ABN – Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd. has raised US$365 million in debt and equity financing to improve and expand its broadband network into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The Mauritius-based company currently provides wireless internet in Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda but wants to increase its customer base by 10 times, to 1 million, by 2017.
Smile CEO Irene Charnley told Bloomberg: “Fixed-line infrastructure in Africa is non-existent, especially in countries outside of South Africa.
“We will have national coverage of 4G mobile wireless broadband in each of our markets. The take-up is very, very, very fast.”
She added that Smile will seek to expand into South Africa when the government auctions off its 800 megahertz of spectrum, and will likely launch an initial public offering in 2019.