Millicom International Cellular SA
Traded asMIC_SDB
IndustryTelecommunications, Media
Founded1990 in Stockholm
Headquarters2 Rue du Fort Bourbon, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Area served
Africa, Hispanic America
Key people
Cristina Stenbeck, (Chairman)
Mauricio Ramos, (CEO)
ProductsMobile, cable, satellite, pay-TV, broadband, Mobile Financial Services, B2B and online services
Revenue$6.02 billion in 2017
Total assets$10.36 billion (2016)[1]
Number of employees

Millicom International Cellular SA is an international telecommunications and media company, founded by Shelby Bryan, Jan Stenbeck, Telma Sosa, and Olvin Galdamez. It offers a wide range of digital services to more than 51 million customers primarily under the Tigo brand in eleven markets in Africa and Latin America.

Millicom was one of the earliest pioneers of mass consumer mobile telephony and was formed in 1990 when Millicom Incorporated merged with the Swedish investment company Industriforvaltnings AP Kinnevik. Since then, the firm has seen annual revenue grow to $6.02billion, driven mainly by mobile phone services and, increasingly, by data, with an expanding portfolio of cable, satellite, broadband, B2B, Mobile Financial Services and other media.

In March 2015 it was announced that Mauricio Ramos, formerly of Liberty Global, would become the company's new Chief Executive starting April 1, 2015.

The same year, Millicom announced a new business strategy around monetizing data and building cable,[2] with the stated ambition to become the 2nd largest Pay-TV operator in Spanish-speaking Latin America. Millicom's cable footprint grew in 2015 to 7.6 million homes passed and exceeded nine million by the end of 2017.

The company's Mobile Financial Services account for more than 40 percent of the total number of active mobile money subscribers in Latin America. In Africa, Millicom set up the continent's first ever universal interoperable mobile money network through its Tigo Pesa brand in Tanzania that includes Airtel, Zantel and Vodacom. Tanzania is considered to be a world leader in terms of mobile money customization.

Millicom employs 18,802 people, has corporate offices in London, Miami and Luxembourg, and is listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm under the symbol MIC_SDB.


Millicom originated as a company set up by Jan Stenbeck to operate voice and data distribution networks via cellular radio.[3][4] In Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.[5] it received one of three of the first cellular development licenses awarded by the FCC.

After two years of planning, the company began operations when the founders completed a $131,000 share purchase in May 1982. The firm took over paging company, Meta Systems in October 1982 and then raised $9 million in its first round of financing, managed by Chief Executive Officer, Orhan Sadik-Khan and Kevin Kimberlin.[6][7]

Since 92% of the world population had no phone service at the time, Millicom promoted mobile technology on a global basis.[8] To do this, Millicom created joint-ventures with local and strategic partners.

On December 13, 1982, a joint-venture with Racal Electronics was awarded a cellular license for Great Britain. To enable Millicom to earn its 10% royalty from Racal-Millicom, a controlling shareholder, Stenbeck commissioned a start up with two employees, Technophone, to develop the world’s first pocket-sized mobile phone.[9] Highlighting its plans to offer the Voice and Data phone (predecessor to the smart phone), his Racal-Millicom joint-venture was renamed Vodafone.[10]

On October 12, 1983, Millicom Inc. created China Telecom Systems (HK), a joint-venture with partners China Resources Ltd. and Comvik, a Swedish mobile firm also controlled by Jan Stenbeck.[11] China Telecom held the first cellular telephone contract in China, making its service available to the public on May 20, 1985.[12]

In December 1989, Millicom set up Microtel Communications Ltd. by teaming up with Pacific Telesis and British Aerospace (later bought out by Hutchinson Telecom.)[13] Microtel was awarded a personal communication network (PCN) license to compete with Vodafone in Great Britain, a service launched in April 28, 1994 under its brand name, Orange.[14] This venture was acquired in October 1999, at which time Orange and its new parent, Mannesmann, were in turn both taken over by Vodafone. At a value of $202 billion,[15] the takeover of Mannesmann by Vodafone was the largest transaction in corporate history.[16][17] Orange (formerly Microtel) was then sold to France Telecom, which subsequently changed its corporate name to Orange.[18][19]

To better manage their respective mobile interests, Millicom Inc. combined with Comvik’s international cellular operations to become Millicom International Cellular SA in 1990, which now operates under the laws of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.[20]

Other Languages
Deutsch: Tigo
español: Tigo
français: Tigo
Kiswahili: Millicom
lingála: Tigo
norsk: Tigo
svenska: Millicom