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Orascom Telecom’s Burundi Unit Plans 3G Services Within a Month

June 07, 2011

June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Orascom Telecom Holding SAE’s Burundian unit said it may introduce a third-generation mobile- phone network in the East African country within the next month as it seeks to expand its subscriber base.

U-Com Burundi SA carried out a test of the new system on May 31, spokesman Christian Kabirigi said in an interview today from Bujumbura, the capital. The network enables faster transmission of data and allows mobile-phone users to download music and video to their handsets.

U-Com is Burundi’s biggest mobile-phone company with more than 1 million subscribers, Kabirigi said. The company competes with state-owned Onatel; Econet Wireless Holdings Ltd.; Africell, owned by VTL Holdings; and Lacell SU, according to Business Monitor International, the London-based research group.

Burundi’s government has said it plans to sell Onatel to private investors.

--Editors: Paul Richardson, Karl Maier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Desire Nimubona in Bujumbura via Nairobi at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at

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