
Previously, Emery Okundji, the DRC's Minister of Telecommunications Minister, stated that Vodacom Congo needs to reapply for its 2G license which was initially issued for a 20-year period in 1998 arguing that there was an irregular extension granted during 2015. With the upholding of the suspension, 11,8 million of Vodacom's customers are expected to be without 2G connectivity until the matter is resolved.
Based on the court ruling, Vodacom Congo now has three months to renegotiate the renewal of the 2G licence before it goes up for tender.Share this via: