Angola’s mobile market leader Unitel reported on its website that its 4G LTE network coverage was expanded to a total of 126 municipalities, 167 rural communes and 17 other ‘localities’ around the country by late November 2023, highlighting that this represented 76.8% of Angola’s 164 municipalities and 30.8% of the country’s 542 communes, while covering all 18 province capitals. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the figures show significant expansion from the numbers reported by the company back in September 2022 when it claimed 4G coverage of 61 municipalities (37%) and just 87 communes (16%). The company subsequently indicated in a disclosure reported by Agence Ecofin that it added one more municipality and another commune to the 4G footprint in early December 2023, taking its totals to 127 municipalities (77.4%) and 168 communes (30.9%).

Furthermore, Unitel disclosed that its fledgling 5G network is now available in eight localities/municipalities in Luanda, two municipalities in Benguela province, and one municipality in Huambo province. The operator’s website confirms that 5G activation is free for compatible smartphone users in the coverage areas, who can either call the cellco’s customer service line or request 5G activation at a Unitel store, and then simply select 5G in their phone settings. The company claims that its 5G service is capable of ‘up to 100 times faster’ data speeds compared to 4G.

Separately, Unitel’s mobile money service, Unitel Money, recorded 35 million mobile payment transactions in the first eleven months of 2023, compared to the eight million recorded in full-year 2022, reports Jornal de Angola. Director of Mobile Financial Business Antonieta Gomes also indicated that Unitel Money – which was launched in August 2021 – currently has around one and a half million ‘active accounts’ and 30,000 registered agents.

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