Orange offers cheap 3G upgrade as it restores Central Africa

Orange offers cheap 3G upgrade as it restores Central Africa services

05 July 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Orange has resumed its services in the Central African Republic, more than three weeks after its network core and data centre in Bangui were destroyed in a fire.

The company announced that its customers are again able to access voice, data, SMS and mobile money services.

Régis Delière, CEO of Orange CAR, said customers would get 100 minutes of free calls – but only to other Orange customers – in compensation.

The 6 June fire cut off all Orange customers in the country, an estimated 20% of all the country’s inhabitants. The fire, thought to be accidental, cut off all of the company’s communication services to its customers, said Orange in a press release posted on Facebook at the time.

Now, in addition to restoring communications between Orange subscribers, communications to competitor networks and abroad have also been restored, said Orange from Bangui.

The company is using the restoration to persuade customers to upgrade from 2G to 3G, offering them a Sanza 3G phone (pictured), described as a “smart feature phone” for the equivalent of $17.91.

A year ago Orange said it would start to move to open RAN in its African mobile networks, with the CAR operation being the first. Orange said it had contracted with US-based Parallel Wireless to install O-RAN equipment across the region.